Book Review – Murder For Christmas by Francis Duncan


A classic mystery for the festive season: mulled wine, mince pies…and murder.

Mordecai Tremaine, former tobacconist and perennial lover of romance novels, has been invited to spend Christmas in the sleepy village of Sherbroome at the country retreat of one Benedict Grame.

Arriving on Christmas Eve, he finds that the revelries are in full flow – but so too are tensions amongst the assortment of guests.

Midnight strikes and the party-goers discover that it’s not just presents nestling under the tree…there’s a dead body too. A dead body that bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas.

With the snow falling and the suspicions flying, it’s up to Mordecai to sniff out the culprit – and prevent someone else from getting murder for Christmas.


I searched on the library app for a Christmas book that wasn’t the typical chick lit, rom com genre and came across this. 

It took me a while to get into, but once I did I really enjoyed it. There were quite a few characters to follow and remember, plus they all had their own lives and secrets which gradually started to come out. The ending was very neat and despite all the information that you were given throughout the book, there were still new bits that came to light at the end. I liked that you were kept guessing right until the end of the book and because of this it kept my interest throughout. 

The writing style of the book was interesting. It was a watered down Sherlock Holmes in my view, but in a good way. The main detective was an amature (similar to Holmes) but the Police didn’t feel intellectually threatened by him. As the reader you didn’t feel like one was more intelligent than the other, they treated each other with mutual respect and together they solved the case. 

What I also liked about the style of the book was that the story was of it’s time. You could tell by the way that it was written and the objects that were spoken about that it wasn’t from the modern era. I found that it added something extra to the story. It was nice to be taken back to a simpler time. 

The characters themselves were all suspicious in some way and I enjoyed gradually finding out about their backstories. You were never quite sure where it would lead. I liked the way that you followed the main character as he went round studying and interacting with the suspects. It was done very naturally and nothing felt forced. 

Lastly the setting. It was very christmassy in that it was a Christmas party set over the Christmas period that was supposed to emulate a traditional Charles Dicken’s style Christmas in a grand house. On top of this it started to snow, which added to the picture perfect Christmas. 

Overall an enjoyable read and one that I would recommend as an alternative to the usual chick lit, rom com Christmas books. 

⭐Rated 4/5⭐

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10 thoughts on “Book Review – Murder For Christmas by Francis Duncan

    1. Emily Jane Post author

      It took me a while to remember all the characters but once I got a grip I enjoyed it! I liked that it was of it’s time too. Vintage sort of feel to it – it came out in 1949 according to the internet.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Louise H

    I often wonder how older books stand up to the test of time, so it’s good to hear this was still an entertaining read. I am inspired to see if my library has this, or something similar, available!

    Liked by 1 person

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