Christmas Carol Murder-Leslie Meier

Christmas Carol Murder
Leslie Meier
Kensington, Sep 24 2013, $25.00
ISBN 9780758277015

In Tinker’s Cove, Maine, few residents feel like celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday as Downeast Mortgage has foreclosed on many houses. On the Friday of the holiday weekend, Downeast Mortgage partner avaricious Jacob Marlowe receives a package labeled “Do Not Open Till Christmas.” Ignoring the instruction, Jacob begins to open the parcel, but sets off an explosion that leaves him dead amidst the ruins of his mansion.

Pennysaver reporter Lucy Stone covers the impact on townsfolk by the Great Recession. She also plays the part of Mrs. Cratchit in a community theater performance of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. However, she interrupts her rehearsals to investigate who left a second bomb targeting Marlowe’s miserly partner Ben Scribner.

The latest Lucy Stone mystery (see Easter Bunny Murder) is an engaging whodunit that cleverly combines A Christmas Carol with the Great Recession. The whodunit entertains the audience with a solid mystery, and obvious and obscure references to the Bush downturn and the classic novel. Readers will appreciate this strong entry as the insight into the effect on people by the housing collapse and unscrupulous greedy banking practices are timely, honest yet depressing.

Harriet Klausner

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