Santa gets bludgeoned, neighbors knock neighbors off their light-festooned roofs and householders nearly blow themselves into next year cooking Yule dinner in this triple-decker helping of holiday cheer.
Fluke gives her regular sleuth the starring role in the saga of Santa’s sad demise. Hannah Swenson finds skinflint department-store magnate Wayne Bergstrom with his neck broken after playing St. Nick at the Lake Eden Inn’s gala. Even her boyfriend, Detective Mike Kingston, knows Hannah’s going to investigate, although he tells her for the record to leave it to the professionals. Levine’s Jaine Austen, a freelance writer who can resist anything but temptation, is in a holiday tizzy trying to clear Seymour Fiedler, proud proprietor of “Fiedler on the Roof Roofers,” of the charge that he doctored the roofing tiles that led to irascible Garth Janken’s untimely demise. And Meier takes Lucy Stone back in time, as Christmas with her grandson Patrick reminds her of her first Christmas in Tinker’s Cove. Their house on Red Top Road was a mess, she was pregnant with her second child and her husband Bill tried to fix the pilot light on their cantankerous stove, causing an explosion that burned his arms. When librarian Julia Tilley comes to her rescue, Lucy in return tackles the mysterious death of Miss Tilley’s mother.
Like a box of holiday chocolates, this recipe-studded assortment gives all readers a crack at their favorites.