Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery with plenty of holiday spirit
Cons: Supporting characters are hard to keep straight
The Bottom Line:
Parade mascot dies
Leading Sasha to danger
Christmas infused book
Who Killed Santa Bear?
Teddy Bears and Christmas. They just seem to go together, right? So it seems natural that the third in Meg Macy’s Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear mystery series would be Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder.
This December is proving to be especially busy for Sasha Silverman. Not only are there the usual activities in her hometown of Silver Hollow, Michigan, like the annual parade and the open house her family’s company hosts for everyone in town, but the Silver Bear Shop and Factory has won a prize with their design for a Beary Potter bear, and they are rushing to meet demand in time for Christmas.
So, the last thing that Sasha needs is to get involved in a murder, but that’s just what happens. The highlight of the parade is Santa Bear, and once again this year, the town’s mayor, Cal Bloom, is playing the part. However, with the parade start time drawing near, no one can find him. Sasha and her mother start searching only to find him dead on a bench in his costume. It appears his death wasn’t natural, so what happened to him? How did he get to the park bench?
The book wastes little time before Mayor Bloom dies. We get just enough pages to set things up before he is found, and then we are off and running trying to figure out what exactly happened to him. There are plenty of clues and suspects to think about before we reach the climax, which expertly wraps everything up with a nice bow on it.
My struggle with this book is the same one I’ve had with the earlier books in the series – there are too many characters, and it is hard to keep them straight. Now, let me be perfectly clear. Sasha and her immediate family are good characters, and I never had any trouble keeping the suspects straight. However, I struggle to remember the rest of the townspeople’s relationships to each other and which businesses they own. This doesn’t impact my ability to follow the plot, so it doesn’t bother me too much. However, Sasha and her family are wonderful, and I was happy to catch up with them again.
Despite the fact that Teddy Bears are naturally super cute and cuddly, this series tends to have a bit more of a bite to it, working in some darker themes than you might expect for a cozy. No, there is nothing super dark or disturbing here, but the fact that this book is set at Christmas doesn’t change things. However, the two balance each other out perfectly. And if you love Christmas, you are in for some treats (and I wouldn’t mind tasting some of the treats they ate in this book). Frankly, I want to go to the employee Christmas party – that sounded like so much fun.
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only three months away. If you are ready to get into the Christmas spirit a little early, Have Yourself a Beary Little Murder is the book for you.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.