Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Author: Leslie Meier
Publisher: Kensington Mystery
Copyright Date: 1991
Print Date: December 1998
Series: 1st in the Lucy Stone Mystery series.
Book Description (from back cover):
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 chose 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...
The support behind the small town of Tinker's Cove, Country Cousins,and the descriptions (found at the start of each chapter) of various products offered by this company were interesting.
Lucy Stone, the heroine, is likable. She's a good wife and mother, a hard worker, generous. In fact, the only thing about her I didn't care for was her tendency to gossip. Oh, I expect gossip to some extent in mysteries with amateur sleuths. How else would she gather her clues? The problem was the way she (and the other town ladies) gossiped. They didn't seem to even be aware of it. They didn't try to hid it or justify it (I'm not necessarily saying that would be better, but it would be more familiar). They certainly never hesitated; they simply did. And it baffled me. I've never heard anyone gossip so freely except family in some situations. And they wouldn't do it outside of family. Maybe it's because I'm not from a small town.
As for the mystery, Lucy is semi-casually looking into this murder while also keeping busy with her family, job, and the holidays. A little bit after the holidays, toward the end of the book, Lucy discovers (rather than just suspects) who did it and puts into motion a way to stop him (or is it her???).
I thought Mistletoe Murder was a light book and a nice set-up to the rest of series. I will be continuing with the second book, Tippy Toe Murder.