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  • When Christmas Comes

  • Written by: Andrew Klavan
  • Narrated by: Adam Barr
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)
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When Christmas Comes cover art

When Christmas Comes

Written by: Andrew Klavan
Narrated by: Adam Barr
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Publisher's Summary

After a confession of murder, a sleuthing English teacher will need a Christmas miracle to prove a condemned man innocent.

Colorful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime...but something doesn't quite add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in Afghanistan - how could a beloved son of this tight-knit burgh commit such a grisly deed?

As a community of military families a few miles down the road from an Army base, no one in Sweet Haven wants to investigate a war hero like Blake, not even the top brass at the police department. In steps Cameron Winter, a rugged and lonesome English professor haunted by the ghosts of his own Christmas past, whose former lover asks him to prove Blake innocent. The Sweet Haven murder reverberates in his mind, echoing a horrific yuletide memory from his youth, and Winter knows there are darker powers at play here than a simple domestic dispute. If he can solve this small-town mystery, just maybe he can find peace from his inner demons as well.

©2021 Andrew Klavan (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about When Christmas Comes

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story telling

Love the flow of the story, and that great ending!! 100 percent recommend. Fantastic protagonist, looking forward to more novels in the same world.

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1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I thought this book was a paranormal, suspense, horror book but sadly it was not.

It dragged and I kept waiting for the exciting parts or for the paranormal to take form, but all I got was drab, melancholic narration almost like the old detective movies where the private eye narrates throughout the entire show. In this book however, the voices never changed so you had to really pay attention to determine who was speaking, even worse when trying to decipher if he was narrating the past, or the present.

I guessed the faked death and identity immediately, which made this book even more drab and boring to me.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Humanity within each character

Well written, intriguing mystery! Characters were well defined, interesting, 3-D. The human experience from multiple perspectives.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very good climax

I was not sure how I felt about the protagonist in the beginning. But eventually everything adds up well. I really enjoyed it.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • HJ
  • 2023-11-17

A strange habit of mind...

This was just a good old fashioned mystery, written in a unique way that feels like it's a tale from the past, yet ties in modern day elements flawlessly. It made for an atmosphere that engulfed you and a story that stays in your mind. Winters is a fascinating character and I want to continue the journey with him.

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  • Overall
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Loved it!

When I was a child, my parents and I enjoyed listening to radio dramas--you know, old fashioned how-done-its. This sort of entertainment is rare these days, so I was pleasantly surprised that "When Christmas Comes" reminded me of those old programs. The story is everything that I hoped for! Thank you Mr. Klavan.

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  • CS
  • 2022-01-09

Conservative crime drama

This book will make you long for the beauty of tradition. The family, traditional gender roles, masculine men, feminine women, holidays, religion. Klavan is clearly very critical of what the university is doing to the youth and society, rightly so. The story is great, interesting, gripping.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

did not disappoint

I didn't feel as though the narrator fully captured the characters as much as I would have liked but good job, none the less.
Klavan proves once again how he is able to fully master the art of describing the scene of a moment, all the while gripping the reader with the anticipation of what's to come. amazing story and can't wait for more.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent story telling!

Excellent story telling and character development. You can easily see this turned into a movie.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Good book for reading

Loved it, it took me about four days to listen to. It is a must read!

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  • The Wirths
  • 2021-10-27

Klavan is genius and powerful communicator

Klavan is one of the great communicators of our time. I highly recommend this as a Christmas gift for a friend or loved one! I also recommend that Andrew start promoting himself, you’re good enough, smart enough, and people like you Andrew…talk about your damn books on your show! Do a countdown every week “My book will be out on Oct 26th, pre order now.”

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24 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kitsune
  • 2021-11-17

we're terribly disappointed Klavan fans

We had a long car trip from North Carolina to Florida, so our family was excited to be able to get this new book that had just come out. It's especially timely, as the Christmas season is upon us. However, by the time we got about 3/4 of the way through it, we put it on pause and discussed all of our disappointments with it. To sum it up, it's a poorly conceived plot, with plot holes large enough for a moving van to drive through, and Klavan's apparent obsession with the stereotypical female is most apparent. All of his women are basically mother goddesses and angelic types, which is hardly realistic, I, as a woman, am saying this. It's much better to have realistic females that don't distract from the overall story.

Additionally, the men found many problems with the military depictions, and it seemed quite ridiculous to assume that an entire town was a type of a stepford town with all the men being the same and all the women being the same. And, surprise surprise, all of the women were also classically conservative, stereotypical females.

Klavan's main heroine is as close to being the Madonna as possible and the men around her worship her as if she's the second Madonna in person. His eagerness to create perfect females creates perfectly dull females. And a large portion of the book has a story about the protagonist's obsession with a childhood female that is, no surprise, also perfectly insipid. it is difficult to really immerse yourself in a story when none of the women are relatable whatsoever.

The men are also quite stereotypical, which is equally disappointing. Some additional problems are that the hero somehow can magically pluck facts out of the air and come to wide sweeping conclusions that no one in their right mind could come to.

I have a background in psychology, I was most offended by his psychologist's strange conclusion which actually would be completely incorrect and very unprofessionally drawn.

My father felt that there was a very significant misstep in the portrayal of the protagonist's early love and her complete, demonic corruption. It was perhaps an attempt at something similar to what the great CS Lewis depicted in That Hideous Strength. However, it failed mmiserably. Instead, it seemed highly improbable and almost a caricature of real life.

In fact, the entire novel actually was a caricature of life. It would have done better as a graphic novel, aka comic book.

I'm disappointed to see how many people are giving this 5 star reviews. I can only conclude it's because their slavish devotion to Klavan (a pundit) is enough for them to rate this highly, no matter what the quality of the content may be. Either that, or they lack a proper education in what quality literature should look like. I hate to say this, as I'm a fan of Klavan's, but I can explain it no other way.

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17 people found this helpful

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  • jordan wipf
  • 2021-10-26

Klavan has done it again.

What a wonderful Christmas Mystery! Klavan has once again stolen the show with his incredible plotting and character development. This story is unbelievably thrilling and will pull you in immediately. I challenge you to put down the book once you start.

The setting is straight out of an idyllic Christmas card village. It invokes powerful memories of all our childhood holidays, albeit with a murderous twist. The characters are relatable and real. The plot twists will make you gasp in shock, and keep you ever, on the edge of your seat.

So as the holidays approach, fill up your cup of hot cocoa, settle in next to a warm crackling fire and delve into this phenomenal story told masterfully by one of the best barefoot teller of tales we have ever known.

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15 people found this helpful

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  • Kristin L.
  • 2021-11-03

Christmas and Crime

A nostalgic, profound, well written crime novel with touches of Christmas scattered throughout. Great for Christmas time or anytime.

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9 people found this helpful

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  • Christina75
  • 2021-12-14

Too Scattered

A 5-ish hour story with a highly unlikeable main character, little detail, and a far-fetched plot. If you're looking for a quick story for a long car ride, this is for you. There is very little detail, so you won't really have to pay much attention. The main character is so horribly unlikeable that you will likely roll your eyes so much, it may cause distracted driving, so beware. Parts of the story are pretty ridiculous and other parts have absolutely nothing to do with the main story. The main character also mistakes obsession for love, so there is that to groan at. Lots of fist shaking. Enjoy LOL!!

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7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristine
  • 2022-12-05

An interesting Christmas read.

A good murder mystery. I was very happy at how clean it was. Thank you.

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6 people found this helpful

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  • Simon Boudreau
  • 2021-11-06

fantastic

this was a fantastic ride. I certainly hope they turn this into a series of novel, I want more

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6 people found this helpful

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  • Deb
  • 2021-12-06

A Christmas Mystery

It's harder with each passing year to find good mystery and crime novels that haven't bent to the demands to be "racy and current" with degraded dialogue, or innocuous sex scenes. Here is one. Great intrigue, multiple subplots, multidimensional characters, I think I have found a new favorite author.

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5 people found this helpful

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  • Jason M. Craighead
  • 2021-10-28

Andrew Klavan is Awesome

Amazing! Wonderful! Great! I absolutely loved the Story! I just love Christmas! And I love a good mystery! And Andrew Klavan is a master story teller! Andrew Klavan is truly the best!

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5 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Henriksen
  • 2022-12-07

Great Book!

The narrator is a little slow and takes a bit to get used to but that might be deliberate. By books end you appreciate it.

Klavan is VERY descriptive and paints the environment around and on the characters very clearly. You need ZERO imagination to submerge into the book.

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3 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan Potvin
  • 2022-07-05

Professor Winter is a keeper!

Our protagonist exhibits gentlemanly, traditionnal thinking, and candidly expresses his strong nature , his observations, obviously borrowing from Christianity without delving into the religious... He embodies actual, true, archetypal values, those things a man ought to know. Excellent piece!

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