Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier

Title: Mistletoe Murder
Author: Leslie Meier
Publisher: Kensington
ISBN: 978-0-7582-2889-5
Pages: 209
Series: Lucy Stone Mysteries #1
Type: Adult Cozy Mystery
Source: Purchased

Lucy Stone is struggling to get ready for Christmas. Along with working at Country Cousins and raising three children, she's baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater, making her daughter's Christmas costume and preparing for visiting relatives. Then Lucy stumbles across Country Cousins founder Sam Miller dead in his car from an apparent suicide. Lucy can't believe a man so successful would take his own life so she decides to uncover his murderer alongside her Christmas preparations.

I'd first heard of Leslie Meier from an anthology called Candy Cane Murder that she did with Joanne Fluke (a favourite cozy mystery author of mine) so I decided to try one of her novels. This was originally published in the early 1990s as 'Mail-Order Murder' and at one point in the book the suspects are referred to as the mail order murderers. There are still little mail-order snippets at the start of each chapter which at first I thought was just a cute twist, until I realised that each item related in some way to the content of the chapter and was impressed by how clever they are.

I really liked Lucy as the lead character. I can remember my mother doing hundreds of things in the run up to Christmas, as well as working, so I found her manic schedule normal. Unlike a lot of cozy mystery sleuths, Lucy doesn't abandon her own life in favour of chasing suspects but tries to fit her investigations into her already busy life. It gives the mystery a more realistic feel and the storyline is well thought-out, and full of twists and turns. There are also a few red herrings thrown in that keep you guessing, although it does come together very quickly at the end.

The other characters in the book are great - from Lucy's friends at her job to her family to the people she meets during the book. I found them all to be unique and not cliched. I particularly liked Officer Barney Culpepper who Lucy teams up with to track down the suspects. Lots of characters were introduced, so I'm hoping they get more page time in the future books.

One thing I did find a little annoying is that the sample chapters included at the end of the book are from Valentine Murder and St. Patrick's Day Murder, books 6 and 14 in the series which seems fairly odd. The latter was the most recent at the time of publication, but the former really should have been from the second book.

All in all this was a great read and I'm looking forward to reading Tippy-Toe Murder.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 45/50


  1. Now this is a cute book to read during the holidays. Nice review.

  2. Thanks DM :) It's definitely a cute one for during the holidays, and its only just over 200 pages so it's a quick read too.


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