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Ryan's Christmas

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Christmas can be murder… After a busy year fighting crime, DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are enjoying a festive season of goodwill, mulled wine and, in the case of DS Phillips, a stottie cake or two—that is, until a freak snowstorm forces their car off the main road and into the remote heart of Northumberland. Their Christmas spirit is soon tested w Christmas can be murder… After a busy year fighting crime, DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are enjoying a festive season of goodwill, mulled wine and, in the case of DS Phillips, a stottie cake or two—that is, until a freak snowstorm forces their car off the main road and into the remote heart of Northumberland. Their Christmas spirit is soon tested when they’re forced to find shelter inside England’s most haunted castle, where they’re the uninvited guests at a ‘Candlelit Ghost Hunt’. It’s all fun and games—until one of the guests is murdered. It seems no mortal hand could have committed the crime, so Ryan and Co. must face the spectres living inside the castle walls to uncover the grisly truth, before another ghost joins their number… Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.


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Christmas can be murder… After a busy year fighting crime, DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are enjoying a festive season of goodwill, mulled wine and, in the case of DS Phillips, a stottie cake or two—that is, until a freak snowstorm forces their car off the main road and into the remote heart of Northumberland. Their Christmas spirit is soon tested w Christmas can be murder… After a busy year fighting crime, DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are enjoying a festive season of goodwill, mulled wine and, in the case of DS Phillips, a stottie cake or two—that is, until a freak snowstorm forces their car off the main road and into the remote heart of Northumberland. Their Christmas spirit is soon tested when they’re forced to find shelter inside England’s most haunted castle, where they’re the uninvited guests at a ‘Candlelit Ghost Hunt’. It’s all fun and games—until one of the guests is murdered. It seems no mortal hand could have committed the crime, so Ryan and Co. must face the spectres living inside the castle walls to uncover the grisly truth, before another ghost joins their number… Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

30 review for Ryan's Christmas

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alan Cotterell

    Brilliant, back to the high standards. An Agatha Christie, style mystery in a Snowbound haunted Castle. Great characters, fast paced and a good plot. Although I had guessed fairly accurately what the motive probably was fairly early, and suspected the perpetrator. Still well written, and a good read to see if I was right. Fantastic ending.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hans

    As always five stars for Ryan & Co. A very good midwinter whodunnit witg again some unsuspected twists. With a very happy (suspected :)) ending for Ryan and Anna.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anne Cooper

    Unusual sloppiness of plotting narrative. Unusual sloppiness of plot. The scene is set well. The Agatha Christie scenario in a real haunted castle with the protagonists trapped by bad weather is interesting. Because Ryan and wife Anna are just too perfect as dramatic creations we have to have some tedious drama about Anna having miscarriages but don't worry the perfect life of the perfect couple ends well. What is unforgivable is Chapter 21 it totally misleads readers to believe Nadia had an ank Unusual sloppiness of plotting narrative. Unusual sloppiness of plot. The scene is set well. The Agatha Christie scenario in a real haunted castle with the protagonists trapped by bad weather is interesting. Because Ryan and wife Anna are just too perfect as dramatic creations we have to have some tedious drama about Anna having miscarriages but don't worry the perfect life of the perfect couple ends well. What is unforgivable is Chapter 21 it totally misleads readers to believe Nadia had an ankle Injury and woke up to find Marcus missing. That's just prudent sloppy writing. In another incident we have a character who is presented as gossipy and complaining who tells us she eats gluten free and avoids dairy being on a diet but is shown in another chapter to be tucking into beef flavoured hoopla hoops which suggests she isn't worried about her diet at all. Or being gluten free. Going back to Chapter 21 in a proper who done it you don't tell lies to the reader to wilfully mislead them. Very sloppy. I've followed Ryan. Anna, Frank, etc through every adventure but Anna and Ryan are getting to be a bit too good/perfect to be true they could win smug couple in crime mystery series of the decade.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Whilst Christmas may have come and gone, as it is still the coldest time of the year, this was the perfect book to snuggle up with. With freezing temperatures outside, there is nothing like being snug and warm on the inside, enjoying a good book. The story starts off with Ryan, Phillips and their partners all in good spirits until they get stranded due to the bad weather. I was quite envious of them to start with as they end up having to take shelter in a castle. The castle sounded fabulous and e Whilst Christmas may have come and gone, as it is still the coldest time of the year, this was the perfect book to snuggle up with. With freezing temperatures outside, there is nothing like being snug and warm on the inside, enjoying a good book. The story starts off with Ryan, Phillips and their partners all in good spirits until they get stranded due to the bad weather. I was quite envious of them to start with as they end up having to take shelter in a castle. The castle sounded fabulous and even the ghost stories about it being haunted, didn’t put me off in the slightest. It wouldn’t be a crime book of course if there wasn’t a good old murder or two and there is no rest for poor Ryan and Phillips as they have to try and solve the case. Cut off from the outside world with no working phone lines, they really are up against it. This is a proper whodunnit that reminisces of Agatha Christie. I love the sense of isolation and that the murderer must be one of the small cast of characters within the house. Whilst it’s set at Christmas time, the festive spirit doesn’t really come into it until the end, ensuring that this can be read at anytime of the year. Ryan’s Christmas is an addictive read and one I was sad to see end. I was enjoying it that much that I had it read in no time at all. The story line was an addictive one and when the revelations started coming, they were thick and fast. Having me racing through the pages feeling a mixture of shock and excitement. The ending I absolutely loved and had me smiling for quite a while after. My only issue is, is that I am now desperate for the next book in the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    What a cleverly written tale this is. I have absolutely LOVED it! I always know I’m in for a treat when there is a new DCI Ryan mystery to devour and Ryan’s Christmas has been no exception. I’m always excited to find a new book by LJ Ross in my Kindle library 😊 This author is a genius. I honestly don’t know how she does it! I loved the setting of this story. Stranded due to heavy snow and having to take refuge in a castle sounds so exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Given it’s a murder What a cleverly written tale this is. I have absolutely LOVED it! I always know I’m in for a treat when there is a new DCI Ryan mystery to devour and Ryan’s Christmas has been no exception. I’m always excited to find a new book by LJ Ross in my Kindle library 😊 This author is a genius. I honestly don’t know how she does it! I loved the setting of this story. Stranded due to heavy snow and having to take refuge in a castle sounds so exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Given it’s a murder mystery I had expected things to get interesting, but I was totally blown away by what eventually unfolds. Like I said, genius! The banter between Ryan and Phillips is on form, particularly at the beginning of this book. I have to say that I laughed SO loud at the cow incident!! (It might just be me. LOL!) Phillips proper cracks me up, bless him. I love him. He’s the sweetest, funniest character, who just gets better with each book. This really did tickle me, and I was giggling to myself for ages. I think my husband thought I had lost the plot 😉 Ryan and Anna continue to remind me of me and my Steve. I love the romantic aspect of these books and an insight into the personal lives of these murder detectives. It makes them more real and relatable. Having read the series from the start, I do feel like I almost know these characters personally. I look forward to catching up with them all and I can’t wait for book 16! https://chataboutbooks.blog/2020/01/0...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Ryan

    On the way home from a trip to Edinburgh, where they spent some time perusing the Christmas markets, Ryan, Phillips and their better halves Anna and Denise, are caught out by a heavy snowfall, causing an accident which shut the main road for miles. Forced to take side roads they make slow progress, until eventually they reach the small village of Chillingham, where they had to abandon the car. The village was tiny, consisting of a few cottages and a castle which, they were thankful to learn, did On the way home from a trip to Edinburgh, where they spent some time perusing the Christmas markets, Ryan, Phillips and their better halves Anna and Denise, are caught out by a heavy snowfall, causing an accident which shut the main road for miles. Forced to take side roads they make slow progress, until eventually they reach the small village of Chillingham, where they had to abandon the car. The village was tiny, consisting of a few cottages and a castle which, they were thankful to learn, did have guest accommodation. Chillingham Castle had a reputation for being the most haunted castle in England, and ran ghost tours for the guests. A fun and festive novella length story featuring characters we’ve come to know and love. Their forced stay at the castle sees them, along with six other guests, isolated and without transport, mobile signals or phone lines. With no way out of the castle, a murderer on the loose and a limited number of suspects, atmosphere, tension and suspense weave their way through the story. The guests are all distinct and you get a sense of their personalities and backgrounds almost immediately. And, as always, the closeness, camaraderie and trust between the main characters is there in spades. A thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery with a lovely ending. What I love about the DCI Ryan mysteries is that the settings are all actual places. Thirteenth century Chillingham Castle is described as the most haunted castle in England. The castle does accommodate guests and ghost tours are available to book. Chillingham is also famous for having the only surviving truly wild herd of cattle. Ryan and his party have a humorous encounter with one while navigating the country lanes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Setting: Christmas season, horrendous snowstorm, ancient haunted castle. LJ Ross’ Ryan’s Christmas (DCI Ryan Mystery #15) finds DCI Ryan, his wife, Dr. Anna Taylor, DI McKenzie, and her husband, DS Philips stranded at Chillingham Castle on their trip home after some holiday celebrating in Edinburgh. A never-ending snowstorm forces the closing of A1, a major motorway, and the motorway Ryan is driving to return these friends home. Thus, Ryan leaves the motorway in hopes of locating a place to wait Setting: Christmas season, horrendous snowstorm, ancient haunted castle. LJ Ross’ Ryan’s Christmas (DCI Ryan Mystery #15) finds DCI Ryan, his wife, Dr. Anna Taylor, DI McKenzie, and her husband, DS Philips stranded at Chillingham Castle on their trip home after some holiday celebrating in Edinburgh. A never-ending snowstorm forces the closing of A1, a major motorway, and the motorway Ryan is driving to return these friends home. Thus, Ryan leaves the motorway in hopes of locating a place to wait out the storm, and they become stranded outside the gates of an ancient castle. The biting wind, relentless snow, and the freezing temperatures ‘help’ them to decide to attempt shelter in the castle. Once inside, Ryan and crew discover that they are now attending a “Candlelit Ghost Hunt”. Cold and tired their one choice is to join this ‘Ghost Hunt’, but where Ryan et al go, murder follows. Problem: snow blocked roads, no cell phone reception, no landline, unknown people, and a murder. Is this anyway to spend Christmas? Ryan and his friends find a solution. Highly recommended! 5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    The first book in the Ryan series was good, but it has gone downhill badly. I love 'stuck in the snow' stories, but this paen to Ryan's looks, potential generosity, and smarts just left me cold (and it's not snowing here.) This is my last one for this series. The first book in the Ryan series was good, but it has gone downhill badly. I love 'stuck in the snow' stories, but this paen to Ryan's looks, potential generosity, and smarts just left me cold (and it's not snowing here.) This is my last one for this series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    “Are we all settled in? Good, because I have a Christmas ghost story for you, after all.”

  10. 4 out of 5

    María Alcaide

    4.5*s My first DCI Ryan's and loved it! Finally a nice CHristmas mistery, It's Christmassy... and has a good mistery! Not easy to find! :) Loved Ryan's character and his crew. Can't wait to read more DIC Ryan books! 4.5*s My first DCI Ryan's and loved it! Finally a nice CHristmas mistery, It's Christmassy... and has a good mistery! Not easy to find! :) Loved Ryan's character and his crew. Can't wait to read more DIC Ryan books!

  11. 4 out of 5

    cheryl dillon

    A Bit Rushed I felt the story was a bit too Agatha Christie compared to the usual darker storylines. I got the feeling that the book had been rushed out as there were several errors in continuity and at least one typo. Had I known, in starting the book, that it was a special, charity edition, I would have approached it differently. I have read all of the Ryan books and am looking forward to the next one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda Salamon

    Did L J Ross write this book? Unlikely -- provided the plot, apparently. But it travesties established characterizations and relationships. The prose is simplified, full of cliches and americanisms. The snow covers up the absence of Northumberland countryside. Find a better 'collaborator' -- or editor.... Did L J Ross write this book? Unlikely -- provided the plot, apparently. But it travesties established characterizations and relationships. The prose is simplified, full of cliches and americanisms. The snow covers up the absence of Northumberland countryside. Find a better 'collaborator' -- or editor....

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    A very short book and very predictable! Typical Ryan and more like an Agatha Christie. Group of people getting snowed in a coutry house - and of course 2 murders! Luckily Ryan and Phillips were also there!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

    A good story, more a novella, with Ryan and colleagues stuck in a castle in deep snow. A murder occurs and they need to solve it with limited resources. Made me think very loosely of Agatha Christie, but I won't spoil it by saying which one! A good story, more a novella, with Ryan and colleagues stuck in a castle in deep snow. A murder occurs and they need to solve it with limited resources. Made me think very loosely of Agatha Christie, but I won't spoil it by saying which one!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Wattssusanna

    Excellent as always I read this in one setting and found it to be as good as the others. It has an interesting twist at the end and I highly recommend it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Callon

    I have enjoyed all of LJ's novels about DCI Ryan. This one was good if a little corny. It was set in a snow-bound castle in northern England during a very severe winter storm. The plot centers on the death of two of the guests staying there. Ryan and his three detectives begin as thorough an investigation as they can. There's no cell phone service, landlines are down and no vehicles can get thru. He has to walk twice thru the snow to the nearest village (two miles one way) to report the deaths a I have enjoyed all of LJ's novels about DCI Ryan. This one was good if a little corny. It was set in a snow-bound castle in northern England during a very severe winter storm. The plot centers on the death of two of the guests staying there. Ryan and his three detectives begin as thorough an investigation as they can. There's no cell phone service, landlines are down and no vehicles can get thru. He has to walk twice thru the snow to the nearest village (two miles one way) to report the deaths and summon assistance. It's a bit like an Agatha Christie novel; it has the same type of denouement where all the surviving guests and staff are gathered together to hear about "whodunnit". I think LJ rushed this novel as it lacked the complexity of her usual mysteries and it was much shorter than previous stories. This review was written by Shawn Callon author of The Diplomatic Spy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    Another really enjoyable DCI Ryan book if a very short one.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dee Groocock

    When DCI Ryan, Anna, Frank and Denise are caught up in a snowstorm, they break down outside Chillingham Castle, supposedly the most haunted castle in England! Once in the castle they find themselves holed up with a group of ghost hunters! It’s not a surprise that before long there is a murder! Poor DCI Ryan can’t seem to go anywhere without a murder occurring. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest in the DCI Ryan series and it was so entertaining that I read it in one sitting. I have never been to Ch When DCI Ryan, Anna, Frank and Denise are caught up in a snowstorm, they break down outside Chillingham Castle, supposedly the most haunted castle in England! Once in the castle they find themselves holed up with a group of ghost hunters! It’s not a surprise that before long there is a murder! Poor DCI Ryan can’t seem to go anywhere without a murder occurring. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest in the DCI Ryan series and it was so entertaining that I read it in one sitting. I have never been to Chillingham Castle but with the descriptive writing, I felt as though I was there. I highly recommend this book and the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne E

    It was silly. Pure Agatha Christie with Ryan as Poirot. I felt cheated, and it wasn't (Thankfully) much more than a novella. This formula has run out of steam - I won't be buying anymore. It was silly. Pure Agatha Christie with Ryan as Poirot. I felt cheated, and it wasn't (Thankfully) much more than a novella. This formula has run out of steam - I won't be buying anymore.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Get comfortable and enjoy The frigidity of the outdoor atmosphere seeps through the pages of this story. I half expected to glance up and see my own breath in front of me so wrap yourself in a cosy blanket, have a warm drink to hand, put your feet up and settle in to enjoy this story. Once again Ryan proves what a dedicated police officer he is whilst Anna proves what a dedicated wife she is to him. The close personal relationship between Ryan's team proves invaluable when investigating a murder i Get comfortable and enjoy The frigidity of the outdoor atmosphere seeps through the pages of this story. I half expected to glance up and see my own breath in front of me so wrap yourself in a cosy blanket, have a warm drink to hand, put your feet up and settle in to enjoy this story. Once again Ryan proves what a dedicated police officer he is whilst Anna proves what a dedicated wife she is to him. The close personal relationship between Ryan's team proves invaluable when investigating a murder in a remote location without recourse to all the usual ancillary services. They have worked together so often that there is often no need to give voice to their thoughts in order to communicate effectively. The identity of the murderer wasn’t a huge surprise but LJ Ross doesn’t do things by halves and there is more to this tale than initially meets the eye.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trish R.

    I love the DCI Ryan Mysteries. The was the 15th one and they can’t come out fast enough for me. And, oddly enough, I hate books about heroes having wives. But, not so this time. I adore Anna, his wife. She the perfect wife for Ryan. I also adore MacKenzie and her husband Philips, and now their soon-to-be adopted daughter, Samantha. This was about 2 separate murders to be solved while being snowed in at a castle, with 6 or 7 other guests and employees. There was no sex in this and no swearing to s I love the DCI Ryan Mysteries. The was the 15th one and they can’t come out fast enough for me. And, oddly enough, I hate books about heroes having wives. But, not so this time. I adore Anna, his wife. She the perfect wife for Ryan. I also adore MacKenzie and her husband Philips, and now their soon-to-be adopted daughter, Samantha. This was about 2 separate murders to be solved while being snowed in at a castle, with 6 or 7 other guests and employees. There was no sex in this and no swearing to speak of. As to the narration: Crazy, but Jonathan Keeble narrated the last book I just listened to and he’s simply awesome.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Donna ~ The Romance Cover

    4.5 stars! It is no secret how much I love DCI Ryan and his band of merry men and women, but this was such a good novella that packed so much in. When a murder mystery weekend turns into a reality, it seems DCI Ryan can't escape his vocation even while finding himself stranded in a snowstorm and seeking refuge in a haunted castle. Loved how this all came together, and despite not having computers and phones at his fingertips, Ryan still sees through the crap to find the truth. 4.5 stars! It is no secret how much I love DCI Ryan and his band of merry men and women, but this was such a good novella that packed so much in. When a murder mystery weekend turns into a reality, it seems DCI Ryan can't escape his vocation even while finding himself stranded in a snowstorm and seeking refuge in a haunted castle. Loved how this all came together, and despite not having computers and phones at his fingertips, Ryan still sees through the crap to find the truth.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Augie Murray-Young

    Easy read. This is the second book I’ve read by LJ Ross. The first book The Impostor was better than this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pauline Coulthard

    Another great story from L.J.Ross I love Ryan altho he is a bit too good to be true I still love to read the great stories, this one reminds me of an Agather Christy novel all trapped together by a snow storm where of course murder happens, good read and fab ending can't wait for the next instalment. Another great story from L.J.Ross I love Ryan altho he is a bit too good to be true I still love to read the great stories, this one reminds me of an Agather Christy novel all trapped together by a snow storm where of course murder happens, good read and fab ending can't wait for the next instalment.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eddie

    A very pleasant read and a good detective story. I enjoyed the characters and the way the author directed me to a certain (wrong) conclusion. Highly recommended for Christmas!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carla Leemans

    I liked reading this book just before Christmas. Snow, Christmas, a Castle and a murder mystery in the Borders near Scotland and in the Christmas period.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I always love visiting with the MCs of this series, and this installment is no different. Even though it's a novella length work, the story read like a fully fleshed out story since the author has already laid the groundwork with all of the main actors. This was a little sappy at times, but I still enjoyed it. I'm look forward, as always, to seeing what L.J. Ross has in store for this family. I always love visiting with the MCs of this series, and this installment is no different. Even though it's a novella length work, the story read like a fully fleshed out story since the author has already laid the groundwork with all of the main actors. This was a little sappy at times, but I still enjoyed it. I'm look forward, as always, to seeing what L.J. Ross has in store for this family.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Moira McGeough

    Another good read from L.J.Ross, perfect for a cosy, relaxing Boxing Day. Trapped by snow in a remote part of Northumberland Ryan, Anna, Frank and Denise are fortunate to find refuge in Chillingham Castle. But maybe not given what transpires. Plenty of twists and turns before the final page. Fans of this series will thoroughly enjoy it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mainer207

    This was the first Ryan book I read rather than listen to the audiobook (I couldn’t wait.) I have loved the audio versions and reading this was not as satisfying BUT it was still a cute little story. Who wouldn’t want to be snowbound with Ryan, Anna, Frank, and Denise. Maybe a murderer or two. This is a shorter story than I’d like but it’s a great Christmas present and typical Ross style.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lex Nuttall

    As expected - a good who done it story. A short but well written story. If you like LJ Ross then you’ll still continue to enjoy the works written by them with this book. A well thought out murder story, which is easy to follow and gives you plenty of opportunities to weigh up the suspects and plots yourself. A great little read for those who enjoy who done it story’s.

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