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Silent Knife
A Celebration Bay Mystery # 2
Shelley Freydont

Berkley Prime Crime
September 2013 / ISBN-10: 0425252388
Mystery - Cozy - Holiday Mystery - takes place around Christmas

Reviewed by Cheryl Green

Things are not so festive in Celebration Bay since Grace Thornsby took over the Christmas shop. It now sells cheap imports that do not necessarily evoke the spirit of Christmas. Grace has been mean and rude to her customers, staff and neighboring business owners. So when she adds an illegal Santa to her shop, event coordinator Liv Montgomery will have to tell Grace what is what without blowing her top. Liv gives Grace until the next day to clean up her act.

The big Christmas parade is the next day leading up to the Celebration of Lights that evening. The day flew by with all the last minutes touches and triple checking of the events. Crunch time and Santa and the children light the tree. The white lights of the surrounding shops are lit - except for the Trim a Tree shop! Liv goes to the shop to find out why Grace didn't turn on her lights. When she finally gets into the shop Liv finds Penny Newland inside. They see a pair of shoes under the overturned Christmas tree. Turns out they are on the dead body of the illegal Santa. Liv needs to solve this murder in order to make sure that Christmas comes off without a hitch. She better be careful - or she could end up permanently on Santa's Naughty List!

Things to ponder: Why would a mean-spirited person want to run Trim a Tree shop? Why was Penny in the Trim a Tree shop when she should have been singing with the choir? Where is Grace? Why was "Santa" Hank Ousterhaut almost late for the parade?

This book put me in a holiday frame of mind - even though I read it in August. It is well plotted and a real page turner. I can't wait to visit Celebration Bay again and again to find out what is happening with this delightful cast of characters, especially that adorable Westie named Whiskey - he reminds me of my own little Yorkie, Rufus. If you can't wait until Shelley is finished planning and plotting her next Celebration Bay mystery, you might want to pick up the first book in the series Foul Play at the Fair. I know I am. So, if you like your mystery with a touch of Christmas spirit then you should be reading Silent Knife.

Reviewed 2013