Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Candy Cane Murder, by Joanne Fluke

It doesn't have to be holiday time for you to enjoy a light foray into holiday murder--or murders, in this case. Fluke's short mystery is one of three in this anthology volume; the others are "The Dangers of Candy Canes" by Laura Levine, and "Candy Canes of Christmas Past."

Fluke's contribution is her usual mix of fun characters, Minnesota winter and holiday, and plot twists with multiple suspects. A trail of candy canes on a cold winter's night lead to a body, and cookie maven Hannah Swensen is off and sleuthing again.

Laura Levine's short mystery is more on the madcap side, not quite slapstick, but trying for it. There are lots of suspects here, too--including the victim's rival in the Christmas decoration contest of the neighborhood.

Leslie Meier's recollection of her heroine's (Lucy Stone's) first Christmas in their new home in Maine, young child, old house, not a lot of money. When she meets Miss Tilly, the town librarian, she ends up solving an old mystery about the death of Miss Tilly's mother, who fell down the stairs. The only clue? A smashed glass candy cane. This is a charming, heartwarming holiday mystery--no new murders, just a likeable sleuth finding her way in a new home.

If you want easy, light reads with a holiday theme (even if it isn't the holiday season!) then start here. If you haven't read any mysteries by these authors, here's your chance to 'try them out" and see which suit you!

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