Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany

As the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That’s why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoe-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry’s float is sabotaged, she has to face facts: there’s a Scrooge in Christmas Town.
Merry isn’t ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph’s Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter’s body on a late night dog walk—and police suspect he was poisoned by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicky—Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who’s really been grinching about town, before Vicky ends up on Santa’s naughty list…
Series: A Year Round Christmas Mystery #1 | Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime | Genre: Cozy Mystery | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

I’m always looking for a good cozy mystery that will draw me in an keep me guessing until the very end and Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen was exactly what I was looking for.
Here’s what’s going on. When a freelance journalist covering Rudolph’s Christmas spirit dies after eating a poisoned gingerbread cookie, Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is out to prove her best friend, Vicky who owns the bakery, wasn’t the perpetrator. Merry starts wondering if perhaps the killer followed the journalist to New York until strange events start occurring around town threatening to destroy the image of America’s Christmas town.  Now Merry’s on a mission to track down the killer and save Rudolph.
Merry was such an easy character to like—which was good given that this book was told from her POV. She left town and followed her dreams but ultimately returned to her hometown and started a business selling handcrafted gifts and Christmas decorations. She definitely has the Christmas spirit and she loves her little Christmas town so when someone is out to destroy Rudolph, Merry takes it upon herself to stop them.
Like most cozy mysteries, this book does have the start of a love triangle for Merry. There’s Russ—he’s a Rudolph newbie and reporter for the newspaper. Then there’s Allen—he’s a woodworker who also is a toymaker, he and Merry dated in high school. I really want to see Merry end up with Allen, they just seem right for each other. My only problem with this was that I wanted Merry to speak up about what she wanted. It was obvious she wanted Allen but she was willing to allow Russ to pull her away from spending time with him.
The mystery was brilliant and kept me guessing until the end. Although once the killer was revealed, I was surprised I hadn’t put the pieces together.
As this is the start of a new series, parts of the book were a tad bit slow as the author filled in the reader about the town and it’s residents. While it slowed down the pace, it didn’t shift my focus away from the plot.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this start to a new series. With cozies, I want to be pulled in by the setting, the characters, and the mystery and I have to say I was. There’s a bevy of charming and unique residents of Rudolph that truly brings this book to life and, I have to say, I’m eager to read the next book in the series.

Are you a fan of cozy mysteries?

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