Available Now! The key characters in this series are Sophie and Natasha. Natasha happens to be the girlfriend of Sophie’s ex-husband Mars (short for Marshall) and they each offer us wonderful household tips from their syndicated newspaper columns at the start of each chapter.
This book revolves around the Christmas Season and brings all the families and neighbors together. All is cherry and bright until a Grinch steals all of the Christmas presents from one neighborhood as all the neighbors are gathered for the annual holiday celebration. They even took the food. Sophie tries to stem the neighbors from turning against each other as they try to figure out who is responsible and she succeeds in getting them to work together to come up with toys so the children have gifts in the morning.
One crisis down, another arises when Sophie’s sister-in-law’s father shows up at a family gathering with a diva all his own. He and his wife had only been separated for a very short time and this guest’s arrival does not sit well with anyone at all. When the new diva becomes victim of some well thought out foul play, Sophie’s relatives of course considered prime suspects. Sophie’s detective boyfriend in out of town visiting his parents so it’s up to Sophie to save the holidays.
First of all I apologize for the tardiness of this review. Life some times get in the way of best laid plans.
This is such a fun series and the last book had more adventure that most series have in all the books together. It was definitely hard to put down. There were so many people that could have committed both the robberies and the murder that it truly came down to the very last chapter before all the clues came together to provide all the answers to nab the criminals. Sophie put it all together literally in the “nick” of time before her “goose” was literally cooked and she almost had her sister baked too.
This was the perfect mystery, every time you thought you had it figured out another clue sent you in another direction. It was not only well written, but wonderfully staged and plotted. The new characters added a whole new dimension to this story, I hope some of them reappear in future editions, especially Ginger.
I have to mention the pets that add the important feature necessary in every great mystery, including this one. Daisy, the dog with the keen senses of smell, hearing and the ability to know the good guys from the creeps :). Mochie, the cat with the attitude and the knack of knowing just when to pounce and when to just walk away. Plus the two little ragdoll kittens, Alice and Jasper, cute, cuddly and key to some clues in the mystery.
To say this book is full of “mystery and mayhem” is a understatement. This story is beyond a little chaos and clues, it takes the cozy mystery to a whole new realm and I enjoyed every minute of it and can’t wait for more.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Berkley Prime Crime, a Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”