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Not a Creature Was Stirring

(Gregor Demarkian #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  934 ratings  ·  106 reviews
There's no place like home for the homicide

For former FBI agent Gregor Demarkian, retirement has just come to an abrupt end. What started as a mysterious summons to a Christmas Eve feast at multimillionaire Robert Hannaford;s isolated country estate was now an invitation to a murder scene. Demerol and a blood-covered statue had ensured that.

Red ribbon, green wreaths, and s

...more
Kindle Edition, 327 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by MysteriousPress.com/Open Road (first published November 1st 1990)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  934 ratings  ·  106 reviews


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Susan
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Not a Creature was Stirring", is the very first in Jane Haddam's long-running Gregor Demarkian series, which I read when first published in 1990 and it remains one of my favourites. When we meet Gregor Demarkian he is a fifty five year old man, retired after twenty years at the FBI. His beloved wife, Elizabeth, is dead - Demarkian had retired mainly to care for her - and now he is a man without purpose. He has returned to his childhood Armenian ethnic neighbourhood in Philadelphia and this plac ...more
 Li'l Owl
The first thing you see when you open up this book is a map. A map of a huge, 40 room, mansion. Then you get a cast of characters: the owner of this mansion is Daddy, who is mean and hateful. Seven adult children who are all a bit... dysfunctional for various reasons. Mother, wife to Daddy, obviously, at least in this story, is quite ill. Throw in a butler, cook, etc. What do you get?? A great game of CLUE! That's what I thought. And I was right! This is a delightful, old fashioned whodunit! A g ...more
Blaine DeSantis
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
What a hard book to rate. It was a fast read, and for the authors first book it was well done, but the problem with the book for me is the fact that even though it is well written and have good characters and plot, I never felt connected to the book. I just could not really feel that we were getting any depth into a lot of the characters, and I have no idea what was going on with our protagonist Gregor Demarkian and John Henry Jackman who is now the lead detective investigating the case. I think ...more
Deb Jones
I found this book slow to start and, in fact, was ready to put it down as a "did not finish," but decided to keep going owing to the stellar reviews I'd read about it. I'd give this one a 3.5- star rating, but rounded down due to its lackluster beginning (nearly the first 75 pages, give or take.)

The middle and end of this one were full of building suspense and as a whodunit, it was clever.
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Ellen
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a Creature Was Stirring (Gregor Demarkian, #1) by Jane Haddam.

This is the 1st book in the wonderful Gregor Demarkian series. These books may be read alone or in order. I chose to go back to the beginning after reading 10 Demarkian novels. This story reveals the roots of Demarkian's new chapter in his life after retiring from the FBI and the start of his relationship with a future significant person.

The Hannaford Siblings:
Bennis: successful author.
Ann Marie: frustrated spinster/caregiver.
Tedd
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Julie  Durnell
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
3.5 stars for the first in this series but was intrigued enough in the evolving character of Gregor Demarkian to continue with the next book. The Hannaford family were horrid people and some of the language used by the father was vulgar and offensive. I had almost figured out the culprit in the murders but considered the investigating by the local police as ineffectual at best.
Susan
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am absolutely delighted to see that Jane Haddam has finally arrived on kindle! This novel, "Not a Creature was Stirring", is the very first in her long-running Gregor Demarkian series, which I read when first published in 1990 and it remains one of my favourites. When we meet Gregor Demarkian he is a fifty five year old man, retired after twenty years at the FBI. His beloved wife, Elizabeth, is dead - Demarkian had retired mainly to care for her - and now he is a man without purpose. He has re ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This first book in the Gregor Demarkian mystery series was published back in 1991. My friend Sarah told me about these books and I was delighted with them. Great plots, interesting suspects, amusing supporting cast, a holiday connection. And something you don't find in many mysteries, two characters who aren't just cardboard. One of them is the former FBI detective, Demarkian, who is still mourning the death of his much-beloved wife and regrets having retired early; he misses his job.

He has move
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Elizabeth
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good
Lynn
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not A Creature Was Stirring is the first book in the Gregor Demarkian series and the first book by Jane Haddam that I have read. I thought I would like it but didn't realize how much I would like it.

The book centers around the Hannaford family who gather together for Christmas. The Hannafords who are wealthy made their fortune several generations ago through the railroad. The family is dysfunctional. The mother is very ill and close to death. The father is not liked by his childrem. He is rather
...more
Sid Nuncius
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Not A Creature Was Stirring. It is the first in a long series featuring Gregor Demakian, and Armenian-American ex-FBI investigator who here gets drawn into the case of a sequence of murders in one of Philadelphia’s richest families.

As a story it’s all pretty cosy and really the equivalent of a familiar Country House mystery set in 1990 Philadelphia. I thought more than once that it was very like a Poirot and then one of the characters said almost exactly that (although the denouement w
...more
Dennis Fischman
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
If you like classic mysteries, you will enjoy this one, although the quicker wits among you will solve it early on. What I enjoyed the most about this one was the detective, Demarkian, and the way that he comes to term with who he really is even though his beloved wife has died. Next to that, I enjoyed the contrast between the high WASP Christmas on Philadelphia's Main Line and the same holiday in the Armenian neighborhood. Both cultures are strange to me, and I was happy to be an invited guest. ...more
Kirsten
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a new series for me. (I seem to always be starting series and never finishing them.) Taking place on the Main Line in the wealthy suburbs at Christmas there is not too much holiday cheer, but plenty of holiday spirits are to be had.

This was a well crafted mystery and I liked the ethnic dash of the Armenian American community. Though, it is packaged to look like a cozy mystery, I would qualify it as such. Good read.
Nancy Ellis
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FBI agent Gregor Demarkian retired two years ago after the death of his wife. He has moved back to his childhood neighborhood, an Armenian-American neighborhood in Philadelphia. He is invited to Christmas Eve dinner at the estate of an extremely wealthy, extremely nasty man, and has no idea what prompted the invitation. By the time he arrives, the man has been murdered. Which of his seven adult children is the murderer? Or were they all in it together since he hated them all and they hated him? ...more
Laura
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is straightforward detective fiction but very well written. The prose flows smoothly and the observations are pointed and amusing. This is the first of many subsequent books about ex-FBI agent Gregor Demarkian who gets dragged into investigating a series of murders within a Mainline Philadelphia Wasp family. He's described as the "Armenian Hercule Poirot" which seems quite apt to me. Since I'm Armenian and have lived in Philadelphia, I was intrigued to read this. It turned out be reliably e ...more
Leslie
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, holiday
I think that I have read this before though it didn't seem familiar to me. If so, it is not surprising that I guessed who the murderer was (based solely on personality, not clues) - I may have subconsciously remembered.

I love the Armenian-American background; as I grew up in a town with a lot of Armenians, many aspects of this background remind me of my hometown.
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Julie
Satisfying as a novel, but not completely satisfying as a mystery. I didn't feel like I could have put the pieces together. ...more
Diane
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
My second Gregor Demarkian book, though this is actually the first one in the series. I recommend reading this one first if you're going to start reading the series.

Gregor Demarkian is an Armenian-American former FBI analyst, who retired from his job because his wife Elizabeth was suffering from cancer. Now a widower, Gregor lives alone in an apartment in his old neighborhood. While it is still heavily Armenian, it is more upscale now, though the residents don't seem entirely comfortable with t
...more
Larraine
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read a few others in this series, I was always a bit puzzled about the character. So when the opportunity came to get a copy of this book, I decided to do so. I like to, as I've said before, "take the edge off" of Christmas by reading a murder mystery that takes place during the holiday season. This was a good choice. It was published in 1990 before the advent of mobile phones and internet access for all so it is a bit dated in that regard which makes it interesting. The action takes plac ...more
Barbara
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
I am enjoying my revisiting this series so far. I know I've read books in this series some time ago, however; it was so long ago, I don't remember any of the ones I've read (at least so far). Don't get excited - I've only read two others, not counting this one.

Gregor Demarkian is an unusual character and person. I wouldn't have known this when I first read them, but now he kind of reminds me of the "Monk" character on TV. A very intelligent, natural and even a gifted detective, but with his dem
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Jazz
On a snowy Christmas Eve, Gregor is mysteriously summoned to the isolated estate of the Hannaford family who represent the old money of Philadelphia. He arrives in time to find the body of Robert Hannaford, the multi-millionaire patriarch, dead in his study. With a suspect list consisting of seven siblings in attendance, Gregor must find the murderer among them, but not before other deaths occur at the snowbound estate. This is the first of the series, which began with each novel being set durin ...more
Dave
Jan 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whew! I finally forced myself to finish this slow, plodding old-fashioned mystery! A large dysfunctional family returns to the family estate for Christmas and several of them end up dead, one by one. They were a totally uninteresting lot, and I found myself not really caring whether they lived or died! The only interesting characters in this book were Gregor Demarkian (the retired FBI protagonist) and the Armenian community he is part of. Now, a book about them might be more interesting! The wri ...more
Leroy Erickson
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, acombookclub
This was a pretty good book. I was afraid that it would be a standard police/murder mystery story that just happened to have an investigator with an Armenian name, but, actually, a large part of the book is immersed in Armenian culture. Scandinavian police books have the central characters constantly drinking coffee, making coffee, or making and eating sandwiches. Well, this one has the main characters constantly drinking coffee and, quite often, eating stuffed grape leaves or vine leaves (?). I ...more
Robyn
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! Can't wait to read more in the series! ...more
Carol
Three and a half stars. Thoroughly enjoyed this!
Brian Williams
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A retired FBI detective is offered $100,000 in cash by a wealthy eccentric to attend a Christmas Eve dinner at his country house outside Philadelphia. The detective arrives just as the man's battered body is discovered in his study. The detective, Gregor Demarkian is a credible stand-in for Hercule Poirot in this Agatha Christie like whodunnit. It's well-constructed with plenty of character development of the pool of suspects, the man's seven children. His invalid wife can be included too as a r ...more
Jo
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, I got to read the first in this series and to meet the continuing characters and see how Gregor Demarkian began his new "career". I liked it more than several of the others in the series. I enjoyed that it wasn't as steeped in details on religion, conspiracies, and philosophy as many of the other are. But I guess I also missed the complexities, somewhat, too. I'm conflicted I guess.

It was a little disappointing because I knew who the murderer was before I began the book - because I read
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Anita
While there is holly, decorative wreaths and various other kinds of Christmas adornments, the atmosphere in this book certainly isn't festive or celebratory. There's murder afoot, and the body count does not stop at one. This is not a locked-room mystery, but the unfolding of the plot does make it feel a little bit like one. All the many people certainly had means and opportunity, but the motive remained stubbornly elusive despite the confluence of suggestive and plausible clues.

This book is a m
...more
Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review)
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
Gregor Demarkian retired early from the FBI to look after his dying wife, now the local Priest is asking him to go to a multimillionaire's house for a meal (the Priest knows no more than that), when he arrives he finds Robert Hannaford's 7 children and his wife but Mr Hannaford himself is dead, well and truly dead! All of the now adult children had a reason to want their father dead but which one finally snapped and did it? Gregor is initially shoved to one side by the Police, but a few days lat ...more
Jan P
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
First mystery in the Gregor DeMarkean series by Jane Haddam and the first book of hers I have read. I enjoyed the story which in addition to solving murders added a cast of characters from Gregor's Armenian neighborhood. I found it captured my attention throughout and I was surprised at the ending. The first person to be killed was the aging father of 7 children, all adults and dysfunctional in their own ways. My only criticism is that it was hard for me to keep track of who was who until their ...more
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Aka Orania Papazoglou

Jane Haddam (b. 1951) is an American author of mysteries. Born Orania Papazoglou, she worked as a college professor and magazine editor before publishing her Edgar Award–nominated first novel, Sweet, Savage Death, in 1984. This mystery introduced Patience McKenna, a sleuthing scribe who would go on to appear in four more books, including Wicked, Loving Murder (1985) and Rich,
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Other books in the series

Gregor Demarkian (1 - 10 of 30 books)
  • Precious Blood (Gregor Demarkian, #2)
  • Act of Darkness (Gregor Demarkian, #3)
  • Quoth the Raven (Gregor Demarkian, #4)
  • A Great Day for the Deadly (Gregor Demarkian, #5)
  • Feast of Murder (Gregor Demarkian, #6)
  • A Stillness in Bethlehem (Gregor Demarkian, #7)
  • Murder Superior (Gregor Demarkian, #8)
  • Dear Old Dead (Gregor Demarkian, #9)
  • Festival of Deaths (Gregor Demarkian, #10)
  • Bleeding Hearts (Gregor Demarkian, #11)

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