Book Review: Ho-Ho-Homicide

Kaitlyn Dunnett, 2014

(Note: Many of the Christmas books I am reading this year have one notable thing in common -- they were all cheap or free on Kindle some time in the last few years. No other qualifications.)

Premise: When Liss’ old friend Gina blows into town with a request concerning an inherited Christmas tree farm, Liss thinks it’s a good opportunity for a casual vacation. It’s been years since she stumbled into a murder investigation, after all.

This is a perfectly serviceable mystery novel. The characters are fine, the writing is good, the plot is interesting even though the villains are too obvious.

The best part is the fact that it is set on a Christmas tree farm.

It actually takes place in late November, and Liss and her husband are tasked with figuring out whether Gina can turn a profit that year, and eventually with figuring out what happened to the previous owner and an unknown man killed on the property years ago. Some of the minutia of growing and selling trees is addressed. I enjoyed the minor character Andy, a young woman who used to work there as a teenager, who has been caring for the farm while no one lived there.

Everything else is just another cozy mystery - people who dislike the main character are villains, quirky small town characters are mostly who they appear to be, and the main characters all espouse the modern middle-class values of the author.

Liss’ husband even is modeled after the author’s husband, to the point of building the same kind of custom jigsaw puzzle tables. From the book, I thought these were inlaid with puzzle patterns, but they are actually tables specifically for doing puzzles on. Okay, I guess there’s a market for almost everything.

It’s an enjoyable way to spend a few hours, but not much more.

2 Stars - An Okay Book