Thursday, December 30, 2021

Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier

Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier
Release Date - September 18, 2018 (first published in 1991)
Publisher Website - Kensington Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 236 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**borrowed from library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
As if baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater for her husband's gift, and making her daughter's angel costume for the church pageant weren't enough things for Lucy Stone's busy Christmas schedule, she's also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers Sam Miller, its very wealthy founder, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, the sleuth in her knows something just doesn't smell right.

Taking time out from her hectic holiday life to find out what really happened, her investigation leads to a backlog of secrets as long as Santa's Christmas Eve route. Lucy is convinced that someone murdered Sam Miller. But who and why? With each harrowing twist she uncovers in this bizarre case, another shocking revelation is exposed. Now, as Christmas draws near and Lucy gets dangerously closer to the truth, she's about to receive a present from Santa she didn't ask for--a killer who won't be satisfied until everyone on his shopping list is dead, including Lucy herself...

The last book for this years #PopCultureResolution ended the event on a bit of a down note. I wanted a cozy mystery that was Christmas or winter themed. I selected this one because it was the first in a series and seems like it fit the vibe I was wanting. This book, however, turned out to not be for me even if some parts were engaging.

The biggest issue I had was the writing style. I did not mesh with the way this book was written and that made it even harder for me to become engaged in the story. It felt like a lot of the writing was telling me the story instead of showing me the story or the characters. It's a simple, straightforward writing style that can work if your plot is tight, but in this case it didn't come together the way it should have.

The second aspect that didn't work for me was the mystery itself. It certainly has a good set up and could have been a decent premise for a mystery to revolve around. It ultimately results in an unsatisfying ending that almost makes the mystery secondary to other elements of the plot. It also felt like the ending was rushed so that that storyline could be resolved quickly at the end. There, for me, didn't seem to be anything you could sleuth or discover as the storyline went along. It didn't make for mystery that would keep the reader invested.

Some positives were the original setup. The very beginning of the novel starts out on a promising note and offers a believable premise for our heroine to get involved with the mystery. That potential, sadly, didn't last long for me. The other element. I also enjoyed some of the office interactions that Lucy has with her coworkers. It felt fun, gossipy, and one of the more natural elements of the story.

This book is nice and short. It does have a breezy pace due to both it's writing style and length. It's not much a time commitment but even that didn't make up for the unsatisfying reading experience I ultimately got in the end.

There is a death of an animal in this novel (the main character's cat) and I was pretty shocked at the dismissive attitude the main character had to this event. It felt a little jarring and brushed aside far too quickly. It you have issues with animals being harmed in novels this one might be especially upsetting due to the way it is handled.

This book was not my personal favourite, but this author has plenty of other novels both in this series and in general, that seem to be popular. I don't think I would read another one, but there are obviously people with a different opinion than mine. I think there are more compelling and worthy mystery reads out that to spend your time on.

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