• When Christmas Comes

  • By: Andrew Klavan
  • Narrated by: Adam Barr
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,443 ratings)

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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

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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.”

18 people found this helpful

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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.

12 people found this helpful

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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Christmas and Crime

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

7 people found this helpful

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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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fantastic

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

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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!

2 people found this helpful

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Not a typical Christmas tale, but an excellent one

So. far, Andrew Klavan's best book. An unpredictable mystery with some interesting characters and plot twists. It kept me guessing.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to everyone. Klavan has created a great work of art.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-17-22

A New Christmas tradition!!

Great story, easy reading, better the second time you read it... can't wait for the sequel!

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  • Owen Clements
  • 01-06-22

Wholesome murder

Ok so I guess that’s a strange way to put it but, it’s a story full from f people who manage to do the right thing in the face of terrible circumstances. It was a grey story and although I had figured out the end before I arrived it was enjoyable to the conclusion. The narration was a little flat at times and the voices seemed to bleed between characters at times but overall this did not detract from the story. I will definitely try another of Andrew Klavan’s books in the future.

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  • Sam
  • 12-16-21

Wonderful

I enjoyed this a lot. A compelling, touching story with a rich Christmassy feel, superbly written.

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  • Jacinta Townley
  • 11-18-21

A modern "cozy murder"

Well-written and kept my attention right to the end. Akin to a modern-day Agatha Christie, though the plot-twist is not as tricky to guess. Despite being able to work out the ending in advance, the storyline still kept me fully engaged!

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  • Gerard
  • 11-14-21

A mediocre disappointment

Too many narratives, weak characters, a few highlights. Well written but crappy story. 😕 A decent read but I would not recommend this.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-08-21

A New Christmas Classic

Andrew Klavan delivers once again with this mystery that is at once melancholic, nostalgic, and ultimately hopeful. Through the excellent narration of Adam Barr, this gripping tale and the already compelling cast of characters are brought to greater life.
When Christmas Comes is the perfect Christmastime read for mystery lovers!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brett Mcsweeney
  • 02-20-22

Stunning story, excellent narration.

The best yet from Andrew Klavan. A mystery, romance, tough-guy novel woven into an intriguing story built around a skeleton of impeccable logic, all with a stunning denouement. It doesn't get any better than this. A true work of art.

High praise too for the narrator who perfectly matches the pensive nature of the central character, with excellent modulation to distinguish the others, while letting the words of the story take centre stage.

As The Daily Wire moves more seriously into making films they must, must have a movie adaption of this book on their program.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-08-22

A book to read once a year... say around Christmas

This book will go down as a classic. Pacing is spot on, occasionally slow (like ice melting in a whisky tumbler by a Christmas fireplace) and sometimes frantic, the way a thriller should be without going overboard.
I got actual goosebumps whilst listening to the ghost story told near the start... I hope to be able to tell my children and grandchildren stories like that one day.
I also got chills whilst listening to the hunt for the stolen first kiss. Brilliantly set up ... the kind of scene that will stay in my mind for many years to come. It's so refreshing to hear a story that actually leaves a mark.
Keep these coming Klavan, please 🙏🏻