Trigger Warnings: Blackmail; Car crash (past); Death of parents (past); Murder; Racism; Sexism
It has become a tradition that every year, I read Mistletoe and Murder from around the 20th of December, so that I finish it on Christmas Eve. Even though this is the fifth time that I am reading this book, and I know exactly what happens (and when), who did what and who said what, there is still something magical about reading this book. There’s something so magic and warming about opening Mistletoe and Murder around the 20th of December, re-familiarising myself with where everything is in Cambridge, whose room is where on Staircase 9 and everyone’s names.
This review is a bit unusual today, as this is the first time that I have published a review before I have finished that read of the particular book. However, everything about this book is firmly cemented in my brain from the previous four reads of Mistletoe and Murder, so the plot is still fresh in my mind.
Firstly, I love how Christmassy this whole book is – everything to do with the murder is about Christmas, which I love. You really feel like you’re a part of Christmas at Cambridge when reading this book. As a Christmas lover – this book is everything that I could want and more, as a book to be reading every Christmas! The bright red cover also screams “CHRISTMAS!!” at me, when I take it off my bookshelf each year to read it!
Something else that I love about Mistletoe and Murder is that there is rivalry – The Junior Pinkertons! What I have especially loved about this time reading this book has been Hazel’s internal dialogue surrounding The Junior Pinkertons (especially having read Death Sets Sail!!).
The first time that I read Mistletoe and Murder (December 2016), I had no clue who the murderer was. Although I had my suspicions about the murderer, I ruled them out quite quickly when I thought about the case a bit more (but my initial suspicions were right!). And every year, I always think that it was possible that the murderer was someone else, even though I know exactly what the murderer’s methods and motives were 😂.
For me, a book which retains its suspense and effects after multiple reads is something really special. Mistletoe and Murder is a prime example of this – everything that happens is still as tense and gripping as it was the first time that I read it, four years ago.
I guess that Mistletoe and Murder is not the only Christmassy Murder Most Unladylike book – Death Sets Sail is set around Christmas too! Maybe in the future, I’ll be reading the ending of Death Sets Sail on Christmas Eve as well?? (If you know, you know!).
I’m looking forward to finishing Mistletoe and Murder for the fifth time tonight – then it will be the book that I’ve read the second most times! It will be in second place with all the Harry Potter books apart from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which is my most read book at six reads! 😂