The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay Mini Review
I wanted to make my last read of 2017 a seasonal one and so opted for The Santa Klaus Murder as a suitable Christmas themed typical murder mystery.
As is tradition, the entire Melbury family plus a few additions are holidaying at Sir Osmond Melbury's country residence of Flaxmere, all in an effort to maintain Sir Osmond's favour in order to stake a claim on whatever piece of the Melbury fortune they may be entitled to. When then, among the festivities, Sir Osmond's murder at the hands of one of the guests, staff or family in a Santa costume comes about, a tale of deceit, deception and disloyalty is told...
And it's told inventively by using accounts of events from different characters; the bulk is accounted for as musings by the chief investigator, but some of the family are tasked with putting their version of events to paper, which is then used to make up sections of the narrative.
The conclusion, though not too shocking is quite satisfyingly told, and the story does include a few distractions to dis-allude from the ultimate guilty party. The cast of characters is quite large, and I was very greatful to have a cast list at the beginning of the book to refer back to. Remembering how everyone relates to one another can be challenging, but all characters are interesting and befit the between war era of which it is set.
I particularly like all the family politics that surface after learning that prior to his jolly old St murder Sir Osmond had had musings to alter his will, meaning there are two possible sets of motives and suspects depending on whether the will was in fact changed or not.
Nothing ground breaking, but an enjoyable and fairly easy to read murder mystery perfect for Christmas time.