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Blog Tour: The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

Published: September 30th, 2021
Publisher: Zaffre
Genre: Mystery, Puzzle, Crime Mystery, Holiday Fiction
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this heart-pounding locked-room murder mystery.

For those playing along, today’s clue can be is as follows:

🗝️Clue number 6

This dairy tipple has simple class
It’s Christmas cheer but in a glass

Thank you to Eleanor at Zaffre Books for the invitation to take part and the gifted copy of the book.

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SYNOPSIS:

Twelve clues.
Twelve keys.
Twelve days of Christmas.
But who will survive until Twelfth Night?

Lily Armitage never intended to return to Endgame House – the grand family home where her mother died twenty-one Christmases ago. Until she receives a letter from her aunt, asking her to return to take part in an annual tradition: the Christmas Game. The challenge? Solve twelve clues, to find twelve keys. The prize? The deeds to the manor house.

Lily has no desire to win the house. But her aunt makes one more promise: The clues will also reveal who really killed Lily’s mother all those years ago.

So, for the twelve days of Christmas, Lily must stay at Endgame House with her estranged cousins and unravel the riddles that hold the key not just to the family home, but to its darkest secrets. However, it soon becomes clear that her cousins all have their own reasons for wanting to win the house – and not all of them are playing fair.

As a snowstorm cuts them off from the village, the game turns deadly. Soon Lily realises that she is no longer fighting for an inheritance, but for her life.

This Christmas is to die for . . . Let the game begin

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MY REVIEW:

Twelve clues.
Twelve keys.
Twelve days of Christmas.
But who will survive until Twelfth Night?

Lily Armitage is reluctantly returning to Endgame House for the first time since her mother’s death twenty-one years ago. The grand house nestled in the Yorkshire Countryside is a place haunted by memories she doesn’t want to revisit. But she is heading back after receiving a letter from her late Aunt Lilliana asking her to take part in the final Christmas Game.  Because this is no ordinary Christmas Game; not only will the winner inherit Endgame House, but the game will finally reveal long-held family secrets, including the truth of Lily’s mother’s death all those years ago.  But not everyone is playing fair.  And when Lily and her cousins are stranded at the house by a snowstorm, things soon turn deadly, leaving Lily not only fighting for answers, but her life.

A suspenseful and claustrophobic Christmas murder mystery, this was like Agatha Christie with a dash of Cluedo.  I inhaled it in one sitting, drawn in from the first page and held captive, unable to turn away until the game was over and all of the dark secrets had been revealed, just like the players themselves.  

“It’s cruel, when she thinks of it, to ask her to return to this house, with its secrets written on walls and she’s the one who has to strip back the wallpaper.” 

A delightfully twisty and suspenseful puzzle, I am still in awe that this is a debut.  The story is skillfully written, cleverly plotted and filled with evocative imagery that brings the isolation and heart-pounding fear Lily felt inside this grand house in the snowy Yorkshire Dales to life.  It felt like I was inside it myself, taking every step beside her as she played the game.  She was a great protagonist who was easy to root for and get behind.  But everyone at Endgame House is hiding secrets, including Lily, some of which are darker than others.  The author had me on the edge of my seat as I tried to figure them out along with whatever other mysteries this place held.  

A heart-pounding and addictive locked-room murder mystery, this sensational debut is the perfect puzzle for crime lovers.  

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

From her website:
A K Benedict read English at Cambridge and Creative Writing at the University of Sussex. She writes in a room filled with mannequins, clowns and teapots.

Her debut novelThe Beauty of Murder (Orion), was shortlisted for an eDunnit award and is in development for an 8-part TV series. Her second novel, Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts (Orion), was published in February 2016 and The Stone House, a tie-in novel for Doctor Who spin-off Class, was published by BBC Books in October.

Her poems and short stories have featured in journals and anthologies including Best British Short Stories, MagmaScaremongrel, and Great British Horror. Her first audio drama, The Victorian Age, was released as part of the Torchwood range at Big Finish in February, while Outbreak, a three-part Torchwood drama co-written with Guy Adams and Emma Reeves, will be released November 2016.

Before becoming a full-time writer in 2012, A K Benedict was an indie-rock singer/songwriter, playing with her band The Black Tulips and solo as Pimpernelle. She was also a composer for film and TV, with music played on BBC 1, Channel Four, Sky, XFM, Radio 1, Radio 3 and in award-winning films. She still composes occasionally and now sings with The Slice Girls, a group of female thriller writers singing songs of sex, death and criminal activities.

She is currently writing scripts, short stories, a standalone psychological thriller and the sequel to The Beauty of Murder. She lives in St Leonards-on-Sea with her dog, Dame Margaret Rutherford. 

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones*| Bookshop.org*| Amazon*| Google Books| Apple Books| Kobo
*These are affiliate links

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Please check out the reviews from other bloggers taking part in the tour.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles 😊 Emma xxx

One reply on “Blog Tour: The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict”

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