Who is playing games? The Christmas Murder Game / The Other Mrs #AudioBookReviews




This Christmas is to die for…. Let the game begin.

Lily Armitage never intended to return to Endgame House – the grand family home where her mother died 21 Christmases ago. Until she receives a letter from her aunt, asking her to return to take part in an annual tradition: the Christmas Game. The challenge? Solve 12 clues, to find 12 keys. The prize? The deeds to the manor house.

Lily has no desire to win the house. But her aunt makes one more promise: the clues will also reveal who really killed Lily’s mother all those years ago.

So, for the 12 days of Christmas, Lily must stay at Endgame House with her estranged cousins and unravel the riddles that hold the key not just to the family home, but to its darkest secrets. However, it soon becomes clear that her cousins all have their own reasons for wanting to win the house – and not all of them are playing fair.

As a snowstorm cuts them off from the village, the game turns deadly. Soon Lily realises that she is no longer fighting for an inheritance, but for her life.

Twelve clues. Twelve keys. Twelve days of Christmas.

But who will survive until Twelfth Night?

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star three and a half

I listened to numerous samples on Audible and I chose The Christmas Murder Game because a. then I could finally say that I read a Christmas themed novel this year and b. I loved the narration by Laura Costello instantly, she has a very pleasant voice to listen to. Oh and if there ever even needed to be a third reason, I also do love a locked-in type of novel on any given day.

I was spoilt with the characters, well until, one by one, they started to die of course. But when Lily enters Endgame House, a hotel and conference venue that comes with its very own labyrinthe next to it, she is met by her cousins: the ever lovely Sara (not!), Rachel en Holly (I appreciate the author for choosing a lesbian couple among the family and for not making a thing of it), and then there’s Rony and his wife Philippa, Tom and Lily herself who both arrive single.

I was eager to get started with the clues but the start was a little slow as the first clue only happened when I reached Chapter 9. But when we were off we were off with a good start. Each of the twelve days of Christmas has a clue in the form of a sonnet which leads to a key. The sonnets were intriguing but too hard for me to find the clues in them myself so I had to be led by Lily (as she’s the star who can solve them with ease) which was quite ok for me even though I had hoped to be able to unravel some of it myself.

The clues were a nice touch but I enjoyed the search for two killers most of all. There is of course the killer in the house whose only goal is to get his or her hands on the house but there’s also the search for the person who killed Lily’s mother Mariana and because that happened 20 years earlier it was safe to assume that it was someone else than the present killer, but who and why?

I can’t say I didn’t see some of it coming in the end, especially when they’re down to only a few persons but I was very interested to see how Lily would escape death and with her quick thinking she definitely didn’t let me down. I was quite satisfied with the way the story ended. Maybe not the most memorable novel out there but all in all quite an entertaining audiobook.




When Sadie moves with her husband, Will, and their two children to a tiny coastal town, it’s a fresh start. Will swears the affair he was having back in the city is over, and Sadie believes him. But their new beginning is tainted when a local woman is murdered, leaving Sadie convinced there’s a killer in their midst.

Hot-headed, beautiful Camille is obsessively in love with Will. She’s even prepared to follow him thousands of miles to stake out his new home in secret – and in doing so, becomes the only witness to a brutal crime.

But who is Camille really, and what is her connection to the dead woman? And as the murder investigation deepens, whose secret will be revealed as the darkest of them all?

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star three and a half

The narration (mainly by Piper Goodeve) was fine but I did pick this one up because of the author. I read and loved Kubica’s first novel years ago (about an abducted girl) and while I have another paperback on my tbr pile, I couldn’t resist choosing this title to listen to.

There’s a really big twist in this novel which will illicit a five star rating if it hits you from the side, but I actually read a novel with the same twist in 2014 and it was such an unforgettable twist, so it was literally staring me in the face this time with a big neon flash. The idea was formed in my head when Will and Sadie were summoned to their son’s school and I found confirmation not much later again by things that were said. From then on it was simply enjoyable to see how the author cleverly manipulated the reader in the rest of the story.

The Other Mrs also serves several snippets of a 6 year old girl named Mouse, and at the beginning it really wasn’t clear how these fit into the whole story, or even who the girl is. Is it the little girl of the dead woman, Imogen when she was young, Camille, Sadie? With my growing insight it did start to make sense though and I liked that the author chose to insert this background story. Mouse – whose real name we don’t get to hear until the end – tries to be a good little girl but ‘fake mom’ calls her ‘a rodent’ among other things, when her father isn’t around to hear it. I can usually handle reading about domestic abuse fairly well but it became more heartbreaking as time went on and it hurt to hear this anonymous girl talk about what was happening to her without knowing what was going on. It is relevant to the story though and it definitely helps to understand all of it in the end.

Even though I figured out the biggest twist (debatable) I was still very surprised in the end because the author had one more surprise up her sleeve. I nearly fell off my chair when I read it because there was no foreshadowing for this turn of events!

This novel has everything in it to keep you hooked so I do recommend this thrilling mystery! I’d give it a star more if it hadn’t been so obvious early on what was going on. I’m definitely very interested to read some of Kubica’s other novels now.


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