My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mystery #8
Publication Date: 11/13/18
This author has done it again! Another well-written and well-plotted mystery is now added to the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. I love the inhabitants of Queensville, Michigan more and more – each time I meet them, there is something more to love about them. In this book, I especially liked that we spent more time with Jakob – but I would love it if he got into helping Jaymie solve the mysteries instead of just being background candy. Another thing to love is this book is the author’s sense of humor in naming the Scroogelike character – Evan Nezer. She also gives a ‘shout out’ to author Sue Grafton, and I loved that – and, we shouldn’t forget Jaymie’s love of reading Historical Romance novels.
The town of Queensland and Queensland’s Historical Society are getting ready for their second largest fundraising event of the year, the Dickens Days annual Christmas festival. Everyone is excited for the tree lighting scheduled for the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend. Jaymie is particularly excited because she has created a diorama that is the Cratchit’s Christmas Pudding scene from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
As they are setting the tree into place and anchoring the Cider House into place, the local Scrooge – Evan Nezer – arrives to make a scene. He’s a particularly nasty man who has just moved into the house that directly abuts the town-owned area where the displays are being set up. He HATES the Dickens Days celebration and is determined to stop it – well – actually – he just hates everything, but the topic of the moment is the Dickens Days events. Since that area of Michigan is very windy in the winter, they need to anchor the Cider House so that it is steady in the winds. In order to do that, they have to drive a stake into the ground on Nezer’s property and he isn’t having it! “I don’t care who’s around, you can’t use my property. GET OFF!”
It seems that Nezer does nothing but antagonize everyone he meets. He cheats them, lies to them and then gloats and tells them how inferior and worthless they are. Yep, he’s a real piece of work! So, it is no surprise when he turns up dead – murdered. However, it is sad that he’s discovered by Jaymie in her much-loved and anticipated diorama.
There is certainly no shortage of suspects in the murder, basically, the whole town has had run-ins with Nezer in the last few days. Unfortunately, the murderer left clues pointing to the one man in town that Jaymie is sure didn’t commit the murder. Plus, there is a short timeframe to resolve the murder because they need to get the police tape removed and the diorama taken down so they can begin the events. So, of course, Jaymie starts to investigate on her own.
There are so many plots and sub-plots you’ll need a scorecard to keep up with them all. Each of those is a bit of a mystery in itself and the murderer will surprise you.
I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend it. I do want to mention though, there is a bit of a political slant in the book. As you read, you’ll see that anyone with any bad connotation to them at all is a “Right Wing Nut Job” or some other sort of weird conservative.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”