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Ten Lords A-Leaping (Father Christmas Mystery, #3)
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Ten Lords A-Leaping

(Father Christmas Mystery #3)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  797 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Although Father Tom Christmas serves his little church in enchanting Thornford Regis with a glad and faithful heart, he never expects to find himself skydiving to raise money for it. Nor, safely back on the ground, to see two of the other divers leap from the plane, then tangle in a midair punch-up and begin falling to the earth.
To say that there is tension between the
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
First things first: I need to mention I received this book from Goodreads giveaways.

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you. Father Christmas (yes, this is his real name) has a fundraising event for his church: skydiving. This is his first time doing this, and things go wrong practically from the beginning. He had some problems with his radio as a result he did not time his landing well and now has the most common sport injury: sprained ankle. To top it off, two of the trained s
Mary Ronan Drew
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ten Lords A-LeapingThere's nothing like a golden-age style mystery with all the components Agatha Christie has taught us to love: a country house, intriguing guests with eventful pasts and secrets they want to keep, a convoluted plot, and a less-than-first-rate detective (in fact we have two of them, DI Blessing and DS Bliss.) Extras include a labyrinth and topiary garden, hidden passageways, and a secret staircase. Also a Church of England vicar, a precocious child (or two), and a housekeeper w ...more
Susan Johnson
This is the third book in the Father Christmas series and it's not a bout Christmas. Apparently after seeing Sue Grafton's success with the Alphabet series, the author has set out to do his own series. The protagonist is Father Tom Christmas of St. Nicholas Church in a small village in England. The story starts out with ten Lords of England parachuting out of an airplane in a fund raising event for St. Nicholas' church. Father Christmas also jumps, injures his ankle and is forced to become a ho ...more
An odd audio listen and I'm not sure where the problem lies. The audio discs would begin on the final couple tracks, then go back to the beginning or bounce a couple tracks prior before carrying on. I grasped information, but it wasn't coherent and not 'storytelling' .
Will discuss it with the providing library to see if others have had this issue or if it was my laptop doing its own thing!
12 actual story discs, the 13th disc was a credit which created a 'huh'? when I expected there to be more st
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is an entertaining little series. A bit "camp" (with the Christmas themes throughout without it actually being a Christmas series) but in an enjoyable way. Titles of each book are drawn from the "12 Days of Christmas" song working downward from 12 Drummers Drumming to this one, third in the series: 10 Lords a Leaping, the name of the main protagonist and crime solver is Father Christmas and the two police detectives featured in the series are DI Bliss and DS Blessing. These liberties with t ...more
Gosh, I wanted to like this book. When I read the descriptions of the plot and characters it sounded so much like something that would be right down my street. But I really struggled to finish it; I found myself skimming large chunks of it here and there, and that's always a bad sign. First of all, it's much too long -- cutting it in half might have helped the author tell a tighter and more interesting tale. Also, there is seemingly a cast of thousands -- OK, dozens. And none of them -- includin ...more
Fredrick Danysh
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Father Tom Christmas joins a group of the peerage for a sky diving trip in order to raise funds for his Church of England parish. After he injures his ankle he is invited to spend time at a local estate to recover since he is on vacation with his daughter. He encounters family hatred and division as well as murder. As a widower he encounters a woman that he can not resist.
Russell Collins
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this read. Again a complicated family tree reference was needed to sort out the characters.
Janet Martin
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic country home mystery--moves a little slow, but with interesting characters is still a good listen.
Nov 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I wish I could give a rating for the first half and a rating for the second half.

Ten Lords A-Leaping is the third book in the Father Christmas series. In Eleven Pipers Piping, Father Christmas brings up a fund raiser idea to help pay for repairs on the church building. It involves sky diving. Ten Lords A-Leaping sees the event through. It is NOT set in Thornford Regis, unfortunately. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been.

So. The novel opens with the sky diving. In his jump, Tom ha
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, british
Jumping from a plane as a fund-raiser for his church goes well for Tom Christmas until the landing when he badly injures his ankle. His injury leaves him stuck at a country home with his daughter over his birthday. When he tries to find some peace by walking the estate's outdoor labyrinth, he instead finds the body of Lord Oliver. As a young boy states quite frankly, nobody liked Oliver, and that leaves plenty of suspects.

I listened to this as an audiobook, and though the narration was fantasti
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
he third in the Father Tom Christmas books continues to delight, but please be aware that the books do NOT take place at Christmas in particular despite the title. This is the third in the series that started with 12 Drummers Drumming and then Eleven Pipers Piping. The writer, in addition to the narrative, uses an interesting narrative that consists of Tom's housekeeper's letters to her mother. There are always little tidbits that the writer conceals in those letters, and the very last one alway ...more
Jane Shibilski
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very long and twisty tale, however, the author absolutely keeps your interest until the very end. I was so sad to learn this is the last of this series as I think combining the song titles with the plot of the books really caught my eye and makes for quite the fascinating cozy mystery. At first it seemed the author was prepping us for the nine ladies dancing mystery, but then I remembered reading his publisher opted out of more in the series. I still think the author should continue t ...more
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is the third Father Christmas mystery (he's working backwards). I found this one to be a bit tedious. It was very long and involved. It would have been helpful to have had a whiteboard with all the characters and their interactions on it. A book shouldn't be that difficult to track with. Another complaint: it's not fair to the reader to remember a plot line from a prior book and how those minor characters interrelate to Tom Christmas. My favorite part of these books are the letters to mum t ...more
Oct 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, library, mystery
Somewhat of a departure from earlier books in the series - a bit grittier. I think this series, despite the titles and the name of its protagonist, tends to feel more serious than other cozies, and I am certainly not opposed to darker mysteries, but it feels out of place in this particular novel.

I would not recommend starting with this as your first book as it doesn't match the overall feel of the series. I am looking forward to returning to Thornford Regis in the next book.

On a side note, I wa
Feb 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm of two minds about this book. I really like the continuing characters, and I love Madrun's letters to Mum, but I found it a slog to get through. I thought Tom's incident with Lucinda really didn't seem true to his character, though there was a kind of explanation at the end. The family interconnections were hard to keep straight and half an hour after finishing it I had to think for a minute to remember "whodunnit". He sets things up for "Nine Ladies Dancing" as this one concludes; I hope it ...more
Kathy Nealen
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third entry in a good mystery series. Wish it would continue. The author took the “lords a leaping” quite literally! This episode featured more upper class characters than the others two previous ones. As a result, it had a more old fashioned Agatha Christie feel to it. We need at least one more. There are still unanswered questions like who murdered Father Christmas’ wife?
To raise the funds to replace the roof of his little church in cozy Thornford Regis, vicar Tom Christmas enlists the aid of a group of gentry who hold skydiving fundraisers and even agrees to jump himself! When he sprains his leg, he and his daughter Miranda are forced to accept the hospitality of the hosting Lord and his complicated and titled extended family while he recovers. The family secrets run as deep as the castle's foundations, and Tom once again finds himself playing amateur sleuth wh ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
okay so first of all the title made me think I was going to be reading a Christmas-themed mystery, which this is not. second, I found the relationships and history of assorted sordid crimes convoluted and overwhelming. this is only #3 in the series and yet many of the characters have all kinds of background and connections from past investigations that ends up being a lot to keep track of. third, there are just too many characters. I couldn't keep them straight, none of them except Roberto Sica ...more
Mary Ann
It is spring and the Lords A-Leaping Annual Fund Raiser is happening. The Lords are all together to jump out of a plane to raise money for the church and Fr. Christmas is up in the plane to jump and is injured in the landing. One of the Lord's parachute malfunctions and he has to use the backup chute. When he and his daughter and housekeeper stay at the Lord's estate for the event, they are staying overnight. He finds the body of one of the Lords in the maze and then helps to find out who murder ...more
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
This book felt extremely drawn out. So many in-depth conversations between characters that went round and round which, while likely to happen in real life, was just time consuming especially with so MANY character relationships and backstories to keep track of (would've been better if I was physically reading and not listening, I'm sure). Additionally, while I understand the literary tool of having the letters from the housekeeper to her mum to explain parts of the story, I didn't like them. I a ...more
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Meh.. I went to the library looking for "christmas" books and so was disappointed that despite the title AND the red cover this book had no connection to christmas at all. Overall the story was pretty good but hard to keep all the characters straight even with the family tree provided at the front of the book. At any rate, an easy read for the holidays even if it wasn't holiday themed.
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in this book. I really enjoyed the first two, but this one was not set in Thornford Regis. The book was too long and the characters not very likable. I missed the residents of Thornford Regis. I'm glad I did not start with this one because the other two I really enjoyed.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This series is a fun whodunit mystery series with Fr. Tom Christmas as the main character. Handled with humor but not campy, it's an entertaining set of books with good character development and interesting twists.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Was disappointed in this book. Didn't seem to follow the first two in the series.

I was also disappointed that it stopped at book # 3, the titles gave the impression it was following the song and expected to see 9 more books, but so far nothing.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
This was my first (and probably last) Father Christmas mystery. The book seemed to go on forever, and I found Tom Christmas to be a self-righteous pompous rectal orifice.

Cut down and with a tightened up story line it probably would have been interesting. As it is ... not so much.
Jammin Jenny
I really enjoyed this Father Christmas Mystery book. It is my first book with this sleuth but it won't be my last. I love the setting in posh UK and the fight and intrigue in the family drama over the castle was really well done. Fun Christmas read.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
The mystery and the story contained in this book are quite good, but there is SO much rambling. This book is crying out for a good editor who would have cut the text in half.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really like this series a lot and wish the author would continue it!
Dec 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
I not interested in snotted English lords!!
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C.C. Benison is the pen name of Douglas Whiteway, a journalist and author who lives in Winnipeg, Canada. He has a degree in journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa and has worked for the Winnipeg Tribune and the Winnipeg Free Press.

He is most recently the author of The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford, a Father Christmas novella, scheduled for publication in autumn 2020. This follow

Other books in the series

Father Christmas Mystery (3 books)
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming (Father Christmas Mystery #1)
  • Eleven Pipers Piping (Father Christmas Mystery #2)

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