Review: The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

Description (from cover): “The annual Christmas Game is afoot at Endgame House, the Armitages’ grand family home. This year’s prize is one to die for–deeds to the house itself–but Lily Armitage has no intention of returning. She hasn’t been back to Endgame since her mother died, twenty-one years ago, and she has no intention of claiming the house that haunts her dreams.

Until that is, she receives a letter from her aunt promising that the game’s riddles will give her the keys not only to Endgame, but to its darkest secrets, including the identity of her mother’s murderer.

Now Lily must compete with her estranged cousins for the twelve days of Christmas. The snow is thick, the phone lines are down, and no one is getting in or out. Lily will have to keep her wits about her, because not everyone is playing fair, and there’s no telling how many will die before the winner is declared.

Including additional scavenger hunts for the reader, this clever murder mystery is the perfect gift for fans of classic mysteries, festive Christmas books, and armchair detective work.”

My Thoughts:

A locked house mystery set in England is a long standing favorite of mystery lovers everywhere. This book brings that to the table and includes some games for the reader to play along with while they read. Which I thought was an interesting twist on the locked house mystery genre. While I didn’t play the games along with reading the book, I could see how these games would appeal to a mystery lover. This book takes place at Endgame House, a glorious British house in Yorkshire, England. When Lily’s aunt dies, she requests that all of the family’s children (now adults) return to the house to play one last Christmas game to determine who will win the deed to the house. While there is competition in the air, no one can trust anybody else and when the guests begin dying off one by one, everyone is a suspect and there is a killer on the loose while everyone is trapped inside the house.

This book started off a little slow for me; however, when it picked up, it was near to impossible to stop reading. I really enjoyed the characters and their back stories and the author does a good job of weaving everything together to make this a great mystery novel. Lily’s aunt has asked to her to come to the house to win a chance to own the house, however, she also wants her to solve the case of Lily’s mother’s mysterious death twenty-one years ago. Was it suicide as Lily has believed for all this time, or was she murdered? Lily has dual purposes in the game, and while she doesn’t care who wins, she is determined to resolve her mother’s death so she can move on with her life.

I found this book to be a good quick mystery read that kept my attention until the very last page. I really enjoyed Lily’s character and it was hard not to root for her throughout the book. With multiple characters who all have motive and opportunity, the reader is hard pressed to determine who the murderer is until the conclusion at the end. If you love the locked room mystery mystery genre, this book has a nice little twist on the genre sure to delight mystery readers everywhere. A fantastic read from Benedict, who is an author I will be keeping my eyes on in the future.

Overall Rating: 4 stars

Author: Alexandra Benedict

Series: N/A

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: October 4, 2022

Pages: 322

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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