Christmas in July is a big deal in Rudolph, but shop owner Merry Wilkinson has everything under control. She’s got plenty of holiday-themed items to stock the store for tourist season, and her Mrs. Claus costume is at the ready for the festival marking Santa’s arrival by boat at the lakeside town. All these plans go awry, however, when Merry’s former fiancé, Max, shows up to do a spread for the magazine where Merry used to work.
It’s just a matter of time before Max is found dead, and Merry finds all eyes turned to her. She’s not the murderer, of course, but she really wants to know why Max has been murdered, and murdered in HER shop. Max’s new fiancé, Erica, is in town with the magazine staff, and while they are all ordered to stay in town as the investigation ensues, the plan is to continue with plans to photograph the community and Merry’s holiday-themed shop. That all sounds fine, but Merry still has many unanswered questions, and she won’t rest until Max’s murderer is found.
Hark the Herald Angels Slay is a fun, fast-paced holiday mystery that’s not set in the traditional December timeframe, which makes it even more interesting and unique. Merry is a pleasant protagonist, friendly and multi-dimensional and far from boring, and her relationships with other community residents are realistic in the small-town setting. Several different plot twists and turns keep things moving along, and readers will be kept guessing until the very end of the story. The book cover notes that this is “A Year-Round Christmas Mystery” and indeed it is! Winter, spring, summer or fall, this book (and others in the series) is a delightfully cozy mystery, no sweaters or fireplace required!