dinsdag 17 maart 2015

Leslie Meier – Mistletoe Murder

The first book in the Lucy Stone series, published 1991 (under the title Mail Order Murder).
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: nice

Mistletoe Murder photo n64732_zpscfffeb08.jpg

As if baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater for her husband’s gift, and making her daughter’s angel costume for the church pageant weren’t enough things for Lucy Stone’s busy Christmas schedule, she’s also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers Sam Miller, its very wealthy founder, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, the sleuth in her knows something just doesn’t smell right.
Taking time out from her hectic holiday life to find out what really happened, her investigation leads to a backlog of secrets as long as Santa’s Christmas Eve route. Lucy is convinced that someone murdered Sam Miller. But who and why? With each harrowing twist she uncovers in this bizarre case, another shocking revelation is exposed. Now, as Christmas draws near and Lucy gets dangerously close to the truth, she’s about to receive a present from Santa she didn’t ask for – a killer who won’t be satisfied until everyone on his shopping list is dead, including Lucy herself...

A really old cozy, with a different setting, and I liked it. Lucy and her husband decided not to get involved in the ratrace and left the big city after graduation for life in the country, going back to basics. They did the whole grow your own food, have your own animals thing, but now they “have grown up”, and life a “normal” life, working two jobs and taking care of their children, their mortgage and credit card.
It is almost Christmas, and Lucy is extremely busy. Taking care of her household, all the Christmas planning and shopping and her three kids, and working a full time job in the evenings, that takes a lot of energy. But she enjoys her job at the call-center of the local mail order company, and her friendship with her colleagues.

When Lucy finds her boss locked in his car, with a rubber hose connected to the exhaust pipe leading into his car, her life gets even busier. The police seem to be stumped for a killer, and the local gossip is buzzing like crazy. Is it the wife who had him killed? After all, they had separate bedrooms. Did the wife have an affair? Is it the brother who inherits the business and now can take full control of it? Is drug smuggling involved? The creepy chef who did not get along with Sam but is good friends with the brother?
Lucy can’t help herself, she needs to know! After all, she found the body, and somebody killed her cat to warn her off.

I liked meeting all the main characters in this series, and I did like Lucy. She is a nice woman, a good mother, and she is so very busy. She also has to take care of her mother, who does seem to be very depressed since the death of her husband, Lucy’s father, a few months ago. When looking for new kittens as a Christmas present for her children, Lucy ends up in the poorest part of town, something she did not really realize existed. But she does not think twice before giving away a lot of her own Christmas groceries, and later she even returns with clothes her own daughter outgrew for the little girl living with her teenage mother in such poverty. I liked that. It just added a touch of not-so-happy reality to the book.

Some of her friends are laid-off, and if the environmentalists’ plans for the town go through, new housing will also become a problem. Both for people in town who need a new house, and for builders who need the work.

The mystery was a good one, that was one creepy bad guy. I did not see that coming. At all. For the first book in a new to me series, I enjoyed this one, and will certainly read more. Most of them are holiday themed, so perhaps I read one over few months. I like the setting, just before technology hit the world.

7 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2015 Reviews by Aurian

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