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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review - Mistletoe and Mayhem

We are jumping into the holiday spirit with another seasonal themed mystery.  Take the time during all your shopping, baking and visiting to kick back and read a good holiday mystery.  Today we visit Edwardian England, hang on.

Author: Kate Kingsbury

Copyright: November 2010 (Berkley Books) 304 pgs

Series: 6th Special Holiday Edition of The Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery

Sensuality: N/A

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical Cozy

Main Character:  Cecily Baxter, Manager of Pennyfoot Country Club

Setting: Edwardian England, during the holidays

Obtained Through: publisher for honest review

Another year and everyone at the Pennyfoot is holding their breath that the holiday curse has been broken and the season will be free of any untimely deaths.  In London the Mayfair Murderer is  attacking young women, but surely everyone is safe in small Badger's End.  

Charlie, one of the footmen is killed when a gargoyle falls from the roof and strikes him dead.  Clearly an accident.  Then the maid, Ellie goes missing.  Something is strange about  the secretive and mysterious guest Mr. J. Mortimer in room #9.  Then the missing maid's shoe is found in the coal shed.  Cecily goes about asking questions and sleuthing while her husband seems preoccupied. 

This holiday themed historical mystery is a nice light read.  It won't disturb your holiday cheer as it manages to maintain plenty of seasonal trappings among the sleuthing.  Nothing gruesome even though murders rack up.  

The Pennyfoot's employees figure into the story as their lives are intertwined with the two who died.  They're brought to life with all their concerns and desires.  The employees also wrap up some romantic themes that continue from the prior books.  I liked the various employee's viewpoints intermingled with Cecily, it brought the reader in for a fulller experience at the Pennyfoot - a sort of 380 view.

Cecily is a kind, imaginative, bright and observant sleuth whom I easily liked.   The plot was interesting and kept me guessing nicely.  The mysterious guest in room #9 was a great touch.  

It delivers a surprise or two along the way and Cecily has a harrowing confrontation with the killer.  There is a cliffhanger ending that has me anxiously waiting for the next book to find out what happens. 

A solid cozy sure to delight with a good mystery and plenty of holiday cheer.

PUMPKIN PIE PUDDING          (Slow Cooker)

1 can solid-pack pumpkin (15 oz.)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
½ cup biscuit/baking mix
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped cream or cool whip, optional

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients.  Coat slow cooker with nonstick spray and pour mixture in.
Cover and cook for 6 to 7 hours until a knife comes out clean from center of pudding.  (6 to 8 servings)  My oblong slow cooker cooks much faster than 6 to 7 hours because the pudding is spread out over a larger surface than the round cooker.  (Any recipe with eggs needs to be started on high for approximately one hour and then turned down.)

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Unknown said...

This sounds like a lovely book for this time of year. I can't wait to try the pudding! Thanks for sharing.

A.F. Heart said...


thanks for the comment. I think this book is nice for those who don't want a "downer" during the holidays. Enjoy!

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