The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes

The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes

The Man with a Load of Mischief is the first in the Richard Jury series. The only reason I picked it up was that it takes place at Christmas, but I'm glad I did. I'm not sure how I missed this series before. I will definitely read more - I might actually be listening to the 2nd as I'm typing this. The book takes place around 1981 - no cell phones, no internet, no tiny cameras. This is the type of mystery where our detective has to watch for clues, talk to people, not rely on technology. Our detective from Scotland Yard is Richard Jury, intelligent, patient, kind. Our sidekick is Melrose Plant, rich, clever, sparkling green eyes. We see the story from their alternating points of view. We only know what they know, we only hear what they hear. The writing style is descriptive and full, without being overly detailed. The book certainly has serious moments, but Plant...
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Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge started yesterday Monday, November 22, even if my own Christmas reading started a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to Michelle at Christmas Spirit and Seasons of Reading for hosting. Details: challenge will run from Monday, November 22, 2021 through January 6, 2022 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).cross over with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, and a children’s Christmas books level! I’m aiming for the Christmas Tree level, which is 5 or 6 books. Books Finished: ...
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The Christmas Night Murder by Lee Harris

The Christmas Night Murder by Lee Harris

It's Christmas and Christine, a former nun, is visiting the convent she lived in until she married. A priest she studied under is coming for a visit from his new parish in Wyoming and everyone is looking forward to seeing him again. The priest never arrives and Christine is brought in to search for him. The book touches on convent life, which I found interesting. It's an insulated community where secrets can be kept. It also deals with abuse in the Catholic Church, but the way it was approached seemed surprisingly outdated. Yes, this book takes place in the early 90s but still. Christine is a good character. She's persistent and honest and loyal. Her husband, Jack, a police sergeant, gives her some help, but she does most of the investigating on her own. I'm not quite sure how she manages to get all the answers and access she does, but people always seem to talk to amateur detectives. I listened to...
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Holiday Hexes by J.L. Collins

Holiday Hexes by J.L. Collins

We are back in Holiday Haven where this time the chaotic Christmas disaster has to do with the Master List. The toy and mail departments are in a mess and it looks like lots of kids may be disappointed this year. And this is on top of the other mysteries in town which are briefly mentioned. Star is visiting her mom and wants to help solve the problem. Star is a good character. She has built a toy business outside of Holiday Haven and the North Pole. She has done it through hard work, good ideas, and no magic. The mystery here is a perfect one for Star to solve. She learns some things about herself and other people, becomes closer to her, even meets an nice, attractive man. I didn't love this one. It was Christmassy, but I was not invested in the potential romance. The mystery, while high stakes in that world, was rather bland. I'm enjoying this series a...
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God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen by Rhys Bowen

God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen by Rhys Bowen

I've read several of the Royal Spyness mysteries, but not all of them and not necessarily in order. I feel like each of the stands alone well, but also gives us updates on characters we've become familiar with. In God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen, Georgie and Darcy are celebrating Christmas at his eccentric aunt's home on the grounds of Sandringham where the king and queen are in residence. Not only is the house party is a cover for Wallis Simpson to have a place to stay near the Prince of Wales during the holiday season, but the Queen is also afraid. Last year two people died during the holidays at the estate, and she is worried something terrible might happen again. Soon, her fears are realized and it's up to Georgie and Darcy to find out who the killer is. I love Georgie. She's funny and smart and loyal. And Darcy adores and respects her. They make a perfect couple. And...
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The Christmas Walk Caper by J.B. Michaels

The Christmas Walk Caper by J.B. Michaels

The Christmas Walk Caper features Mac O'Malley, a retired Chicago cop, who is attempting to write a memoir of his last big case. When Mac learns that Patricia, the owner of The Tiny Wanderer, has been found dead in her home on the morning of the annual Christmas Walk, his cop instincts are telling him she didn't just die of old age. If the local cops, including his brother Vince, don't agree, maybe he and his girlfriend, Millie, can do some investigating on their own. The small town at Christmas setting was charming. The Christmas Walk sounds like an event I'd love to participate in, touring people's decorated homes. For a novella, the mystery was well-done. We had a couple of suspects and clues but not so many that the conclusion felt rushed. I liked Mac, although he was pretty quick to discount the abilities of the local police. I found the fact that he started investigating as a way to put...
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