The Christmas Cookie of Doom
When I decided earlier this year to catch up on the Five-Ingredient Mysteries, I planned it so that I could be reading the newest, Gingerdead Man, near Christmas. It was a fun addition to the series.
Bayport, Maryland, is kicking off the holiday with a Victorian Christmas festival, complete with characters from Dickens novels. Val Deniston’s granddad is playing Scrooge this year, much to his dismay, since newcomer Jake Smith is playing Santa. The event concludes with a tea for the volunteers. Val is helping with the teas all day, including the one at the end of the event.
However, that tea doesn’t go as planned. First, a stranger in a weird costume shows up and starts handing out gingerbread men to those attending. Then, after eating his cookie, Jake falls over and dies from poison. Jake may be new in town, but he’s already made some enemies. Can Val figure out which of them was upset enough to murder him?
If you aren’t familiar with the series, Val’s granddad is an active part of the investigation in each book. Don’t misunderstand, Val ultimately is the one to figure things out, but Granddad does a little investigating of his own and is a great sounding board. I love their relationship and their partnership. I also love the fact that he isn’t your stereotypical older character but a realistic senior citizen.
The rest of the cast is great as well. They are distinct enough that we can keep them straight. It does help that I’ve read several of these books this year, of course. The suspects are just as compelling and enjoyable.
I thought the story wandered around a bit at the beginning, but I suspected it would all tie together. By the time I put the book down, I was very impressed with the plot. And that’s all I’m going to say so I don’t spoil anything.
There are six recipes at the end of the book, all having five or fewer ingredients in them. While several are holiday themed, there are a couple that could easily be enjoyed year round.
If you are looking to settle in with a well plotted cozy this Christmas, Gingerdead Man is for you. Grab a gingerbread man and some hot chocolate and enjoy.
Check out the rest of the Five-Ingredient Mysteries.