The Santa Klaus Murder
A superb example of country-house crime, The Santa Klaus Murder is reprinted for the first time since its original publication in 1936.
Aunt Mildred had a bad feeling about 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, her worst fears are realised. Nearly every member of the festive party stands to reap some sort of benefit from Sir Osmond's death. That is, apart from Santa Klaus – he is the one person who seems to have had every opportunity to fire the shot but he is the only one with no apparent motive.
Various members of the family have their private suspicions about the identity of the murderer, and the Chief Constable of Haulmshire must try to unravel the genuine suspicious from the grudges and suppositions. He must also try to detach himself and act professionally; difficult when he knows the family intimately. However, it soon transpires that knowledge and understanding are poles apart and he actually knows little beyond the facade. In the midst of mistrust, suspicion and hatred, it emerges that there was not just one Santa Klaus at the gathering that fateful and murderous night.
A classic country-house mystery, The Santa Klaus Murder was first published in 1936 and hasn’t been republished since. Newly added to the British Library Crime Classics collection, it will introduce new readers to the incredible crime-writing talent of Mavis Doriel Hay.
Published by the British Library
190 mm x 132 mm