Thursday, November 15, 2018

A Very Merry Murder Review Tour

It’s December in Copper Bluff, and from hillside to hallowed hall, everyone is merry—or will be as soon as semester break arrives. Students are studying, professors are grading, and Emmeline Prather is anticipating the university-sponsored holiday concert. Friend and colleague Lenny Jenkins will be accompanying the visiting quartet, Jazz Underground, and Em can’t think of a better way to kick-start the holiday season.

But before she can say “Jingle Bell Rock,” trouble arrives at Candlelight Inn, the bed and breakfast where the quartet is staying.  One of the band members dies unexpectedly, and suspicion falls on Em, whose altercation with the man ends with him on the floor. He never recovers, and now she’s worried her reputation might not either.

When Emmeline starts to see parallels between an Agatha Christie novel she’s teaching and the victim, Lenny claims she’s read one too many mysteries. But as the clues unravel, so does the murderer’s patience. Em is close to finding the truth, but will the truth—or the murderer—push her over the edge?  It will take a Christmas miracle to solve this case, but if there’s one thing in surplus this time of year, it’s faith.

Book Three of the Professor Prather Mystery Series

When we were on the highway, the Candlelight Inn safely in the distance, Lenny began to talk. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there. I had no idea that creep would try anything like that.”

“Don’t be. It wasn’t that big of a deal.”

He gave me a look.

“I mean, I know it turned into a big deal when he died, but up until then, I had things under control.”

His hands tightened on the wheel. “Still, it pisses me off.”

“Well, I wouldn’t be too angry. Obviously he got what was coming to him.”

“God, Prather. Don’t say things like that out loud.”

I shrugged. “It’s only us. Granted, Miles was self-centered and arrogant, more than a little caddish with women, but that doesn’t mean I thought he deserved to die. Someone thought so, though. Someone decided to give him what they saw as his comeuppance. I just wonder who.”

“I’m going to pretend I didn’t just hear you say that.”

“What? You think he just died suddenly at the ripe old age of fifty-something? Obviously, this is murder.”

“Come on, Em. It’s Christmas.”

I looked out the window at the white snow covering the fields. “A very merry murder, then.”

My Review:
3 stars

To start, while this story does work as a standalone mystery, I would recommend reading the first two books in the series in order to understand the characters. Now that that’s out of the way…

I still enjoyed reading it, even if I was missing character details from previous books. The mystery was a tad predicable, and I figured out whodunit before the reveal. Nevertheless, it was still a fun mystery to solve, and with plenty of cozy moments and laugh out loud dialogue to boot.

The only downside was the pacing. Inane details and events would drag on and on, and it didn’t quite jive with the mystery (especially with Emmeline being the prime suspect, you’d think it’d be more suspenseful and faster paced). Aside from that, this was a fun cozy mystery just in time for the holidays.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather academic mystery series, which has been called “enjoyable” and “clever” by Publishers Weekly. She is also an educator and has taught English and humanities at South Dakota’s public and private universities for over ten years. When Mary isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. For more information about Mary or the series, go to

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Buy Links:
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1 comment:

  1. Do you have any reading or writing plans over the holiday weekend?