Review: Murder for Christmas – Jo-Ann Carson

Murder for Christmas Book Cover Murder for Christmas
Jo-Ann Carson
Suspense/ Murder Mystery
JRT Publications
November 13, 2018

Agatha Christie meets The House of Usher

When code-breaker Madison Rathborne gets an all-expense paid trip to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest the week before Christmas, she expects a peaceful getaway from the fake Santas in the city and the drama of her family’s turkey feast, but Deadman’s Island offers no such sanctuary. Trapped in a maze of secrets, scandals and murder, with a side of ghost, Maddy struggles to make sense of it all. Macabre stories of gruesome deaths on the estate go back centuries. Her logical mind refuses to believe in legends, but there’s no reasonable explanation for what’s going on around her.
Twelve strangers invited to the gathering, discover turkey is not the only thing on the menu, as one by one they meet their maker.
Will Mad Rath’s superior logician skills crack the mystery before the killer gets her? Or is there a supernatural force at work that cannot be conquered?

Reviewed by Melissa Brus

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Madison Rathbone would rather not attend Christmas dinner with her family. So when a friend gets sick and offers a trip to a Pacific Northwest island, she jumps at the opportunity to do something different. It turns out that eight other strangers were invited to the island, and it turns out the island is known by locals as Deadman’s Island. Following the pattern of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” or as it was known in film and stage here in the US as “And Then There Were None”, the guests start meeting their ends before all the guests have even assembled.

Carson sets the scene beautifully. The spookiness of the situation and the personalities of the guests are interesting and intriguing. It is a novella length and therefore is a quick read. But even taking that into account it felt rushed in the resolution. There were certain elements that were left hanging and a few editing issues. Overall it was a fun read and quite a departure from most Christmas themed books.

Leave a Comment