An Illinois lawyer turns detective when her boss asks her to do some sleuthing against a romance-infused Yule backdrop.
Determined to do anything to make partner at Olsen, Sykes, and Rafferty, Keli Milanni knows she has to go above and beyond in her next assignment. Her supervisor, Beverly, has assigned Keli and Crenshaw, Keli’s rival at work, an unusual case. Instead of a family law matter, the two are instructed to get to the bottom of the blackmailing of Edgar Harrison, one of Edindale’s most esteemed residents. Though both Keli and Crenshaw are wary of Beverly's orders, both are game to do what they can to help her, especially since she seems particularly solicitous of Edgar’s well-being. Interesting. Meanwhile, Keli must also deal with the unwanted attentions of Mick, the former college flame come to town to win her back. Mick seems to have little chance: he doesn’t even know that Keli’s a vegan, and he’s not the only one who appears smitten by her. There’s also Zeke, who does IT work for Edgar and insists that at 25, he’s old enough for Keli. Keli lacks the time or attention for a love triangle now that she’s finally come out as a practicing Wiccan to her boyfriend, Wes, and looks forward to celebrating Yuletide rituals with him for the first time. All that changes with a murder that puts Keli in danger, as she gets in way over her head and her pay grade.
Hesse (Bell, Book & Candlemas, 2016, etc.) easily balances murder and romance in this holiday tale that’s so cozy even its high stakes feel like low stakes.