My Review: I am still enjoying this series. Krissy is my kind of sleuth. She is smart, kind, has good judgement, loyal and real. I love how she is not afraid to admit her flaws and laugh about her mistakes. This story does not use the coffee shop setting as much as the other books, but it is easy to see that this is where Krissy’s comfort zone is. It is Christmas time and Krissy has a week off to go to California to spen the holiday with her father. At the last minute he calls her to say he is going away with his girlfriend so she has a week off and is staying in town. She gets roped in to playing an elf in the local holiday play, a singing and dancing elf and she can’t sing and dance. There are so many things happening backstage such as the director being too demanding, the performers all gossiping backstage, male characters fighting over the same girl, and there are fights over who will play the lead role. Within a couple of rehearsals, the man playing Santa Claus is murdered. It turns out Chuck was a bully to the guys and rather handsy with the women so there were a lot of people who might have had a reason to kill him. When Krissy’s ex-boyfriend is arrested for the crime, Krissy is convinced that he didn’t do it. Both he and his new girlfriend ask Krissy to help and the investigation begins.
The mystery moved along at a nice pace. There were plenty of suspects, twists and turns and I was not able to figure out who the killer was. The author did such a good job of spreading out red herrings. I like Alex Erickson’s writing style. It is humorous at times and to the point with just enough description to make the story enjoyable. The characters are quite likable with the exception of some of the minor characters in the play. They were a bit aggravating and did not appreciate Krissy investigating the crime. The holiday theme was well done, not overdone. When the culprit was revealed, he/she explained why, but it was not the best explanation for me. It was plausible, but just did not sit well with me. That is why I only gave it 4 stars. There was some humor in the story that had me smiling throughout the book. The romance was not very much a part of this story which is fine, but I am not very impressed with Will, Krissy’s present boyfriend. He is rather stiff I and does not seem to be much fun. I would love to see her get back with Paul, the police officer. I do recommend not only this book, but the series to cozy mystery lovers. They are well written with great mysteries and characters. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Synopsis: Krissy Hancock is staying in her adopted hometown of Pine Hills, Ohio, for Christmas this year–and she even has a whole week off from her combination bookstore-cafe. But a killer is about to dampen her spirits . . .
Unfortunately, Krissy’s been roped into filling in for a sick elf in the local holiday musical extravaganza. With a demanding director, backstage gossip, and two men in fierce competition for the starring role, it isn’t all sweetness and Christmas lights. Then a murder puts a stop to the production, and Krissy is faced with a pageant of suspects.
Could her ex-boyfriend, a fellow elf, really be the culprit as the police are claiming? Or will the actor playing Santa be trading his red suit for an orange jumpsuit? When her behind-the-scenes investigation starts getting dangerous, the only thing Krissy really wants is to make it to Christmas dinner alive. But first she’ll have to finish wrapping up this case . . .