Ryan’s Christmas by L J Ross

Ryan’s Christmas by L J Ross was published in 2020 and it’s the first book by the author that I’ve read. I chose it because of the title, but it might have been better if I had read one of her earlier books as she refers to several of them in this one.

Ryan’s Christmas has been inspired by several such previous books. DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are having a festive jaunt out in Edinburgh, but on the way home to Northumberland the weather is awful, they run into a snowstorm, then they run out of fuel. They’ll all freeze to death in the car overnight if they don’t find shelter.

Luckily they discover that they are close to Chillingham Castle, apparently it’s the most haunted house in England!  In fact the owners run ghost hunt weekends, so the staff are used to looking after guests, and they’re made welcome there.

You’ve guessed it – there’s a murder, but which of them is the culprit? With the telephone lines down and no mobile phone signal in the remote area there’s no easy way of getting help.

I enjoyed the setting of this book as it’s all familiar to me, that’s the way we drive when we visit friends in Sunderland, so I know Northumberland quite well, it’s a lovely area. For my taste though there was a wee bit too much romance going on in this book, but I realise that a lot of readers will enjoy that.  According to the blurb on the front  of the book L J Ross is a multi-million best selling author.  I’ll give another of her books a go sometime in the future anyway, but this one was just too much of an homage – or a cliche – for my liking.


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