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When Christmas Comes

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Colorful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime… but something doesn’t quite add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroi Colorful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime… but something doesn’t quite add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in Afghanistan—how could a beloved son of this tight-knit burgh commit such a grisly deed? As a community of military families a few miles down the road from an Army base, no one in Sweet Haven wants to investigate a war hero like Blake, not even the top brass at the police department. In steps Cameron Winter, a rugged and lonesome English professor haunted by the ghosts of his own Christmas past, whose former lover asks him to prove Blake innocent. The Sweet Haven murder reverberates in his mind, echoing a horrific yuletide memory from his youth, and Winter knows there are darker powers at play here than a simple domestic dispute. If he can solve this small-town mystery, just maybe he can find peace from his inner demons as well. The thirty-sixth novel by two-time Edgar Award winner Andrew Klavan, When Christmas Comes is a seasonal tale of tradition, family, and murder; its chilling twists are best experienced curled up beside a burning Yule log.


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Colorful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime… but something doesn’t quite add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroi Colorful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime… but something doesn’t quite add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in Afghanistan—how could a beloved son of this tight-knit burgh commit such a grisly deed? As a community of military families a few miles down the road from an Army base, no one in Sweet Haven wants to investigate a war hero like Blake, not even the top brass at the police department. In steps Cameron Winter, a rugged and lonesome English professor haunted by the ghosts of his own Christmas past, whose former lover asks him to prove Blake innocent. The Sweet Haven murder reverberates in his mind, echoing a horrific yuletide memory from his youth, and Winter knows there are darker powers at play here than a simple domestic dispute. If he can solve this small-town mystery, just maybe he can find peace from his inner demons as well. The thirty-sixth novel by two-time Edgar Award winner Andrew Klavan, When Christmas Comes is a seasonal tale of tradition, family, and murder; its chilling twists are best experienced curled up beside a burning Yule log.

30 review for When Christmas Comes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4. This was my first introduction to Andrew Klavan as an author (I remember my dad listening to him on the radio years ago), and while it has a Christmas-y cover and title, it's not exactly a happy, cheery, Hallmark Christmas-type read. That being said, I enjoyed it much more than I expected! In summary, a relatively unknown, but much loved school librarian in a small town is murdered; and her boyfriend, a local boy and ex-Army ranger, confesses. It seems like an open-and 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. This was my first introduction to Andrew Klavan as an author (I remember my dad listening to him on the radio years ago), and while it has a Christmas-y cover and title, it's not exactly a happy, cheery, Hallmark Christmas-type read. That being said, I enjoyed it much more than I expected! In summary, a relatively unknown, but much loved school librarian in a small town is murdered; and her boyfriend, a local boy and ex-Army ranger, confesses. It seems like an open-and-shut case, but the defense attorney doesn't think so. She calls in an old friend - an English professor with hidden talents - to investigate. He also has more than a few skeletons in his own closet that haunt him and tend to blur his judgment. The investigation takes more than a few twists and turns, as secrets come to light that change the narrative completely. What I loved about the book was that it was a super fast read (good thing, as I'm falling a bit behind on my reading challenge!), and there were several twists that I was not expecting - including the ending. What I didn't love though was that it didn't exactly give me the warm, fuzzy Christmas feeling that the cover suggests. It was set during Christmas and there were some references to Christmases past, but the story was dark and melancholy. Overall, still an enjoyable read - just not the type that inspires you to make Christmas cookies and decorate the tree!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Scott Nickels

    I find Andrew Klavan a most interesting writer. Klavan crosses over into different genres and his plots are unconventional. “When Christmas Comes” I found I could not put down (once I got around to finally beginning the first chapter.). I found “When Christmas Comes” to be a mix of a Lee Child Jack Reacher commingled with a British cozy mystery. The story takes place in Sweet Haven, an idyllic lakeside town that almost seems to good to be true…and, perhaps, it is. Travis Blake has confessed to a I find Andrew Klavan a most interesting writer. Klavan crosses over into different genres and his plots are unconventional. “When Christmas Comes” I found I could not put down (once I got around to finally beginning the first chapter.). I found “When Christmas Comes” to be a mix of a Lee Child Jack Reacher commingled with a British cozy mystery. The story takes place in Sweet Haven, an idyllic lakeside town that almost seems to good to be true…and, perhaps, it is. Travis Blake has confessed to a brutal murder of his girlfriend, and now Cameron Winter agrees to investigate the “why.” Enjoy reading this story and a big “thanks “ to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read an advanced readers copy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joey Vichio

    This is the first book I’ve ever returned to my store. What a wild 1 hour and 30 minutes that was. I love my Christmas horror. I love ghost stories by the fire on a snowy night, I love that there has always been a history of scary Christmas traditions and tales since the very concept of the holiday being celebrated. The story started off fine enough with the plot line of a small town murder, but the more I read, the more I picked up on a vague and subtle vibe within the first few pages. It star This is the first book I’ve ever returned to my store. What a wild 1 hour and 30 minutes that was. I love my Christmas horror. I love ghost stories by the fire on a snowy night, I love that there has always been a history of scary Christmas traditions and tales since the very concept of the holiday being celebrated. The story started off fine enough with the plot line of a small town murder, but the more I read, the more I picked up on a vague and subtle vibe within the first few pages. It started off just on the tip of my tongue, like when I’d lick that colorful crepe paper in art class when I was like 7 and I’d be shocked by how sour it was every time. that vibe, ladies and gentleman, was the sneaking suspicion that this novel was written by a straight, white man who thinks he knows how to write a story from an impartial point of view while painting his picture, subtly inserting his own ideals in a way that is barely unnoticeable. but oh god is he wrong. But I persisted. I persisted because again, I love my spooky Christmas. And if there is one thing this book succeeds at in its opening chapters, it’s spooky Christmas. But good lord does it also succeed in being the most insufferable He-man Woman Haters Club novel to be written. Like, we get it. Every woman in this book wants to fuck our main character. Fine. Whatever. But how many times is he going to describe every beautiful woman he meets as looking young, in an “almost high school, innocent way?” Bro. Gag. But I persisted,friends. I was craving that sweet, sweet cold, wintery night imagery with sparkling lights and blood soaked snow. And then we find around page 40 that our accused murderer’s sister May had come out as loving a woman, and it completely tore his family apart. He rolled his eyes at the news, chalking his sister’s sexuality up to just “being a scrappy trouble maker.” Cute. But his parents could not bare the news so they ditched it to Florida. Florida. Sigh. Oh oh, but don’t worry. May is mentioned again as “so covered in piercings and tattoos that she looked almost primitive, escaped from the Amazon rainforest.” Gotta fuckin’ love it. For now on, whenever a book only mentions someone’s sexuality to needlessly progress a plot line forward in a negative way, I’m offering it up for a banned books list to the Library associations of the world, or to some other organization that I didn’t just make up. And yes, that is a form of censorship. Suck it. But dammit all to hell, I persisted! Where are my scary Christmas scenes ??? Perhaps Travis’s sexism and homophobia and some serious thin layers of racism are written in as a direct result of him being an antagonist! In fact, I absolutely have to hold out to the end to see if Travis is actually a main antagonist or not. Because if the homophobic, racist man accused of murder ends up being innocent??? Why folks, I might just lose my god damn mind, won’t I ? Also, weird political agenda aside within these pages, I just quite simply don’t get it?? Is Cameron Winters psychic ?? Is that what’s going on here? If it was, I wish it would just be stated as such. Alright folks, page 80 really goes for the plot twist of the century so again, I persist. And god do I wish I hadn’t. Because good ol’ lesbian faithful, sister May, is back and I’m not joking when I say this character is the walking caricature of every single god fearing republican’s worst liberal nightmare. Here we get to see Cameron’s reaction to her and the first thing he notices are the various political signs on her front lawn. And then he notices her piercings and tattoos, because Cameron doesn’t take a liking to them either and because these two elements seem to be the only defining trait of this woman. Oh yes, and that she’s a lesbian. Oh yes! And that she hates men. Yupp. Of course she does. Because if you’re not a mother or an elegant therapist who is horny for her patient, or a teenage crush from Christmases long ago , or a sexy lawyer who you used to fuck when you taught her English class, or an angelic, beautiful school Liberian who was brutally murdered, then of course you are a sensitive Libby Lesbian who **hates** all men. Kill me. I wish I was the one who was murdered by Travis Blake. But see, Cameron Winters isn’t LIKE other guys. He actually somehow musters the strength and courage to enjoy May’s presence. He can see past all of her piercings and political agenda and lifestyle because goddamnit, he’s just so smart. Cameron Winters is -such- a smart guy and his brain doesn’t work like others. And by god, if May the lesbian can’t show Cameron the same empathy that he so graciously is giving to her, well that’s just fine. Because Cameron is the bigger man and May is just a stupid one-dimensional liberal. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about because she only takes bits and pieces of things she has heard from other miserable liberals. She’s just, she’s just, you know, REGURGITATING WORDS OUT THAT SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW BECAUSE SHE IS JUST A SAD, STUPID LITTLE LESBIAN WOMAN WITH TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS AND CAMERON IS BIG EDUCATED MUSCLE MAN WHO EVERYONE WANTS TO FUCK EXCEPT FOR MAY BECAUSE SHE IS A LESSSSSBIIIAAAAAANNN Christ. But I Persisted. And alas, Travis was innocent. You see, Travis graciously pretended to murder Jennifer, the love of his life, because Jennifer wasn’t actually Jennifer. She was a kidnapped and escaped abductee as a child, and she fled to the small Christmas town only to be found out later on in life. So she and Travis devised this elaborate plan in which he fake-murders her so that she can escape or something, I have no fucking clue. But the message here folks, is that even if you are racist and homophobic, at least you’re not a murderer right? Racist and homophobic people can still be good people, right? Right? Was Cameron Winters a psychic or was he just really super duper smart? I have no clue. I need a fuckin cigarette and I don’t even smoke.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Wiltshire

    This is a read in one day book, not only because it's relatively short, but because I can't put it down--don't want to. This is almost a perfect novel. It's so cleverly plotted that at times you're in a story about the story which is told by another story. Set at Christmas, obviously, there's a heartrending nostalgia about the 'perfect' Christmas, the childhood Christmas, and yet this is a very mature exploration of human nature and memory. In some ways, this is like a teacher of creative writin This is a read in one day book, not only because it's relatively short, but because I can't put it down--don't want to. This is almost a perfect novel. It's so cleverly plotted that at times you're in a story about the story which is told by another story. Set at Christmas, obviously, there's a heartrending nostalgia about the 'perfect' Christmas, the childhood Christmas, and yet this is a very mature exploration of human nature and memory. In some ways, this is like a teacher of creative writing demonstrating how to write the perfect novel by actually doing it, which of course if they could they wouldn't need to be teaching writing. The characters are developed through what they say and do, not exposition. The plot is like a fishing hook you've been caught on: why does an ex-Army Ranger confess to a terrible murder, the murder of the woman he loved? Hooked. The writing is beautiful. I'm actually in this town with the pretty coloured lights reflecting on the snow. I'm at 85%. I'll update when finished, which unfortunately will be tonight. Finished. My faith in human nature has been restored a bit by this book. I cannot recommend this too highly. Unequivocal five stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    WeLoveBigBooksAndWeCannotLie

    Mark your calendars for November 2! That is the release date for Andrew Klavan’s new book When Christmas Comes. @penzlerpub sent us an advanced reader’s copy of this book and given that it’s a murder mystery set during Christmas….well, you know I was eager to move this one to the top of my tbr! Jennifer Dean was a beloved librarian in the idyllic small town of Sweet Haven. The community is shocked when her boyfriend Blake confesses to murdering her in a jealous rage. However, something isn’t sitt Mark your calendars for November 2! That is the release date for Andrew Klavan’s new book When Christmas Comes. @penzlerpub sent us an advanced reader’s copy of this book and given that it’s a murder mystery set during Christmas….well, you know I was eager to move this one to the top of my tbr! Jennifer Dean was a beloved librarian in the idyllic small town of Sweet Haven. The community is shocked when her boyfriend Blake confesses to murdering her in a jealous rage. However, something isn’t sitting right with his lawyer and she feels like she is missing something big. This causes her to call on Cameron Winter, an ex student and ex lover. Cameron has an uncanny ability to figure out the truth. Especially when it involves criminals. She asks him to prove Blake’s innocence, despite his confession. Cameron has his own dark and seedy past and he soon navigates his way to the truth but finds out that his own life may be in danger the closer he gets to finding out what really happened. Make sure you visit our Amazon Storefront to get your own copy of this Christmas murder mystery! Link in bio. 🌺🧜🏻‍♀️

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    When a former love interest of our college professor requests his help in an investigation of her client he can’t resist saying yes. Known to have an innate ability to see details others miss, Cameron Winter is someone to have on the case. He’s not without his own demons which I felt gave him compassion despite the melancholy that seems to envelop him. But melancholy does seem to insert itself into the holidays for many people, doesn’t it? At any rate, Cameron has good reason to feel that way. I When a former love interest of our college professor requests his help in an investigation of her client he can’t resist saying yes. Known to have an innate ability to see details others miss, Cameron Winter is someone to have on the case. He’s not without his own demons which I felt gave him compassion despite the melancholy that seems to envelop him. But melancholy does seem to insert itself into the holidays for many people, doesn’t it? At any rate, Cameron has good reason to feel that way. It wasn’t all melancholy. There were a couple of times when I appropriately laughed out loud. Depending on how you read short mysteries this one could probably be read in an afternoon but I took my time and read a chapter or two a day. It’s quite descriptive and the setting is cinematic – I think that Klavan should write the screenplay and maybe direct it. That’s how detailed it read for me. I enjoy a Hallmark-esque novel at this time of year but When Christmas Comes was an entertaining departure. Thanks to Mysterious Press for sending the ARC. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this author. 3.5 rounded up.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shonda Nelson

    Wow! I could not put this book down! I ended up reading the entire thing in one night. I have read other books by Klavan, but this book was different. It's hard to really say why, because I've enjoyed every book of his that I've read. It was a mystery/private detective themed book, minus a lot of the unnecessary profanity and unnecessary, random sex scenes. The main character, Cameron Winter, is interesting and has a fascinating back story. The other characters are well developed and the story ha Wow! I could not put this book down! I ended up reading the entire thing in one night. I have read other books by Klavan, but this book was different. It's hard to really say why, because I've enjoyed every book of his that I've read. It was a mystery/private detective themed book, minus a lot of the unnecessary profanity and unnecessary, random sex scenes. The main character, Cameron Winter, is interesting and has a fascinating back story. The other characters are well developed and the story has a nice flow to it. Overall, in my opinion, this is Klavan's best book, to date. This book could easily be turned into a series, and I really hope there will be another book featuring Cameron Winter. I highly recommend this book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark DeRoncey

    first Andrew Klavan book. Great read. Really enjoyed the story and the character. I look forward to trying other books by this author .

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Excellent. Fast paced, totally absorbing. Completely surprised at the end. Highly recommend

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Read it, loved it, refined it. I watch Andrew's podcast on Daily Wire and he was telling us to buy and read his book. So I thought why not. I read it in one day. I did not want to put it down. I do have questions. But that just makes the book more interesting. He writes like he talks. And I am glad I decided to buy, read, and now review his latest novel. Thank you Andrew. Read it, loved it, refined it. I watch Andrew's podcast on Daily Wire and he was telling us to buy and read his book. So I thought why not. I read it in one day. I did not want to put it down. I do have questions. But that just makes the book more interesting. He writes like he talks. And I am glad I decided to buy, read, and now review his latest novel. Thank you Andrew.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hixson

    🄱🄾🄾🄺 🅁🄴🅅🄸🄴🅆 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒎𝒂𝒔 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝙱𝚢: Andrew Klavan / @theandrewklavan 𝙶𝚎𝚗𝚛𝚎: Holiday > Christmas, Mystery 𝙿𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚛: @scarletsuspense 𝚁𝚎𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝙾𝚗: Nov. 2nd 2021 @goodreads 𝚂𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚎: 4.15 𝙼𝚢 𝚂𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚎: 🕵️🕵️🕵️🕵️ / 5 Detectives Thank you, Jacob and @scarletsuspense for sending me the ARC of "𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒎𝒂𝒔 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔" to read and review. I enjoyed this Christmas Murder Mystery novella. It was short but also very clever and sweet. 🅂🅈🄽🄾🄿🅂🄸🅂 This story follows Cameron Winter an English professor who has his own haunted 🄱🄾🄾🄺 🅁🄴🅅🄸🄴🅆 𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒎𝒂𝒔 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝙱𝚢: Andrew Klavan / @theandrewklavan 𝙶𝚎𝚗𝚛𝚎: Holiday > Christmas, Mystery 𝙿𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚛: @scarletsuspense 𝚁𝚎𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚎𝚜 𝙾𝚗: Nov. 2nd 2021 @goodreads 𝚂𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚎: 4.15 𝙼𝚢 𝚂𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚎: 🕵️🕵️🕵️🕵️ / 5 Detectives Thank you, Jacob and @scarletsuspense for sending me the ARC of "𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒎𝒂𝒔 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔" to read and review. I enjoyed this Christmas Murder Mystery novella. It was short but also very clever and sweet. 🅂🅈🄽🄾🄿🅂🄸🅂 This story follows Cameron Winter an English professor who has his own haunted past. He is brought to the town of Sweet Haven to try and solve a mystery his former lover has asked of him. Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake has confessed to the crime…but something doesn’t quite add up. If Cameron can solve this small-town mystery, just maybe he can find peace from his inner demons as well. "𝑾𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒎𝒂𝒔 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔" is a seasonal tale of tradition, family, and murder; its chilling twists are best experienced curled up beside a burning Yule log. 🄼🅈 🅃🄷🄾🅄🄶🄷🅃🅂 One thing I noticed with reading this story was that the author does a such a wonderful job in creating characters that you can't help rooting for. Cameron Winter has an uncanny ability to figure out the truth about people, especially when it involves criminals. This book could easily be turned into a series, and could even see more books featuring Cameron Winter. As a mystery, it held up very well. I never felt like I missed out on anything or that anything was being kept from me. The reveals felt very satisfying. The last scene in the story is simply fantastic. It was brilliantly written and I highly recommend.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Weiss

    While I'm a great Andrew Klavan fan, this book is just a little too pat. It's got Christmas in the title so you might expect some snowy days and idyllic scenery with sweeping mountain vistas and cheerful and wise town folk in a storybook setting and a ghost or two for good measure. There's all that in abundance wrapped around a lost-soul detective, Cameron Winter, trying to undercover the motive behind a seemingly senseless murder. It's an easy read, but as Garrison Keillor ends his tales: "All While I'm a great Andrew Klavan fan, this book is just a little too pat. It's got Christmas in the title so you might expect some snowy days and idyllic scenery with sweeping mountain vistas and cheerful and wise town folk in a storybook setting and a ghost or two for good measure. There's all that in abundance wrapped around a lost-soul detective, Cameron Winter, trying to undercover the motive behind a seemingly senseless murder. It's an easy read, but as Garrison Keillor ends his tales: "All the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average." While the principal characters are preternaturally attractive, they all have their psychological quirks, but there are only a few truly flawed characters, and we only experience them from a snowy distance (and it seems to be always snowing). At the ending, Klavan writes around some rather important plot lines, leaving many details to the imagination, which is fine up to a point but left me unsatisfied. On his podcast, Klavan says that we'll likely get more of Cameron Winter in future novels. Here at least, Winter is the one character we get to know pretty well.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pablo

    I am a big Klavan fan, This book from the beginning chapters started to raise tension, once it hooked me I found myself reading for hours on end. This crime fiction book tells a compelling story without being over wordy or incessantly convoluted. It describes enough information and key details to keep your attention acute for every word and excited as every chapter passes. I love reading this kind of book every now and then for a pleasant moral narrative. Since I followed Klavan on his radio show I am a big Klavan fan, This book from the beginning chapters started to raise tension, once it hooked me I found myself reading for hours on end. This crime fiction book tells a compelling story without being over wordy or incessantly convoluted. It describes enough information and key details to keep your attention acute for every word and excited as every chapter passes. I love reading this kind of book every now and then for a pleasant moral narrative. Since I followed Klavan on his radio show, I could more or less determine where the character moral high ground stood and which decisions he was likely going to make. Despite that, I still found the development and elaboration of the story fascinating. Hopefully, Klavan can make and release a follow-up to this book, I will grab on a heartbeat. I recommend this book for every kind of reader, especially the one who enjoys reading before bed for a soothing story that will relax you and fill you with enjoyment.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read and review an advanced copy of this book. A woman is murdered, an ex-Army ranger confesses, and a small town near a base is willing to close the case on one of their own. The defense lawyer calls in an old friend to try and prove the defendant innocent, based on a feeling. This old friend is an English professor who has other skills in handling situations like this. He also has many skeletons in his own closet and dealing with them I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read and review an advanced copy of this book. A woman is murdered, an ex-Army ranger confesses, and a small town near a base is willing to close the case on one of their own. The defense lawyer calls in an old friend to try and prove the defendant innocent, based on a feeling. This old friend is an English professor who has other skills in handling situations like this. He also has many skeletons in his own closet and dealing with them shapes his life and how he addresses it day to day. As he investigates the victim’s past, he discovers many secrets, and puts him in some dangerous situations. The surprise at the end makes sense, even though possibly too unbelievable. Touted as a Christmas story, however, this book did not leave me with the happiest feelings for the season.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nigel

    Excellent story in time for the holidays When it comes to Christmas mysteries, there's not much more you can ask for than an engaging story with great twists and a great ending. "When Christmas Comes" delivers all that and more. -What I liked about it The characters are really well done, particularly the protagonist Cameron Winter. One thing Klavan does very well is create characters that you can't help rooting for with only a few choice scenes. I also thought, as a mystery, it holds up very well. Excellent story in time for the holidays When it comes to Christmas mysteries, there's not much more you can ask for than an engaging story with great twists and a great ending. "When Christmas Comes" delivers all that and more. -What I liked about it The characters are really well done, particularly the protagonist Cameron Winter. One thing Klavan does very well is create characters that you can't help rooting for with only a few choice scenes. I also thought, as a mystery, it holds up very well. I never felt like information was being kept from me, and the reveals felt earned and satisfying -What I didn't like about it I feel the antagonists were a bit underdeveloped, compared to others the author has written. Overall, definitely recommend this quick but excellent read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Fast paced. English professor, Cameron Winter, is asked by an ex-lover to look into the murder of Jennifer Dean. It should be an open and shut case. Travis Blake has confessed to the crime, but the court appointed defense attorney is not convinced everything is what it appears. As Winter begins his investigation, we learn about his past, the magic of childhood Christmases, the influence of good women in the lives of those around them. It is a story of reconciling, in a small way, past suffering a Fast paced. English professor, Cameron Winter, is asked by an ex-lover to look into the murder of Jennifer Dean. It should be an open and shut case. Travis Blake has confessed to the crime, but the court appointed defense attorney is not convinced everything is what it appears. As Winter begins his investigation, we learn about his past, the magic of childhood Christmases, the influence of good women in the lives of those around them. It is a story of reconciling, in a small way, past suffering and disappointments. It is about looking to the future with at least a small degree of hope. My wish is that this book is the beginning of a new series. I would love to follow this character further as he comes to terms with his own past, even as he helps make the future merry and bright for others.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    When Christmas Comes is a multilayered psychological thriller, full of stories within stories. The plot is a simple one. War hero Travis Blake has confessed to murdering his girlfriend, beloved school librarian Jennifer Dean. Cameron Winter, an intuitive English professor with a mysterious background, is asked by Travis’ lawyer to investigate the case. She hopes Cameron can discover information to mitigate his sentence. Things now become interesting. Military mindset, ghost tales, Russian oligar When Christmas Comes is a multilayered psychological thriller, full of stories within stories. The plot is a simple one. War hero Travis Blake has confessed to murdering his girlfriend, beloved school librarian Jennifer Dean. Cameron Winter, an intuitive English professor with a mysterious background, is asked by Travis’ lawyer to investigate the case. She hopes Cameron can discover information to mitigate his sentence. Things now become interesting. Military mindset, ghost tales, Russian oligarchs, and love stories combine to make When Christmas Comes a satisfying, evocative read although Christmas is only a bit player. 5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Mysterious Press and Andrew Klavan for this ARC.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julie Gerbino-Horowski

    This book was refreshingly shorter than most books that I read. The author didn’t draw out character development or add unnecessary story telling. It takes me a bit to read books because I only have a small window to read, so getting this one done in a short amount of time was great! The story itself was pretty good! I liked the characters and ending was really good with the plot twist that I did not see coming. My only ‘issue’ with the book is that I felt like it wasn’t a strong Christmas story This book was refreshingly shorter than most books that I read. The author didn’t draw out character development or add unnecessary story telling. It takes me a bit to read books because I only have a small window to read, so getting this one done in a short amount of time was great! The story itself was pretty good! I liked the characters and ending was really good with the plot twist that I did not see coming. My only ‘issue’ with the book is that I felt like it wasn’t a strong Christmas story. It was advertised as such and I guess I was expecting more from that standpoint. If you are looking for a good crime/mystery then this book is for you!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janetpbj

    An English teacher arrives in a town where all of the citizens seem to be stuck in a military mindset. He has been asked to find information to clear a man accused of murdering the beloved elementary school librarian. The former teacher has investigated other mysteries, but this one is difficult. I was attracted to this book because the victim was a school librarian. I really enjoyed the descriptions of this librarian working with her students, but the book as a whole didn't really keep my intere An English teacher arrives in a town where all of the citizens seem to be stuck in a military mindset. He has been asked to find information to clear a man accused of murdering the beloved elementary school librarian. The former teacher has investigated other mysteries, but this one is difficult. I was attracted to this book because the victim was a school librarian. I really enjoyed the descriptions of this librarian working with her students, but the book as a whole didn't really keep my interest. However, there were lots of unexpected twists that kept me motivated to finish the book. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review of the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steph Elias

    When Christmas Comes was a really interesting mystery set in a town called Sweet Haven. The main character is Cameron Winter, an English professor who is not all that he seems. The mystery revolves around a woman who was murdered and the accused is her boyfriend. The pieces don't fit, so an attorney asks Wright to help her figure out what happened. I thought the mystery was really interesting but a tad unbelievable. I really did enjoy it. I did not get a Christmas vibe from this one other than W When Christmas Comes was a really interesting mystery set in a town called Sweet Haven. The main character is Cameron Winter, an English professor who is not all that he seems. The mystery revolves around a woman who was murdered and the accused is her boyfriend. The pieces don't fit, so an attorney asks Wright to help her figure out what happened. I thought the mystery was really interesting but a tad unbelievable. I really did enjoy it. I did not get a Christmas vibe from this one other than Wright describing some past memories from Christmas past. Still a solid mystery with some really great characters.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tim Fikse

    A novel crime novel Not your standard fare for murder mysteries. Essentially, this is two gripping stories woven together to make a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Imagine a widowed Afghan war hero raising his withdrawn little girl while fighting and slowly losing to PTSD. imagine a charming and beautiful school librarian who comes out of a totally blank history to enter their town and their two lives. Now imagine a brilliant English prof with a troubled past hired to unravel their love A novel crime novel Not your standard fare for murder mysteries. Essentially, this is two gripping stories woven together to make a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Imagine a widowed Afghan war hero raising his withdrawn little girl while fighting and slowly losing to PTSD. imagine a charming and beautiful school librarian who comes out of a totally blank history to enter their town and their two lives. Now imagine a brilliant English prof with a troubled past hired to unravel their love story gone horribly bad.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    When Christmas comes by Andrew Klavan is a delightful mystery with a lonely genius English professor called to a small town where the school librarian has been murdered, supposedly by the man who lived her. The town is insular and somewhat provincial in its military history of men who made it through the Rangers training. Interesting characters, memories of fairy tales, dysfunctional families, society wannabes, and love set this apart. However, the book is only tangentially related to Christmas. When Christmas comes by Andrew Klavan is a delightful mystery with a lonely genius English professor called to a small town where the school librarian has been murdered, supposedly by the man who lived her. The town is insular and somewhat provincial in its military history of men who made it through the Rangers training. Interesting characters, memories of fairy tales, dysfunctional families, society wannabes, and love set this apart. However, the book is only tangentially related to Christmas. My rating is a 4.7 out of 5. Recommend for a nice mystery romp.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie Gerbino-Horowski

    3.5 stars!! This book was refreshingly shorter than most books that I read. The author didn’t draw out character development or add unnecessary story telling. It takes me a bit to read books because I only have a small window to read, so getting this one done in a short amount of time was great! The story itself was pretty good! I liked the characters and ending was really good with the plot twist that I did not see coming. My only ‘issue’ with the book is that I felt like it wasn’t a strong Chr 3.5 stars!! This book was refreshingly shorter than most books that I read. The author didn’t draw out character development or add unnecessary story telling. It takes me a bit to read books because I only have a small window to read, so getting this one done in a short amount of time was great! The story itself was pretty good! I liked the characters and ending was really good with the plot twist that I did not see coming. My only ‘issue’ with the book is that I felt like it wasn’t a strong Christmas story. It was advertised as such and I guess I was expecting more from that standpoint. If you are looking for a good crime/mystery then this book is for you!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Johnson

    Train in the night Mysteries hide truth and like a child hiding from a friend, want to give themselves away. Cameron Winter solves mysteries and is hiding his own secrets and little by little we start to see he is much more, far more than an English professor. This story bears down on you like a screaming train out of the dark, thunders past and leaves you astonished. Read it yourself.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rae Bates

    This is an excellent book with plenty of twists and turns. The main character is intriguing. I was both rooting for him and worried what he might do. WARNING: DO NOT start reading this book if you have anything else to do. I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. It isn’t overly Christmassy. It isn’t gory. It’s just a really good crime read set at Christmas with some Christmas memories thrown in. I highly recommend it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Godard

    This book is great in so many ways. The story is fun and the book is scary enough to keep me hooked but not so scary it's like a horror movie. The main character is original and very interesting. While the book is deep and though provoking, it's easy to follow (meaning I read it in one night). The last scene in the book is simply tremendous. Great writing as well. I highly recommend this book to 99% of people. This book is great in so many ways. The story is fun and the book is scary enough to keep me hooked but not so scary it's like a horror movie. The main character is original and very interesting. While the book is deep and though provoking, it's easy to follow (meaning I read it in one night). The last scene in the book is simply tremendous. Great writing as well. I highly recommend this book to 99% of people.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This felt like a really fast read, and for the most part I enjoyed the story. However, there were times that I didn't love the writing style - it almost felt a bit pretentious. I didn't see the ending coming and I liked the twist. Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This felt like a really fast read, and for the most part I enjoyed the story. However, there were times that I didn't love the writing style - it almost felt a bit pretentious. I didn't see the ending coming and I liked the twist. Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Maldonado

    Klavan at his best!! This book went way too fast! Each character was fascinating and complex and the stories within the story left me wanting more. The writing is masterful- tight and crisp but also lush. This was a riveting tale of redemption from darkness and the price a man will pay for it. Please give us more Cameron Winter!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Riedemann

    Klavan’s Best I’ve read about 5-10 of Klavan’s books in this past year or so and this is his best work. I know he said on his show he thinks Cam Winter can be a multi-book main character… and I hope he is. I can’t wait to see how Klavan develops this character over time. Cheers to a great read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kent Schnake

    Christmas Came Early This Year Wow! I have read, and deeply enjoyed, many of Klavan's novels. This was the best yet. The plot was intricate and yet not confusing or obtrusive. The resolution was astonishing and moving. Klavan has said this may be the first of a series. I pray that it will be. Christmas Came Early This Year Wow! I have read, and deeply enjoyed, many of Klavan's novels. This was the best yet. The plot was intricate and yet not confusing or obtrusive. The resolution was astonishing and moving. Klavan has said this may be the first of a series. I pray that it will be.

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