Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Review: Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross



Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Christmas traditions and murder
Cons: A couple of minor things, but nothing to really worry about
The Bottom Line:
Three Christmas stories
Mix tradition and murder
For Christmas delight




Enjoy a Deadly Sip of Eggnog

Nothing says Christmas like murder, right?  If you go based on my reading list this year, that’s definitely the case since I’ve already read several Christmas themed cozy mysteries and I’m just getting warmed up.  Eggnog Murder is actually a collection of three Maine set Christmas novellas, and they will definitely get you in the murderous holiday spirit.

Opening things is the title novella written by the headline author – Leslie Meier.  This story stars her series sleuth, Lucy Stone, a reporter in the small town of Tinker’s Cove.  During the annual holiday stroll, a woman drinking eggnog in the newspaper office suddenly dies.  What was in the eggnog?  Was she the intended victim?

While I’ve only read one book in the series, this is the third Christmas novella I’ve spent with Lucy, her husband, and her family of kids and one grandson.  I must admit I found this the weakest story of the collect since it seemed to wander around a bit before getting to the point.  This is especially true of a sub-plot involving Lucy’s family.  However, by the time the story was over, I really had enjoyed it.

Next up is “Death by Eggnog” by Lee Hollis.  This was my introduction to Haley Powell and her family and friends in Bar Harbor.  Everyone in town is looking forward to the annual Restaurant Association Christmas Dinner, however things that a deadly turn when the town librarian eats a too spicy wing, follows it up with some eggnog, and dies.  The librarian had made many enemies over the years, but this looks like a tragic accident.  Was it?

It’s always hard to jump into a story, especially one this short, when you don’t know the series regulars.  Fortunately, most of them were kept in the background, so I was able to get to know the characters important to this story.  The plot was good, and I enjoyed getting to know the characters we met here.

Finally comes “Nogged Off” by Barbara Ross.  This novella is the reason I picked up the collection since I just love Julia Snowden and her group of family and friends in Busman’s Harbor.  This book finds her taking a quick day trip to New York City to pack up the rest of her belongings so she can permanently move to Maine.  When she arrives, she finds her sub-tenant to be upset about some setbacks in her personal life, and Julia winds up inviting Imogen home for Christmas.  However, Julia’s Christmas gets more complicated when her moving truck is stolen after they arrive in Busman’s Harbor.  What is going on?

I was able to get fully lost in this story right away since I already know the series characters and the setting, and I enjoyed spending Christmas with them.  The plot was fun with some good twists before we reached the end.

And all three stories will help get you in the Christmas spirit.  Each story features some holiday traditions that are unique to Maine, which is lots of fun.  Heck, even with all the murder and mayhem, I really wanted to sit back and sip a glass of eggnog, and I’m not usually a fan of the traditional holiday drink.

Speaking of which, you’ll also find plenty of recipes in this book.  Each novella features some recipes for Christmas goodies to make once you’ve finished reading.  We’ve got everything from eggnog to ghost pepper wings, eggnog muffins, and pecan puffs.  Truly something for every taste.

Whether you are reading this book during Christmas or want a holiday fix year round, you’ll enjoy your time spent with the stories in Eggnog Murder.  Clever murder stories mixed with Christmas traditions and topped off with some recipes.  Plus you might just find a new series to try as you read.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

If you enjoy meeting Julia here, check out the rest of the Maine Family Clambake Mysteries in order.

5 comments:

  1. Great review thank you, I'm looking forward to reading this
    Penney

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  2. To be honest I'm not a fan of Leslie Meier but Lee Hollis is an author I've been wanting to try and I've really enjoyed Barbara Ross's books. I'd definitely look for this collection based on those two novellas.

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    1. I'm much like you - not the biggest fan of Leslie Meier, wanting to try Lee Hollis but haven't yet, but a huge fan of Barbara Ross.

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  3. Sounds like a fun mix of Christmas and mystery!

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