My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Even though it’s a few months early, I obtained a copy of Silent Night, Deadly Night by Vicky Delany, published this month, and had to devour it already. This is 1 of 2 series by the author that I read, and I like to stay as current as possible. The books are easy-to-read, full of wonderful characters, and provide lots of entertainment.
This is the 4th book in the author’s ‘A Year-Round Christmas Mysteries’ series, and the books take place in Rudolph, New York (upstate), a village that celebrates Christmas all year round. Merry is the protagonist, and her father was once the mayor, now the town Santa Claus. Her mother was an opera singer, and in this book, she invites 5 college friends to visit shortly before Thanksgiving. The only issue… they really haven’t gotten together in over 35 years, and once they do, the bickering starts all over again. This time, it ends in murder… and due to circumstances, it’s 100% clear that 1 of the 5 killed the other. Is Merry’s mom guilty? Meanwhile, a new family moves to town and tries to take over the role of Santa Claus from Noel. Will he let it happen to embrace full retirement?
Delany creates vibrant characters and multi-layered plots. I enjoyed the mix of Thanksgiving and Christmas in this book. The subplots are fun. Jackie (Merry’s shop worker) is just full of sass and vinegar, her best friend Vicky is a kind and helpful, her boyfriend Allan is a good guy, and the detective is friendly but direct. I wish we could spend more time in various shops and places around the town, but the settings are always immersive and appealing.
The mystery in this one was good, a little light for me. It had several layers, but with so many characters, each one had minimal time. I felt like we hadn’t scratched the surface on the lives of each woman in the last 35 years, so I struggled to decide who would be the killer. The last 25% moves quickly, and that’s when it gets really strong. We start peeling the onion to the point we can easily sniff out the bad apple. How’s that for a mixed metaphor!?!?!
I’d recommend the series, but I’d tell you to hold off until December when it’s Christmastime. You’ll get a wonderful holiday spirit from these stories, and use it wisely… between Thanksgiving and Christmas will make this pop even more. Great job, Ms. Delany; another success!
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.