FAYE DASEN: Mysteries Suited for the Holidays
Holiday mysteries are already on the shelves for those in the mood for Christmas mayhem.
Plum Pudding Murder
By Joanne Fluke
Kensington, 2009, $24
Hannah Swenson, proprietor of The Cookie Jar (and erstwhile detective), returns in this holiday mystery.
It's the busiest time of year at the Cookie Jar. Hannah is providing goodies for folks all over town, including Lunatic Larry Jaeger's Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot. When she drops by after closing one evening, she finds Larry has met with the Grim Reaper.
It seems that Larry is having financial and family difficulties, so the suspects are many.
Hannah tries to resist getting involved, but of course, gets dragged into the fray -- and danger.
As usual, the recipes of Hannah and her friends are included for readers in case they want to try their hand at making the dishes.
Merry, Merry Ghost
By Carolyn Hart
William Morrow, 2009, $15.99
Another wonderful Christmas-themed mystery is "Merry, Merry Ghost," the second in the Bailey Ruth mystery series by Carolyn Hart.
Bailey Ruth Raeburn is a ghost who hopes she'll be assigned another mission to Earth, but she's not really counting on it since she didn't exactly follow the rules.
Wiggins, head of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, decides that Bailey Ruth's love of Christmas makes her a good candidate to help a young boy as he finds himself with a new family, one of whom doesn't welcome his presence.
Hart is the author of the Henrie O. and Death on Demand series, both of which I also enjoy.
By Kathryn Fox
Harper, 2009, $7.99
Dr. Anya Crichton is a forensic pathologist. After the brutal attack made on the Goodwin sisters, one of whom died, she is determined to see the Harbourn brothers brought to justice.
The Harbourn brothers, part of a family of criminals, seem to be able to weasel out of their misdeeds.
When people involved in the trial are turning up dead, Anya realizes her own life is in danger.
This plot line has a little twist to it that doesn't come into play until near the end of the story. Fox's books generally keep the reader guessing.
The Laughter of Dead Kings
By Elizabeth Peters
Harper, 2009, $9.99
Someone has stolen King Tut's mummy, and Peters' protagonist Vicky Bliss, an art expert, along with her boss, Schmidt, and her boyfriend, Sir John Smythe, must discover who, lest John become the main suspect. (For those who haven't read previous books, John is something of an antiquities "acquirer," although he claims to be "retired.")
There's lots of action as they travel around the Middle East in search of answers.
Peters is also the author of the Amelia Peabody mystery series.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 693-2475.
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