Holiday homicide brings old secrets to light in a seaside town in Maine.
Although Maggie Summers’ beau, Will, has given her a beautiful antique ring, she’s far from certain of her future with him. He’s moved to Waymouth, Maine, to look after a widowed relative who helped raise him, and Maggie (Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding, 2013, etc.) is based in New Jersey, where she’s a college professor and the owner of Shadows, an antique-prints business. Besides, she wants to adopt a child or two; he’s convinced he’s not cut out for fatherhood. When Maggie agrees to visit him and 92-year-old Aunt Nettie, she hopes she and Will can resolve their differences. That would seem an easy task in picture-postcard Waymouth, especially with Christmas candles, caroling and parties with Nettie’s longtime friends, sisters Ruth and Betty. But just as Maggie’s thinking that it’s too perfect a place for anything bad to happen, a private nurse who was looking after Betty is found dead under a Christmas tree. A letter reveals that the nurse was collecting information from an increasingly vague Betty and using it to try to blackmail Nettie and her friends. As Maggie starts asking more and more questions about the past and how it affects the present, she meets increasing resistance from the blackmail victims, the local state trooper trying to solve the case and even Will. He doesn’t like Maggie sticking her nose into mysteries, especially when they concern his family and friends. But Maggie perseveres, even at the cost of revealing painful information about the people who’ve welcomed her to Waymouth.
Maggie’s latest adventure nearly sinks under the weight of Christmas cookies and baubles, cloying characters, and plugs for real-life Maine products and retail businesses.