Find the truth. Solve the murder. Never reveal your secret.
Twelve years ago, eight friends ran an exclusive group at university: The Murder Masquerade Society. The mysteries they solved may have been grisly, but they were always fictional – until their final Christmas puzzle, when one of the group disappeared, never to be seen again.
Now, the remaining members receive an invitation to a reunion masquerade, to be held in a beautiful and remote country house in Scotland. The game begins, and it feels just like old times. Until the next morning, when Lady Partridge is found hanging from a pear tree. It quickly becomes clear that in this game, the murder will be all too real, and the story is bringing long-hidden secrets to the surface. If they hope to survive the festive season then they will need to face the truth about what happened on that fateful night twelve years ago.
My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the tour invitation. This one appealed straight away and I’m delighted to share my review for the tour. The Twelve Days of Murder was published on 26 October 2023 by Zaffre, and is available in ebook, audio and hardback formats. My review copy was a PDF provided by the publisher.
Twelve years previously, Karl Boniface, one of the founding members of the The Murder Masquerade Society disappeared from a locked room at one of their country house events – ‘Death of a Santa’. He has never been seen since. The Society is (mostly) made up of a group of wealthy, privileged and the most awful individuals who play act murder mysteries, with every detail authentic, even down to the costumes. At the invitation of Karl’s sister Ali, the group has now reunited for Christmas, at a remote Scottish lodge. This certainly will be a Christmas never to be forgotten.
I was hooked on this from the beginning which started with a police missing persons report from 2011 and tells the story separated by Introductions, Discovery, Investigation, Accusations and finally The Truth. I love a ‘locked house’ murder mystery, and this, with the requisite wintry storm and snowy conditions isolating the inhabitants was very well plotted, keeping the suspense throughout. Inspired by the song, Twelve Days of Christmas, and accompanied by ingenious and at times, rather disturbing endings in keeping, the group soon realise that there is a killer amongst them. But who?
Events of the past influence the present here and all of these people had secrets to hide, they were no strangers to the shadier side of life and I waited with anticipation to see who would be next to be despatched – and how. Any one of them had motive. Flashbacks give an insight into each character’s past and their rather toxic friendships. There was a pack mentality which tended to pick on the weakest – or in some eyes, the least wealthiest.
If unlikeable characters are your thing (I didn’t trust any of them and with the odd exception, liked them even less) then this entertaining and utterly gripping festive murderfest should be on your reading list. I thoroughly enjoyed this, the writing was sharp, the story well paced and there were enough red herrings to keep you guessing. I was reminded of Agatha Christie for the locked house mystery vibes and Midsomer Murders for the ingenuity. 🌲🔪
Before writing her first novel, Andreina Cordani was a senior editor and writer for women’s magazines including Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan. Her assignments included interviewing gun-toting moms on the school run, ordering illegal DIY Botox online and learning to do the splits in eight weeks.
She lives on the Dorset coast with her family where she reads voraciously, occasionally makes TikTok videos and swims in the sea. She is the author of two dark thrillers for young adults, The Girl Who… and Dead Lucky. The Twelve Days of Murder is her first novel for adults
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