Murder may mar a merry Christmas.
The ladies of the St. Rose Quilting Bee are happily working on their Secret Santa gifts when Kathy Romelli, the daughter of Bridget Murphy, one of their St. Rose Senior Guild friends, is found shot to death along with her 12-year-old boy. Maggie Browne’s son, a police officer on the case, asks Maggie and her friends to keep their ears out for whatever gossip they can pick up about Kathy and her ex-husband, Rusty, whom most of the ladies are sure would never kill his beloved son. Kathy was soon to marry Dylan Markham, a smooth and handsome entrepreneur whose equally good-looking brother is a doctor at the hospital where Kathy was a nurse. Setting to work, the diverse group of quilters, each with her own sources of information, soon discovers that 1) Kathy was having doubts about remarrying, 2) Dylan may be bilking his investors, and 3) another church member is involved in a Ponzi scheme. In addition to feeling shocked by the murders, many parishioners are smarting because they’ve been victims of thieves who’ve stolen valuables from locked cars and made a clean getaway. The ladies have their work cut out for them if they’re to wrap up the case in time for Christmas.
Mahon (Bright Hopes, 2014, etc.) provides a trickier ending for the ladies of St. Rose but is still interminably slow in getting to it.