Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
In very fortunate timing just before I started listening to this, we'd finished watching the television movie made of the book staring Ian Richardson as the voice of Death (and narrator), David Jason as Albert, Marc Warren as Teatime, and Michelle Dockery as Susan. Really enjoyed this adaptation, not least because the cast really worked. And, it turned out, that the plot although obviously condensed considerably from the book wasn't bad either.
I do love the books featuring Susan. The ultimate governess type with the slightly disapproving manner and the deadly attitude when it comes to Boogie Men hiding under beds, Susan is not a woman to be trifled with. She's also not quite sure she gets being the granddaughter of Death - a complication in life that you have to acknowledge isn't usual.
A clever balancing act is also underway in this novel with a seriously creepy main villain in Teatime, never once taking away from the laugh out loud moments along the way. There is a lot of mayhem in this one, but Death's dry observational wit is particularly funny, and Albert is, as always, the perfect foil to Death's confusion and over-reaching.
Number 20 in the Discworld series overall, the 4th Novel featuring the character of DEATH, HOGFATHER is wonderful, and the audio narration by Nigel Planer (who plays Mr Sideney in the TV movie) was perfect.
It's the night before Hogwatch. And it's too quiet.
There's snow, there are robins, there are trees covered with decorations, but there's a notable lack of the fat man who delivers the toys...
Susan the governess has to find him before morning, otherwise the sun won't rise. And unfortunately her only helpers are a raven with an eyeball fixation, the Death of Rats ("the grim squeaker"), and an oh god of hangovers. Worse still, someone is coming down the chimney. This time he's carrying a sack instead of a scythe, but there's something regrettably familiar...
Ho. Ho. Ho.
It's true what they say..."You'd better watch out..."