The Mistletoe Murder - Book Group Discussion Thread

12 watchers
Dec 2017
1:15pm, 11 Dec 2017
38582 posts
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Bintmcskint
I agree. I think it was just to set up the reveal.
It didn’t make me think the husband had been involved.
Dec 2017
1:50pm, 11 Dec 2017
32262 posts
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McGoohan
The other idea I briefly entertained was that if the husband was more observant - bearing in mind this is where his wife was murdered - the key switch might lead him to Gabriel as the actual murderer...

In other news, I have finished story no. 4.
Dec 2017
9:54pm, 11 Dec 2017
7533 posts
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becca7
Having had a delayed flight today I had the opportunity to finish this. It was enjoyable and she has a great way of writing with odd bits of humour and some well-crafted sentences. I found the stories interesting on the whole and they moved along at a good pace but the endings weren't alway satisfying.
Dec 2017
8:00am, 12 Dec 2017
97872 posts
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GregP
Three down one to go and I’m with because. Like the writing, not so sure about the plotting.
Dec 2017
9:05am, 12 Dec 2017
7534 posts
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becca7
It was mostly the endings, not so much 1 and 3 but 2 and 4. 1) ah! 2) eh? 3) oh! 4) meh.
Dec 2017
9:50pm, 15 Dec 2017
98032 posts
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GregP
For pity’s sake woman. Call him Adam or call him Dalgliesh. I thought there were two people in the room just now (p122 in the F&F paperback).
Dec 2017
10:07pm, 15 Dec 2017
98034 posts
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GregP
7/10 for me, then, although I would probably push to an 8 for the last story which was fun in a disposable sort of way. An enjoyable confection perfect for the season. Nice choice, Bintresse.
Dec 2017
10:11pm, 15 Dec 2017
38620 posts
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Bintmcskint
I think perfect in a disposable way is a spot on summary
Dec 2017
10:17pm, 15 Dec 2017
32358 posts
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McGoohan
I also gave it 7/10. In retrospect, I think one small flaw of the book is that these are in reality very disparate stories pulled from different stages of her writing career, decades apart. In terms of style they're all over the shop. They were never meant to be collected together though so that's hardly PD James' fault.

Also, there are a few too many 'nods to the camera' for my liking - as in 'it was just like in a story written for an upmarket magazine at Christmas' - which look a bit daft removed from that context.

She did write very well though and I might dig out some of her 'mainstream' Dalgleish books for a reread. (Though I did spot years ago the key to whodunnit in almost all of them...)
Dec 2017
5:27pm, 18 Dec 2017
4592 posts
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Cranberrydipp
1 was okay. Some adept turns of phrase although I was unsure if the two were in cohoots or if grandma was given to athletic leaping. I was quite pleased by the twist

2 was nasty. Unreliable narrators that suddenly tell on themselves seem a bit “really” ? let alone those that just jog on back to being filing clerks afterwards and only revisit the scene of their crime long after. Lucky for fellow TBCers I’m no serial killer so maybe I’ve just been trained into different expectations on what is believable by an excess of prime suspect and csi

3 I enjoyed, some wodehousian characterisation and the most pleasing of the 4

4 was only enjoyable for the cross wife having to pretend to be housekeeper. Dalgliesh unwillingness to be involved seemed a bit snooty if there were so many obvious flaws. I might have enjoyed this one without the whole 12 gift nonsense

I stopped reading detective stories because they were either a bit same-y or just an excuse to do nasty things to women and make bigoted statements through the mouths of others. This didn’t make me want to go back to them. Change was as good as a rest though :-)

About This Thread

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