Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Book Review: Murder in Season by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land (Murder, She Wrote #52)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Jessica at Christmas, Grady, fun mystery
Cons: Ending a bit rushed, other characters a tad off
The Bottom Line:
Bodies old and new
Present puzzle at Christmas
Jessica must solve

‘Tis the Season to be Murdered

In all the years Murder, She Wrote was on the air, it only did one Christmas themed episode.  Since I’ve only read a fraction of the books, I don’t know if we’ve checked in with Jessica Fletcher at all during the holiday in them before now, but we definitely get a Christmas visit with the newest novels, Murder in Season.

The reconstruction on Jessica’s house is finally winding down, and she is thrilled to be home.  She is celebrating by inviting her nephew Grady and his family up for Christmas.  She’s looking forward to a wonderful time.

Unfortunately, there is one last project for the house – a new septic system.  It gets even more complicated when the team digging up her old septic system discovers human remains.  One of the skeletons appears to be centuries old, but the other is more recent.  All this is uncovered just as a reporter for a tabloid TV show arrives in town to film a story about why there are so many murders in Cabot Cove.

The investigation begins to unravel secrets from the founding of the town in the 1790’s.  While that might explain one of the skeletons, how does the more recent skeleton tie in to those secrets?

Mysteries that cover generations can be hard to pull off.  I often find myself wondering why we should care if everyone involved is dead.  This book avoids that by quickly making it very apparent that whatever the secrets of the past might be, they have very modern repercussions.  I appreciated that as it helped draw me into the story.  I wasn’t quite as gripped as I’ve been reading the last few books, but this one did hold my interest.  The solution was a bit abrupt, but it does answer our questions.

While the Cabot Cove episodes were always my favorite of the show, my second favorite were any episodes Grady appeared in.  (And yes, I was especially happy when he appeared in Cabot Cove.)  It was fabulous to see him in this book, and I loved the scenes he was in.  His character felt spot on, although I do wish we’d gotten a bit more with Donna.

As to the other regulars, I will once again say that they feel just slightly off.  It doesn’t help that a couple of running gags are once again driven into the ground.  Still, I’m being mostly nitpicky here, and I enjoyed spending time with them.

And yes, Christmas is a strong element in the book.  I loved those scenes.  They made me want to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate, look at the lights on my tree, and listen to Christmas carols.

Murder in Season is a Christmas treat for fans of Murder, She Wrote.  Even if you don’t get to read it during December, it will help capture the Christmas magic any time of year.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book

1 comment:

  1. Sounds intriguing. Hopefully the library will get it soon. Thanks for the review! I love Murder, She Wrote.