On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
This is the second book this week that has featured Agatha Christie. That was purely by accident or was it?
Another mystery 🙂
A Very Merry Murder (A Professor Prather Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – South Dakota
Camel Press (October 1, 2018)
Paperback: 258 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07G2VLLCV
It’s December in Copper Bluff, and from hillside to hallowed hall, everyone is merry—or will be as soon as semester break arrives. Students are studying, professors are grading, and Emmeline Prather is anticipating the university-sponsored holiday concert. Friend and colleague Lenny Jenkins will be accompanying the visiting quartet, Jazz Underground, and Em can’t think of a better way to kick-start the holiday season.
But before she can say “Jingle Bell Rock,” trouble arrives at Candlelight Inn, the bed and breakfast where the quartet is staying. One of the band members dies unexpectedly, and suspicion falls on Em, whose altercation with the man ends with him on the floor. He never recovers, and now she’s worried her reputation might not either. When Emmeline starts to see parallels between an Agatha Christie novel she’s teaching and the victim, Lenny claims she’s read one too many mysteries.
As the clues unravel, so does the murderer’s patience. Em is close to finding the truth, but will the truth—or the murderer—push her over the edge? It will take a Christmas miracle to solve this case, but if there’s one thing in surplus this time of year, it’s faith.
Christmas is in the air . . . and so is murder!
As the Christmas Holiday Break draws near the university is hopping. Students have papers to complete and final classes to attend. Professors like Emmeline Prather have papers to grade and classes to wrap up. One of her classes is reading and analyzing a tome by Agatha Christie. Em is also excited about the holiday concert of the group Jazz Underground. Her friend Lenny Jenkins is going to be joining the quartet.
The group is staying at the Candlelight Inn, a local B&B and Lenny invites Em to join the group for a little get-together. When one of the band members acts weird and gets a little handsy, Em gives him a shove and he falls to the floor. He never gets up, even after she administered CPR. Their little altercation puts the spotlight on Emmeline and she decides to channel a little Hercule Poirot and try to solve the crime. But will she get too close to the killer? Will she be the next victim and the murderer go free?
The recurring characters are joined by an interesting group of musicians and the owners and staff of the B&B. Those core characters continue to evolve. Again Em and Lenny team up with assistance from one of Em’s former student who is now on the police force to try to solve the case. Lenny is friends with one member of the quartet. And it appears she would like to rekindle that relationship. Em is surprised by the jealousy she feels. This relationship has been pending for the entire series so far. I have enjoyed the way it has been written and even more so in this story.
The author had laid out a very well-written mystery. Several suspects, a unique means of murder, and a fantastic closed room style reveal that I absolutely loved. We were served plenty of red herrings, twists, and turns. I was totally surprised by when the guilty party was fingered by Em. She has a great relationship with police and she gave them a vital clue so they allowed her to run with her presentation of the case and the proclamation of the killer.
I have enjoyed every book in this series The core characters are engaging and the mysteries are complex and puzzling. Author Mary Angela gives plenty of background so that each book can be read on its own but I would recommend reading the series from the beginning.
About The Author
Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective. For more information, go to www.maryangelabooks.com.
You can find my review of Book #1 – An Act of Murder here and Passport to Murder here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”