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Candy Cane Murder

Joanne Fluke, Author, Leslie Meier, Author, Laura Levine, Author
Joanne Fluke, Author, Leslie Meier, Author, Laura Levine, Author . Kensington $16 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7582-2198-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 429 pages - 978-0-7582-7689-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 429 pages - 978-0-7582-2199-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-7582-7462-5
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Three big-name cozy writers contribute candy cane–themed novellas to this entertaining yuletide anthology. Levine's series heroine Jaine Austen (Death by Pantyhose , etc.) spots a wealthy suburbanite's killer in the unfortunately skimpy “The Danger of Candy Canes,” where the subplot about a troubled teen is more compelling than the actual mystery. Hannah Swensen (Key Lime Pie Murder , etc.) experiments with new Christmas cookies (recipes included, of course) and gets to the bottom of a Santa slaying in Fluke's complex “Candy Cane Murder,” which includes several plausible suspects and a surprising twist—an impressive feat in just 150 pages. Meier's powerful “Candy Canes of Christmas Past” takes heroine Lucy Stone (Bake Sale Murder , etc.) back to December 1983, when, newly arrived in Tinker's Cove, Maine, she found herself investigating the circumstances of a decades-old local death and struggling with her own financial and domestic difficulties. Fluke and Meier ably make up for Levine's shortcomings to create a sweet holiday treat for mystery lovers. (Oct.)

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