It’s always Christmas in Rudolph, New York, and Merry Wilkinson likes it that way. But a murder and a string of small fires around town has Merry worrying there is a Grinch among her friends and neighbors, and it’s up to her to save Christmas.
Published: November 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Berkley Mystery
Pages: 294 (Paperback)
Series: A Year-Round Christmas Mystery #1
“‘Someone wants to cause trouble in Rudolph,’ I said. ‘And they’re not keeping quiet about it,’ Russ added.”
In Rudolph, New York, it’s Christmastime all year long. But this December, while the snow-lined streets seem merry and bright, a murder is about to ruin everyone’s holiday cheer…
As the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That’s why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoe-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry’s float is sabotaged, she has to face facts: there’s a Scrooge in Christmas Town.
Merry isn’t ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph’s Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter’s body on a late night dog walk—and police suspect he was poisoned by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicky—Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who’s really been grinching about town, before Vicky ends up on Santa’s naughty list…
“‘…everyone at town hall is on edge. They’re all waiting for something else to happen. And I think it just did.'”
This book seemed perfect; a sweet little town up North where the hot cocoa is thick and the snow is thicker, where Christmas is the most important aspect of the town and everyone is holly jolly year-round, throw in a poisoned gingerbread cookie and a murdered journalist and I was all in.While this book had all those aspects I was so looking forward to, I just felt it was a little bland. I liked the book, it was okay, but there was nothing special about it that had me on the edge of my seat and flipping pages faster than usual.
I didn’t really like any of the main characters, and that’s probably why I didn’t like it as much as I could have. Merry wasn’t fun as a main character, to be honest she was rather boring. To me it didn’t seem like she was sleuthing throughout the book, she would just ask a lot of questions and make some theories, but she never went out of her way to investigate anything. It was weird because it was as though we came right in the middle of her romance with her two love interests, Russ and Alan, and she was dating both right off the bat. It wasn’t like there was a building of the romance between the two, it really was like she had two boyfriends.
The side characters weren’t much better, and to be honest the only person I really liked was Mattie, the dog. That may seem a little harsh, but what I mean is that I didn’t really connect with any of the characters, there wasn’t a person who I was wanting to see or hear from.
Now, while I didn’t really feel much for the characters, the plot was pretty interesting. The aspect of little fires springing up around town was super interesting, I haven’t read a mystery before with an arson aspect and it made the whole book seem a little more dangerous and I really enjoyed it. Not to mention the ending was completely unpredictable, and I was worried because I was getting nervous that it would be a predictable ending with a predictable killer, but it was anything but that and I’m so glad. The end of the book really picked up and it changed my outlook on the whole novel, to be quite honest. The last few chapters are what made me want to read the next book.
Trust me, no one is more disappointed than I am that I didn’t love this. I was super excited and very sad when I didn’t fall head over heels. I do own the next book in the series and the third came out just last month, so since I own the second book (and the cover is adorable) I will be reading it! I’m hopeful that it’s a little better than the first character wise, I just want to see more out of the lead characters, but I feel certain the plot will deliver and I think that’s enough for now! I’m going to try to read it next month before Winter is over, when I’m still in the holiday spirit!