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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Holiday Mysteries

            Crime never takes a holiday, even at Christmas. To prove this theory, here are some recently published holiday mysteries.
            The Bark before Christmas, written by Laurien Berenson, introduces us to Melanie Travis who is returning to her old job at a posh private school where she hopes to make the Christmas Bazaar its biggest success ever. Then a prize show dog disappears, and Santa Claus is found dead. This isn’t what’s supposed to happen at Christmas!
            Away in a Manger, written by Rhys Bowen, features Molly Murphy who steps in on behalf of two young beggars who are severely mistreated by their aunt when one is accused of stealing a purse. Molly’s investigation into the children’s background uncovers a disreputable aspect of New York upper class society.
            Deck the Hallways is written by Kate Carlisle. Contractor Shannon Hammer is trying to transform a Victorian mansion into apartments for homeless families in time for Christmas. Her work is interrupted when her father is accused of murdering a miserly bank president. Shannon must find the real killer before it’s too late.
            Harbour Street is written by Ann Cleeves. When Vera Stanhope and Joe Ashworth discover the murdered body of a woman on the metro during Christmas, they begin a search near the victim’s home. They then discover some secrets around the neighborhood and a second murder.
            Ornaments of Death, written by Jane K. Cleland, is the story about Josie who meets her charismatic distant relative Ian during the holiday season in Rocky Point. Suddenly Ian disappears! And so do two priceless seventeenth-century miniature portraits in his possession.
            Dying for Christmas, a thriller written by Tammy Cohen, features Jessica Gould, whose date with the charming Dominic leads to a horrifying Christmas celebration. Jessica is held captive by him, forced to wear his missing wife’s clothes, and open her gifts. Will he murder her or will Jessica’s secret help her stay alive?
            Purebred Dead, written by Kathleen Delaney, features heroine Mary McGill whose discovery of a bloodstained corpse and a cowering dog in a manger at Santa Louisa’s Christmas pageant leads her to investigate.

            Mystery in White: a Christmas Crime Story was originally written in the 1930s by J. Jefferson Farjeon. In this classic, a train breaks down and the passengers take shelter in a deserted country house. Then a murderer strikes.

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