Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford - C.C. Benison

C.C. Benison is the author of a delightful series - The Father Christmas mysteries. I've been waiting for more murder and mystery from the village of Thornford Regis. And it's here! The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford (a novella) releases November 5/20.

The lead character is actually a widowed vicar by the name of Tom Christmas. He makes his home in the rectory with his daughter Miranda and housekeeper Madrun. I happily settled in with a pot of tea and gingersnaps, eager to visit Tom and the lovely, quirky residents of Thornford Regis. 

Tom has been asked to attend and bless a historical reenactment of a 1645 battle. The original battle "...appeared to be rather less a 'battle' than a 'skirmish', or perhaps, an 'incident' or - really - little more than an 'unpleasantness' as the weary locals dragged themselves out for a final bash at one another in the protracted war that divided England in the seventeenth century." And it is here that the body is found. 

Father Tom is such a great lead. He's likable, naturally curious, kind and thoughtful. His vocation lets him make discreet inquiries and piece things together himself. He just can't help himself. The residents are a mixed bunch - quirky, suspicious, friendly, nosy, secretive, helpful - there's no lack of suspects in this parish. There are many I miss from previous books and *hope* there might be more Father Christmas and et al tales. I truly miss Madrun's missives to her mother. 

Thornford Regis reminds me of one of those English village displays you'd see on a mantle at Christmas - the church, the local meeting hall, the corner store, the manor house, a tea room (where you would find me) and more.  

The first three books in this series are distinctly cozy - despite the bodies. This latest novella is a cozy entry as well, but with a darker 'why' at the heart of the whodunit.

I can heartily recommend this latest Father Christmas - it's an engaging, easy little read that will entertain you. And the size of the book makes is just right for Christmas stockings! 

Join At Bay Press and Whodunit Mystery Bookstore for a virtual launch of The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford happening tomorrow - November 4th. Check out the details here.

You can connect with C.C. Benison on his website, follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook as well as on his Goodreads page.

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