Books · Christmas

Book Review: The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James

Hey Guys!

Welcome to the second day of Blogmas and my first Christmas book review! as you know, in December I try to only read and review festively themed books. Since I am not really feeling the Christmas spirit at the moment, I thought that would kick of the month with my least festive of my festive reads, which is The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James. As this is a collection of 4 short stories, I will be reviewing it in my usual anthology style (one small summing up review and a little review for each individual story), so, let’s get to it.


I wasn’t overly sure what to expect from this one. Generally speaking, I don’t read this sort of book. I am not a particular fan of the crime genre so I don’t often pick u books from it. and I have never read anything by P D James. But I actually ended up quiet enjoying this little collection. I liked that the stories where short and to the point, but still managed to be complex and full bodied. Each story had unexpected twists, which is brilliant considering they were each under 50 pages. I will say that, although all four stories take place at Christmas, the actual book doesn’t have a Christmas feel to it. personally I didn’t mind this as it is my first read of the festive season and I am not in the Christmas spirit at the moment, but if you are expecting a Christmassy feel, you won’t find it in this book. But overall I enjoyed this book. It was a nice little read.

star 44 out of 5

The Mistletoe Murder

Well this was not what i was expecting. This felt very anticlimactic and a bit flat. I’m disappointed. I am desperately trying to work out if I just didn’t like it because I generally don’t read crime themed books, or if it just wasn’t very good. I don’t know. I just didn’t really feel like anything really happened in it. I think that the reason why this one didn’t really work was because James played it out like it was a true story (I looked into her history and it is not) and it didn’t really work. It just made the story feel lifeless and rushed. There wasn’t really any real investigation into the murder, and no real outcome at the end. I don’t know, I just didn’t really click with this one. The story itself was okay, it just left a lot to be desired.

star 33 out of 5

A Very Commonplace Murder

This one I liked. It felt like you got the whole story with this one, well most of it at least and I liked it. it was very dark and twisted, but also unexpected. I liked the fact that you somehow both never knew and also always knew what the speaker was going to do. it was brilliantly done for such a short story. and I loved the twist at the end. I had a suspicion that something like that was going to happen, but I also didn’t expect it to. It was a good twist.

star 4.54.5 out of 5

The Boxdale Inheritance

I quiet liked this one as well. What I liked about this story was that you learnt about what happened in slightly distorted chunks. You learnt the story piece by piece and it was kind of left to you to place everything into the right order and figure out what had really happened. And I really liked that. I liked that you slowly saw everything slot together and watched the case unravel and become clear. I liked it.

star 4.54.5 out of 5

The Twelve Clues Of Christmas

This was short and sweet and I think, my favourite from the book. I think the reason why I enjoyed this one so much was because everything was laid out plainly in front of you and completely explained. You saw how one clue lead to another and another and how it all weaved together. I really liked it. I also liked that it was a little bit tongue and cheek at the start. All in all, I really liked this little story

star 55 out of 5

And there we go. That was my first festive book review. have you read any of P D James’ work? What did you think about her writing? I hope that you have enjoyed todays post and I will see you all again tomorrow.



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