by Leslie Meier
Synopsis: For Lucy Stone, Christmas in Tinker’s Cove, Maine, isn’t just about the gift of giving. Sometimes it’s also about solving a crime or two . . .
The First Lucy Stone Mystery!
As if Lucy Stone’s Christmas schedule wasn’t busy enough, she’s also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers its very wealthy founder, Sam Miller, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, Lucy’s gift for suspecting murder shines bright. Now she must track down an elusive killer–one who won’t be satisfied until everyone on his shopping list is dead, including Lucy herself . . .
Christmas Cookie Murder
One of the best things about Christmas in Tinker’s Cove has always been the annual Cookie Exchange. But when long-simmering petty rivalries and feuds finally come to a boil, accusations of recipe theft lead to an act of murder. Despite all of the ingredients for danger, Lucy sets out on the trail of a killer and soon uncovers a shocking Christmas secret best left unopened . . .
My Review: Holiday Murder by cozy mystery author Leslie Meier is a re-release of two previous Lucy Stone mysteries -Mistletoe Murder (the very first book in the series) and Christmas Cookie Murder. If you are new to this series, this is a good introduction to Lucy Stone and the series. The first story in the book, Mistletoe Murder, finds Lucy working nights at Country Cousins, a mail order country store, similare to LL Bean. Her family is young and both her and husband work to support them. When she finds the company founder dead in his car in the parking lot from an apparent suicide, Lucy does not believe that he killed himself. She decides she needs to find the murderer to clear his name. The second story in the book, Christmas Cookie Murder, finds Lucy now firmly established as a part-time reporter for Tinker Cove’s weekly Pennysaver newspaper. It is a few years later and her family is older and all in school, with her oldest applying to college. It’s Christmastime, and after Lucy is railroaded into playing hostess to the annual Christmas cookie exchange one of the guests is found strangled. Once again Lucy gets involved in solving the crime in order to clear the name of the local dentist, the husband to one of her friends.
I really enjoy how Leslie Meier weaves the mystery story with Lucy’s life and her family. I have read a few of the later books in this series, so was a little confused delving into the first one as it was so different from the more recent books. With her job as a reporter, it gives her reason to ask questions and stick her nose into other’s business while trying to solve crimes. I find these books well written with a good storyline that keeps me interested. I don’t always figure out who the culprit is in the books right away, and that always makes it a good mystery for me. If you have not read any of the Lucy Stone books, this will be a good one to read, but do not get confused as there are many between these two stories. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.