Lucy normally loves planning for the holidays, but this year, Tinker's Cove has fallen on hard times. With so many residents struggling, Christmas festivities are a luxury some can't afford. But the story's not so bleak at Downeast Mortgage, whose tightfisted owners, Jake Marlowe and Ben Scribner, are raking in profits from everyone's misfortune. Half the town is in their debt, so when the miserly Marlowe is murdered, the mourners are few and the suspects are many. Scribner believes Marlowe's ghost has come to warn him of his own demise, and when he starts receiving death threats, Lucy wonders if there's more to the omen than the ravings of a bitter old pinchpenny. Can Lucy solve the case and deck the halls before the killer strikes again?
"...engaging..." (Publishers Weekly)
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Very good cozy mystery
Not cozy enough.
Maybe. This was the 20th in a very popular series and I don't want to judge the others by a late entry.
She could have made the story less grim. I enjoy the notion of “Christmas cozies” and try to read two or three of them during the holidays. I say “notion” because they are usually better in the abstract than the realization, and I’m often disappointed. They’re intended to be nothing more than light holiday entertainment, a pleasant distraction, but even by that low standard, I did not enjoy “The Christmas Carol Murder.” It has some great things going for it: it’s set in a small town in Maine and the plot is an interesting take on the Dickens story. However, it’s decidedly grim. The story is set in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis and the small town of Tinker’s Cover, Maine, is suffering. The author’s concern for victims of an out-of-control banking industry is admirable, but the circumstances are made even darker by the gruesomeness of the murder and the desperation of the characters. “Grim” and “Christmas cozy” do not go together.
She seemed uninteresting and at first, unintelligible. Perhaps it was her rhythm or a poor quality recording, but it took me half an hour of more of listening to her to begin to understand what she was saying.
I admired the author’s topicality and deep felt concern for economic victims, and it may work better as a darker murder mystery instead of holiday entertainment.
- Leon Miller