Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, charming setting, plenty of Christmas spirit
Cons: Plot a bit slow near the beginning.
The Bottom Line:
Charming Christmas book
Murder and holiday warmth
Combine to give cheer
I Don’t Think Murder is in the Christmas Spirit
As you might have noticed, I love Christmas. (And I think that’s in the running for understatement of the year.) So when I saw Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, the first in a new series about a town that draws in tourists by celebrating Christmas year round, I knew it was meant for me. And I was right.
Years ago, the town of Rudolph, New York, decided to embrace their name and become a tourist destination for all things Christmas. The streets all have Christmas names, the businesses are all centered around Christmas, and the town even hosts Christmas events to bring in the tourists.
Naturally, December is the biggest month in the year for businesses, and Merry Wilkinson is no exception. The month kicks off with a Christmas parade and party, and this year a reporter from a huge travel magazine is coming to cover the event. However, the night of the party, Merry finds his dead body in the park after the party. The police quickly determine it was poison, and the poison was in a gingerbread cookie he ate. Since Merry’s best friend Vicky provided the cookies, she shoots to the top of the suspect list. But since the reporter was in town to provide publicity, who would want to kill him? And what might this do to the tourist dollars?
If you are looking for a cozy mystery with Christmas spirit, this book is for you. Merry’s father is the town Santa and Merry’s mother leads the strolling carolers in town. Being December, there’s snow as well. Merry’s shop, Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, sells decorations, and I think I could spend hours wandering around the shop (and tons of money there as well). If it weren’t on the other side of the country, I’d stop by and visit in a heartbeat.
(Well, it would have to be a real place, too, but let’s not confuse me with the facts.)
And the village is populated with wonderful characters. Merry is a great main character, and I enjoyed spending time with her. Her parents are just as charming. Yes, the book sets up a love triangle, and usually I quickly decide which love interest I am rooting for. This time? I am torn because I really like both guys. And I could go on talking about all the people we meet in this book. I really do like them.
Unfortunately, the plot suffered a bit in favor of the Christmas atmosphere and charming characters. It seemed a bit slow in the beginning with Merry reacting to what was happening around her instead of investigating. It definitely picked up as the book went along, however, and the climax was logical and perfectly executed.
You really can’t find a better Christmas cozy than this. So plug in the tree, put on some carols, grab some cider or egg nog, and get lost in the world of Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen.