Silent Night, Deadly Night
Year Round Christmas Mystery #4
By Vicki Delany
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
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. (Goodreads)
The week before Thanksgiving in a year round Christmas town brings steady business, but it is also the “quiet before the storm” when the Holiday madness descends. Merry is excited for Thanksgiving, but first she must get through her retired opera singer mother’s college friends’ reunion weekend. Merry is surprised at how varied the friends are when they come into her shop but even more shocked when the spiteful, insinuating barbs begin to fly among the women. Things go from bad to worse when one of Aline’s guests dies, and everyone becomes a suspect. Rudolph is like most small towns and rumors about Merry’s parents’ involvement in the death spread like wildfire. A newcomer to town seizes the opportunity to unseat Merry’s father from his council position, and, more importantly, his role as the town’s Santa. Merry does all she can to save her family’s reputation and get to the truth.
I really enjoy this entertaining cozy series, and author Vicki Delany does a great job of making the Christmas themed town relevant no matter the season without it becoming too cutesy or a caricature of the holiday. Plus, the Christmas theme brings a constant undercurrent of happiness and celebration to the backdrop.
The characters are well developed and compelling, even those that are certainly unlikable. In Silent Night, Deadly Night, several new characters are introduced all at once, and I was initially worried that I would get them confused with one another, but each one is so individual, and Delany defines them well and quickly. Of the college friends, Rose, is the bright spot in this group of friends that are not really friends at all. Merry’s parents are prominently featured in this story, and I adore them. They are such opposites and so much fun. Merry is an insightful amateur sleuth, likable and relatable. And, of course, Merry’s dog Matterhorn is the best sidekick.
The victim’s cause of death is no surprise (in fact, this is the second book in a row I have read that utilizes it), but it fits well into the story and with the characters. The murder takes place in Merry’s parents’ house, instantly making me feel invested in the who and why of the mystery. The motives of the suspects are slowly revealed until Merry figures it all out, leading to a satisfying conclusion. The book moves along at a steady, quick pace.
Silent Night, Deadly Night is a worthy addition to the Year-Round Christmas series, and I look forward to many, many more adventures with Merry and crew. I highly recommend this book.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*