by Cynthia Chow
We start off the Christmas season with another Christmas mystery, Eggnog Murder. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Eggnog Murder. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
As ubiquitous as fruitcake, but probably better received, eggnog ushers in the start of the holiday season with its spicy aroma, sinful calories, and for these three cozy mystery authors…murder.
In Leslie Meier’s Eggnog Murder, Pennysaver’s part-time reporter Lucy Stone was looking forward to all of her children returning home to Tinker Cove for Christmas. As she soon learns, living with adult children and extended family can be stressful, especially when daughter Elizabeth arrives from France with a distinctly Francophile viewpoint and distain for provincial America. It’s almost enough to distract Lucy from the inadvertent death of the chairman of the Conservation Commission by an allergic reaction to eggnog, which in actuality may have been an attempt on the life of a mailman and recent Real Beard Santa Club member. A professional setback and the chaos of her bickering children challenge her Christmas spirit, but it will be her much-mocked Christmas sweater that saves the day.
In Lee Hollis’s Death by Eggnog, Bar Harbor’s much detested librarian Agatha Farnsworth is also the victim of an allergic reaction to eggnog, this time from chugging down a dairy-laden version of the sinful treat. The terrifying librarian ruled over her literary kingdom ruthlessly and often brought patrons and fellow staff members to tears, and this sparks Island Times food columnist Hayley Powell’s curiosity, as well as her need to pursue a hot story. The obvious suspect is trophy wife Fannie Van Dam, who is burdened with a rich invalid husband and the woman who gave Agatha her final drink. With her children abandoning for Christmas and Hayley has her doubts, and in between writing her hilarious Island Food & Cocktails columns she pursues the mystery of the mislabeled eggnog.
The collection concludes with Barbara Ross’s Nogged Off, which has Busman’s Harbor’s Julia Snowden temporarily leaving Maine to clean out her Tribeca apartment. Julia returns home not just with a truckload of her furniture, but with Imogen Geinkes, the twenty-something woman subletting the apartment. After a devastating break-up and possibly food-poisoning her office party with eggnog, Imogen is a sobbing mess who pleas with Julia to not leave her alone for Christmas. The Snowden family has a tradition of taking in strays during the holidays, and Julia is unable to resist Imogen despite the series of disasters she leaves in her wake. As Busman’s Harbor continues its charming traditions of Santa arriving on Coast Guard boat, a Pajama Party of early morning shopping hours, and Gentleman’s Night of free gift wrapping, the “jinx” brings along her own murder case. Solving the mystery and getting Imogen back to her home in Atlanta will be as important to Julia as fitting in time with her boyfriend and helping out at her family’s Gus’s Too restaurant.
These three novellas by very popular authors each accomplish the difficult tasks of being intriguing introductions to their series, while also entertaining long-time fans. New readers can comfortably jump right into these adventures, while loyal readers are rewarded with added insight into their beloved characters. Even more impressive is the heartwarming swell of emotions these stories create, perhaps needed now more than ever during the turbulent holiday season. These stories can be enjoyed any time of the year, as they delve into the thoughtful topics of veterans’ healthcare, family loyalties, and the good nature of humans. Sit in front of a cozy fireplace, snuggle into bed, or find your favorite reading spot to enjoy these gratifying short mysteries full of humor, recipes, and genial characters.
To enter to win a copy of Eggnog Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “eggnog,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 3, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
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