Murder Under the Mistletoe (A Jane Wunderly Mystery)
Cozy Mystery Novella
Setting – England
Kensington Books (September 26, 2023)
Print length : 147 pages
ASIN : B0BSRJBZCC
Recently engaged Jane Wunderly is celebrating Christmas with her fiancé at his ancestral home at the quaint English market town of Barnard Castle—where murder is the new family tradition . . .
Northern England, 1926: Surprised by her eager acceptance of Redvers’ proposal, Jane is ready to spend the festive season deciphering the mysterious man she agreed to marry while surviving scrutiny from the icy Dibble clan at their snow-dusted manor. But all attention shifts to the announcement of upcoming nuptials between the humorless Evelyn Hesse and the man who will become Jane’s father-in-law.
One fact is clear—Evelyn shouldn’t be trusted. Not as rumors swirl about the deaths of her other husbands. Not after a man is murdered at a party before Christmas Day. With one wedding approaching and their own in peril, Jane and Redvers must dash to unravel dark secrets that could ruin their first holiday together . . . or cost another person their life.
Jane is finally meeting Redvers’ father and the rest of his family as they travel to his ancestral home for the holidays. She and Redvers are beyond surprised to find out his father is marrying Evelyn Hesse on Christmas. Immediately they both believe there is something fishy about the woman and the rushed nuptials. They learn her previous husband’s deaths were suspicious. When a man is murdered at a holiday party she is at the top of their suspect list. They have to work fast before someone else dies and before Evelyn becomes Redvers’ stepmother.
I have enjoyed every book in this series so I was very happy to see this novella released. Jane is excited to meet Redvers’ family. His relationship with his father, Humphrey, has been strained to say the least. Jane thinks meeting the man with help her get to know more about the man she is engaged to marry. She also meets two of his aunts and they are just fabulous. Surprisingly, Jane’s Aunt Millie, Lord Hughes, and her daughter Lillian also find themselves in the charming village of Barnard Castle and then staying at the Dibble stone manor house after a snowstorm hits the area hard. Humphrey’s bride-to-be and her brother James are also snowed in.
It was great fun to see the Dibble family along with Jane and Evelyn take part in some family traditions even when things went terribly awry. Evelyn was very particular about everything from the tree, decorations, and behaviors at meals. This set up some interesting and humorous situations.
Jane and Redvers travel into town to try to find out more about the woman his father plans to marry and it shows their suspicions are warranted. Redvers used his contacts at the “agency” to investigate a couple of people too. They search the manor house and keep their eyes and ears open for any information about Evelyn and the murder victim, Dr. Taylor. I had pinned down the “who” dun it and thought I knew the “why” but a nice twist shook up my theories. I do love it when that happens.
Murder Under the Mistletoe is a captivating little Christmas cozy. Murder mixed with family drama and a little romance starring such engaging characters makes it a story to easily escape right into. The final pages made me smile. Fans of the series will absolutely love it.
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