Wednesday, November 23, 2022






By Heather Redmond

Kensington Publishing

303 pgs


This is the third book in the unique Charles Dickens mysteries devised by writer Heather Redmond. In the books, which began with “A Tale of Two Murders” and was followed by “Grave Expectations,” the author has a grand time having a young Charles Dickens become involved with murders and then attempt to solve them with the help of his fiancée, one Kate Hogarth. The added twist is obvious from the titles in that they revolved around one of the famous writer’s novels.

“A Christmas Carol Murder,” was our introduction to the series because although fans of Mr. Dickens, we’ve always had a particular fondness for arguably his most famous story. In this tale, Charles and Kate are celebrating the Christmas season by joining several of their friends in caroling through various London neighborhoods. When they arrive at the home of one Ebenezer Screws, they have barely begun to sing a few songs when the body of an elderly gentlemen falls dead at the feet out of a second story window. He is Mr. Bob Harley, Screws business partner in their countinghouse. Oh, and wrapped around the dead man’s throat is a sturdy iron chain. Did he fall out of the window by accident or was he pushed?

Upon meeting Screws, Dickens is put off by the man. Whereas it is Kate who feels pity for him and urges Charles to investigate. As he reluctantly does so, other familiar characters from the classic appear adding extra fun to the narrative. There’s also an endearing sub-plot wherein Dickens takes in an orphaned baby boy named Timothy whose mother died in a house fire where she worked as a maid. Allegations arise that the baby might be the journalist bastard child. Although false, Dickens is worried such charges will jeopardize his engagement with Kate, never mind bring about the wrath of her father, his boss at The Chronicle. 

All in all, “A Christmas Carol Murder” is brilliantly delivered and the author’s research into London and its social mores at the time are spot on.  What Christmas just around the corner, we can’t think of a more appropriate book for our readers pick up and relish. It truly is a wonderful surprise.


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