cover image Christmas Card Murder

Christmas Card Murder

Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Peggy Ehrhart. Kensington, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2822-7

A Christmas card provides the starting point for each of the three entertaining novellas, which star a series protagonist from each of the authors, in this welcome anthology. In the title tale, bestseller Meier’s Lucy Stone, a reporter for the Tinker’s Cove, Maine, Penny Saver, is in the midst of renovating her home when she comes across a decades-old Christmas card addressed to a girl, now a deceased adult, with a disturbing message inside related to a crime. Her quest to discover the story behind the card leads her to revelations about a more recent crime. In “Death of a Christmas Carol,” Hollis echoes the plot of the 1949 film A Letter to Three Wives when Hayley Powell, office manager for the Bar Harbor Island Times, and her two best friends receive a collective Christmas card telling them that one of their husbands has run away with a local temptress. “Death of a Christmas Card Crafter” finds Ehrhart’s Pamela Paterson, founder and mainstay of the Arborville, N.J., Knit and Nibble knitting club, investigating the death of a much-loved art teacher and Christmas card designer. All feature appealing characters and straightforward plots. Cozy readers seeking undemanding escape from real-life holiday hoopla will be satisfied. [em]Agents: (for Meier) Meg Ruley and Christina Hogrebe, Jane Rotrosen Agency; (for Ehrhart) Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Nov.) [/em]