The Twelve Days of Murder by Andreina Cordani #BookReview #BlogTour


Find the truth. Solve the murder. Never reveal your secret…

Twelve years ago, eight friends ran an exclusive group at university: The Murder Masquerade Society. The mysteries they solved may have been grisly, but they were always fictional – until their final Christmas puzzle, when one of the group disappeared, never to be seen again.

Now, the remaining members receive an invitation to a reunion masquerade, to be held in a beautiful and remote country house in Scotland. The game begins, and it feels just like old times.

Until the next morning, when Lady Partridge is found hanging from a pear tree.

It quickly becomes clear that in this game, the murder will be all too real, and the story is bringing long-hidden secrets to the surface. If they hope to survive the festive season then they will need to face the truth about what happened on that fateful night twelve years ago.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Twelve Days of Murder today. Many thanks to Andreina Cordani, Zaffre Books and Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the book.

Ever since the Golden Age of crime fiction, seasonal murder mysteries have captivated, puzzled and surprised readers. Although The Twelve Days of Murder is a contemporary novel, the remote country house setting with its questionable guests, and an unsolved locked room mystery means it is delightfully reminiscent of Agatha Christie – particularly as the characters are dressed in period clothes for much of the story. Some people enjoy reading a festive romance but for those of us who prefer intrigue and murder, this is a thoroughly entertaining way to escape the Christmas madness for a while. 
It's fair to say that although emotions are often heightened, voices raised and tempers frayed at this time of year, arguments over sharing the workload, seating plans or who ate the last After Eight and left the wrapper in the box are nothing compared to the increasingly terrible events which take place here. From the very start, it's clear that there are complex, fraught dynamics underpinning everything and while ostensibly this is a group of friends reconnecting after a strange loss, the truth is much darker and more complicated. Charley is the only one of the original members of the Murder Masquerade Society not to have a privileged background and it's soon apparent that she was often treated badly by the group. Andreina Cordani ensures both her practical and more emotional reasons for attending are explained despite the patronising attitudes, dismissive behaviour and outright accusations she still endures. 
When the guests arrive at the isolated and forebodingly named Snellbronach (which we learn is a portmanteau word meaning 'Cold Mourning', the scene is set for a murder mystery packed with red herrings and dramatic revelations – however, despite the costumes and amusingly tailored character names, they soon learn this is no game. Charley aside, the other members of the Murder Masquerade Society are, to varying degrees, difficult to like but nevertheless, the rising tension as they realise the full horror of what is happening to them is almost palpable. Most of the novel is set in the present but the disappearance of Karl twelve years ago hangs over everything and the narrative also switches back to the past to gradually reveal what exactly took place back then. Charley is particularly tormented by her memories and quite rightly fears who she can really trust. Andreina Cordani cleverly seeds in little elements of doubt about all the characters and with such a flawed group of people all hiding secrets, it's only too easy to suspect most of them at one point or another. As the inclement weather and claustrophobically remote location effectively traps them together, with no hope of immediate help, the atmospheric, chilling sense of place is excellent.
The gripping storyline, excellent pacing and nail-biting finale kept me engrossed throughout The Twelve Days of Murder; the bitter recriminations, shocking truths and gruesomely themed deaths are a deliciously dark contrast to what is supposed to be a time of goodwill. Cleverly combining two of the most beloved themes in classic crime fiction – the locked room puzzle and the closed circle mystery  –  this engagingly plotted, twisty novel was great fun to read from start to finish – although I will probably never be able to to hear The Twelve Days of Christmas in quite the same way ever again...

The Twelve Days of Murder is published by Zaffre Books. It can be purchased from, Hive, Waterstones, Amazon or your favourite independent bookshop. 

Follow the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
Before writing her first novel, Andreina Cordani was a senior editor and writer for women's magazines including Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan. Her assignments included interviewing gun-toting moms on the school run, ordering illegal DIY Botox online and learning to do the splits in eight weeks.

She lives on the Dorset coast with her family where she reads voraciously, occasionally makes TikTok videos and swims in the sea. She is the author of two dark thrillers for young adults, The Girl Who... and Dead Lucky. The Twelve Days of Murder is her first novel for adults.