Monday, December 19, 2022

A Killer Christmas at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

First Line: Where on earth was Shawn?
Something must be done to restore Honeychurch Hall's ailing fortunes, so after the butler's death and the cook's retirement, Lady Lavinia replaces them with a power couple who immediately start setting up a big-ticket Christmas gala and silent auction. There's even a mystery celebrity flying in as the guest of honor.
While the power couple is busy antagonizing everyone, Kat Stanford is dealing with the theft of a valuable doll that was to be the centerpiece of the auction. The reputation she's spent years building is at stake.
Then the bodies begin to appear. One in the Victorian stumpery, and a second in the ha-ha. Now it's not just a doll that  Kat is trying to find... she's looking for a killer.
It hasn't been all that long since I read one of Hannah Dennison's Honeychurch Hall mysteries, but I couldn't resist this holiday-themed one. A Killer Christmas at Honeychurch Hall certainly sated my appetite for some festive mayhem. 

There's a lot going on in this fast-paced little jewel. Kat's romance with Shawn is more off than on. The detective inspector who replaced him is still handsome and still smashing his head on those low beams in local homes and pubs. The Dowager Countess is showing signs of senility, and it looks as though Kat's mother Iris may finally be unmasked as bestselling bodice-ripper novelist Krystalle Storm. In addition, the double threat of the stolen Barbie doll and a killer on the loose is enough to satisfy any armchair sleuth. There were elements of both that made me feel superior in my deductive powers, but there was still more than enough to keep my little grey cells happy.

Once again, I love how Dennison weaves in information about antiques and country house life. In this installment, readers learn tidbits about Barbie dolls, Scheele's Green, and champagne coupes as well as how the owners of these large old English estates are trying to make ends meet. Converting outbuildings into Airbnbs and glamping (a term that really makes me grind my teeth) seem to be the two most popular alternatives to keep the wolves from the doors of these old houses.

The icing on the cake of A Killer Christmas at Honeychurch Hall (as well as the entire series) is the humor. From the locations of the dead bodies-- the stumpery and the ha-ha-- to "All it took was a little prick," and all points in between, I was either smiling or laughing through the entire book. By the way, don't worry-- you will find out what a stumpery and a ha-ha are.

If you're in the mood for some lighthearted, intelligent fun, then I wholeheartedly recommend Hannah Dennison's Honeychurch Hall series. I've been a fan since the very first book.

A Killer Christmas at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison
eISBN: 9781408715918
 Constable © 2022
eBook, 261 pages
Cozy Mystery, #9 Honeychurch Hall mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Amazon


  1. This does sound like a fun read and very appropriate for this time of year.

  2. I completely forgot about this series! Thanks for the reminder. :D

  3. I do like this series, Cathy - a lot. I like the way we learn about the history of the place as it's woven through the mystery at hand. The wit is great, too. But what I really appreciate is just what you said: the stories are intelligent. I love it when the author doesn't insult the reader's intelligence.

    1. So do I. Another author who fits the criteria is Ellen Crosby.

  4. My curiosity was piqued by the mention of a doll that was to be the centerpiece of the auction. I'm glad to hear the reader learns more about it. I really must get started on this series.

    1. I really think it's one that you would enjoy, Gretchen.


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