The Santa Klaus Murder

Mavis Doriel Hay

Mavis Doriel Hay

Distributed for British Library

288 pages | 5 1/4 x 7 1/2
Paper $15.00 ISBN: 9780712357128 Published November 2013 For sale in North and South America only
When it comes to Christmas stories, one typically thinks of those that embody the spirit of the season, such as O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. The Yuletide-themed murder mystery is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. But in 1936, Mavis Doriel Hay wrote The Santa Klaus Murder, one of three detective novels she published in the 1930s.
A classic country-house murder mystery, The Santa Klaus Murder begins with Aunt Mildred declaring that no good could come of the Melbury family Christmas gathering at their country residence Flaxmere. So when Sir Osmond Melbury, the family patriarch, is discovered—by a guest dressed as Santa Klaus—with a bullet in his head on Christmas Day, the festivities are plunged into chaos. Nearly every member of the party stands to reap some sort of benefit from Sir Osmond’s death, but Santa Klaus, the one person who seems to have every opportunity to fire the shot, has no apparent motive. Various members of the family have their private suspicions about the identity of the murderer, but in the midst of mistrust, suspicion, and hatred, it emerges that there was not one Santa Klaus but two. 
This new addition to the British Library Crime Classics series is a must-have for all fans of classic murder mystery and will delight anyone looking for a thrilling read during the holidays.
Publishers Weekly
“Charming. . . . Following the convention of different characters narrating individual chapters popularized by Wilkie Collins in The Moonstone, the novel reflects the preoccupations of the period with its complex timetables, concealed doors, and alternate wills. Readers seeking to keep details in order may need to consult the cast of characters and floor plan provided, but they are part of the enjoyable universe of this Golden Age mystery.”
Globe and Mail
“This extremely clever country-house murder mystery by Mavis Doriel Hay is the perfect holiday gift for the avid cozy-crime fan. . . . There are loads of clues, red herrings, and twists in a truly classic Christmas mystery with all the Golden Age patina.”
Pretty Sinister Books
“Engaging [and] clever.”
Classic Mysteries blog
“The Santa Klaus Murder is a good, workmanlike job, with plenty of suspects and a fair number of clues in what is certainly a fine puzzle-oriented mystery. . . . It’s good reading on a cold winter's night, particularly with Christmas just around the corner.”
Shelf Awareness
“The Santa Klaus Murder is a re-issue of a forgotten British cozy that warrants attention as both a classic British mystery novel and as a holiday read. . . . It moves stealthily toward an intriguing and not altogether predictable conclusion.”

Chapter 1: The Family at Flaxmere


Chapter 2: Saturday


Chapter 3: Monday


Chapter 4: Tuesday


Chapter 5: Christmas Day


Chapter 6: Review of the Situation


Chapter 7: The Open Window


Chapter 8: Who Left Flaxmere?


Chapter 9: Peregrinations of Santa Klaus


Chapter 10: The Clue of the Glove


Chapter 11: Sir Osmond’s Will


Chapter 12: Fight with Fire-Irons


Chapter 13: Bad Dreams


Chapter 14: A Pair of Eyebrows


Chapter 15: Dittie Explains


Chapter 16: The “Homework”


Chapter 17: Jennifer


Chapter 18: Mr. Ashmore’s Story


Chapter 19: Carol and Oliver


Chapter 20: Excursion to Tintern


Chapter 21: End of the Search



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