Book Review: The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson

March 14, 2024


The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson is a murder mystery book taking place in England. Mr. Swanson is a published, award-winning, mystery author.

  • 112 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : William Morrow
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : 0063297450

Book Review: The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson
My rat­ing for The Christmas Guest4

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This is a very short book, but it does create an eerie Christmas feeling. The author does a great job describing the cold, odd, old family manor which houses the cold, odd, old family.

The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson is told from the points of view, of Ashley, and that of Emma. However, Emma’s narrative starts when Ashley’s end to tell a complete story, and I felt that’s when the story got to be interesting.

I usually don’t care for books in which much of the first part of the story is done through a “dear diary” narrative. There are some exceptions, Dracula for example which I loved. The second part is a 180-degree turn and brings an unexpected twist that I enjoyed very much.

I would guess this is a Christmas book because it takes place during the season, however it could take place during any Christian holiday. The holiday is just a plot point to get lonely Ashley to visit Emma’s house, which could be any time off of school.
So, is it really a “Christmas” book?

I found the story engaging, but I’m glad it wasn’t longer. It took a long time for Ashley to tell her story but I didn’t feel invested in the character. Nevertheless, it was a dark, entertaining tale with several good twists.

If you like fun murder mysteries, combined with the holiday season this one is for you. And since it’s so short, it could be read in one sitting without missing all the festivities.


An American art student, Ashley Smith, is spending Christmas alone in London when her classmate, Emma Chapman brings her as a guest to her country home, Starvewood Hall.

As it turns out, Adam, Emma’s brother, is under investigation for the brutal murder, however, a mysterious stranger haunts the woodlands area and Adam is not under suspicion. Adam is interested in Ashley, and the two spend much time in the local bar, but Ashley doesn’t realize that something more sinister is afoot.

Buy The Christmas Guest from*
More Books by Peter Swanson*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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