BY Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis,
October 27, 2020/ ISBN 978-1-4967-2822-7
Mystery/Cozy / Holiday: Christmas
by Laura Hinds
authors Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Peggy Ehrhart have teamed
up to bring readers an anthology of short Christmas-themed
stories. Each is under 120 pages long, providing a mystery
you can read in one sitting.
Leslie Meier’s mystery is “Christmas Card Murder”
featuring her fabulous sleuth Lucy Stone. Join Lucy as she
struggles to understand the meaning behind an old Christmas
card found hidden in her house. As she seeks the truth behind
the mean message inside, she begins to unravel the injustice
served in an old murder case. Danger ensues!
I love a good Lucy Stone mystery, and this short one was just
right for the holiday season. As usual, Meier plots well,
her dialogue is realistic and her characters are like old
friends to longtime readers. If you are new to Lucy Stone
and Leslie Meier, this is a great story with which to start
your introduction to both.
Lee Hollis shares “Death of a Christmas Carol”
with Hayley Powell, Mona Barnes, and Rosana Moretti.
This is a story of three married women who together receive
one Christmas card from the town floozy telling them that
she is about to run away with one of their husbands. When
the ladies go to confront her the next day, they find her
body, strangled with garland from her own Christmas tree.
Each of the wives suspects her husband of both an affair and
Lee Hollis is a name I know, but I’ve not read any of
the books in the Hayley Powell mystery series. I read reviews
of some of the books though, and they are seemingly well-liked
by many readers.
Therefore, if you read Lee Hollis and enjoy the Hayley Powell
books you should like this story just fine. Nevertheless,
it wasn’t to my liking for many reasons. Each and every
character annoyed me; I knew who the killer was going to be
before the body was even discovered; the characters’
dialogue, reactions, and suspicions of their own husbands
were over the top, and we never got to meet the victim when
she was alive.
To reiterate, if you like the author and series, you may very
well enjoy this story.
The third story is “Death of a Christmas Card Crafter”
by Peggy Ehrhart.
Arborville High School’s art teacher is murdered during
the Holiday Craft Fair and Pamela Paterson and the Knit and
Nibble crew decide to get to the bottom of it, but I’m
not sure why.
Unfortunately, this story held neither my attention nor my
interest. I had hoped it would be fun, as cozy mysteries with
crafters usually are. I found some of the characters overly
dramatic while others were stilted and wooden.
As with the previous story, perhaps if you like the author
and the series you will enjoy this short tale. I am really
sad that I didn’t like it, but I have to be honest about
it. It was not for me.
Each story involves a Christmas card, and each is a short
mystery set in a small town. All three authors have a large
following of fans and I believe those fans will enjoy the
Whether you’ve read any previous books by these authors
or not, these short stories are a fabulous way to escape from
all the hectic activity of the holiday season.