cover image Eggnog Murder

Eggnog Murder

Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross. Kensington, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0447-4

This anthology boasts three terrific tales of yuletide murder in coastal Maine. In bestseller Meier’s title novella, reporter Lucy Stone—featured in 24 full-length mysteries (British Manor Murder, etc.)—must discover who poisoned horrid Dorcas Philpott, write a circulation-boosting story for the Tinker’s Cove Pennysaver, and mediate a hilarious domestic culture clash when daughter Elizabeth returns from Paris, sporting silk scarves and affectations. In Hollis’s “Death by Eggnog,” a Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails mystery, tyrannical librarian Agatha Farnsworth dies in exquisitely awful detail at the Restaurant Association Dinner, first choking on fiery wings made by Hayley’s restaurateur brother, Randy, then suffering anaphylaxis after gulping eggnog mislabeled as nondairy. Julia Snowden, the heroine of five Maine Clambake mysteries (Fogged Inn, etc.), unwittingly brings trouble home to her mother’s for Christmas in Ross’s “Nogged Out,” a creepily convincing tale of tinsel-decked, cookie-scented psychopathology. It’s not just the nog: sparkly writing and emotional depth link this trio of holiday cozies. (Nov.)