SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT
SERIES: A Year-Round Christmas Mystery #4
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: August 27, 2019
Residents of Rudolph keep the spirit of Christmas alive year-round—but their joy is threatened when a group of grinches visits the town, in the charming fourth installment of the Year-Round Christmas series.
It’s the week before Thanksgiving, and Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is preparing for a weekend reunion of her mother’s college friends. But when the group of women comes into Merry’s shop, Merry is met with frosty attitudes and cold hearts.
The women argue amongst themselves constantly, and the bickering only intensifies after one of the friends is poisoned. With her father’s role as Santa in danger due to his proximity to the crime, Merry will need to use all of her investigative gifts to wrap this mystery up and save Santa and her favorite holiday.
Other Books In This Series
Since I discovered Vicki Delany’s books (including those written as Eva Gates), she has quickly become one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. I always enjoy her layered characters as well as the vivid settings and well-woven plots she creates.
Silent Night, Deadly Night is no exception. It’s the first book I’ve read in this series – and it easily stands alone – but I enjoyed it so much that I am eager to go back and catch up. For starters, a year-round Christmas town? Yes, please! On top of that, a year-round Christmas shop/gift boutique in said Christmas town? Even more yes, please! I enjoyed the peeks at Merry’s inventory (including her Thanksgiving themed items) as well as what the other shops in town are selling and creating.
It’s not all holly and jolly though. There’s some serious tension within the book from a couple of different sources, and Delany excels at making it nearly palpable on the page. First, there’s the 40th-anniversary-college-roommates reunion that Merry’s mom is hosting. It doesn’t take more than a sentence or two for some thick-as-stew tension to clog the air when all five eclectic ladies (plus Merry’s mom Alina) are in the same room. Sniping (subtle and otherwise), jealousy, and cattiness abound. I disliked all five of them, and if I could have, I would have kicked them out for Alina way earlier than she did lol. In addition, in the midst of this reunion-gone-wrong-turned-murder-investigation, there’s a subplot involving Merry’s dad that raised the tension another notch or so.
All of this serves well to keep you riveted to the story, while also providing well-timed wit and coziness to pause the drama when needed. Merry is extremely likable as a protagonist, and her circle of friends and community are as well. Matterhorn “Mattie” – her endearing St. Bernard – is another highlight of this series, and I’d happily dogsit him anytime, on the page or in real life.
Bottom Line: Silent Night, Deadly Night by Vicki Delany is delightful and engaging from start to finish. Well-written and steadily paced, this story offers the reader an infusion of the holiday spirit as well as a layered plot that keeps you on alert. It’s the perfect blend of cozy and mystery, of wit and woe. The setting is vividly defined and inviting, and the characters are easy to love. Cozy fans, if you haven’t discovered this series yet you are missing out!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / love it!
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, the Year Round Christmas mysteries and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series.
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