19 November 2008

Review: A HOLLY, JOLLY MURDER, Joan Hess

1997, Penguin Putnam, ISBN 9-780525-942405, 265 pages

This is the 11th title in Joan Hess' Claire Malloy series. Claire owns a book shop in Farberville Arkansas. As Christmas approaches, business is rather slow. Then less than a week before Christmas and the Book Depot has a visit from Malthea Hendlerson, an Arch Druid in search of New Age titles. Claire is able to order the books in for her.

Claire's teenage daughter Caron and her friend Inez have found what look like the ideal, well paying, holiday jobs at Santa's Workshop. They will be reindeer assisting in taking Christmas photos of children sitting on Santa's lap. What could be simpler?

Claire's friend Peter, the local police chief, has had to leave town for a few days to deal with a family emergency, and Claire is feeling rather disappointed. But the final few days to Christmas prove to be far from uneventful. Claire is invited by Malthea to be an observer at a winter solstice celebration. Just before dawn, as the ceremony is about to start, an older male member of the Druidic community is found dead, murdered. The subsequent hunt for the murderer reveals that the Druidic community is full of problems.

Just to complicate things Caron's job as Santa's helper turns out to be part of a scam for the unsuspecting.
In the police chief's prolonged absence Claire works with the local officers in finding out the truth about who committed the murder and why.

A HOLLY, JOLLY MURDER is light frothy read, a variant on a cozy, but not one that will send me in desperate search for other titles by Joan Hess. Perhaps you have read a better one??

My rating 3.2

Check more Joan Hess titles at Fantastic Fiction.

1 comment:

Logan Lamech said...

Well it's certainly the right time of year for this one.

Logan Lamech


Blog Widget by LinkWithin