Anyone who knows me knows I love Joanne Fluke's series of cozy culinary mysteries. I've even bought a romance anthology because Hannah and Co. were in it. So naturally I had to buy Candy Cane Murder when it came out. As an added bonus, I am also a fan of Laura Levine's series and have always wanted to try Leslie Meier but haven't gotten around to it.
The book consists of three novellas. Each is around 100 pages, although the first looks longer because of the recipes.
"Candy Cane Murder" finds Hannah investigating the death of Santa - sort of. Wayne Bergstrom is found dead in a snow bank after playing the part of a bunch of under priveledged kids. Wayne wasn't well liked, so the suspect list is rather long. As with the series, there are lots of characters, but fans of the series will love getting a chance to catch up with all their favorites.
"The Dangers of Candy Canes" by Laura Levine finds her series star, Jaine Austen, looking into the death of a man who fell from his roof while putting up his Christmas decorations. This story is full of humor, and as a Southern Californian, I recognized some of her depictions of December here.
"Candy Canes of Christmas Past" by Leslie Meier was the weak link. In the story, she flashes back to series protagonist Lucy Stone's first Christmas in the little Maine village she calls home. The problem was the mystery was weak. I liked the characters enough to give them a chance in book form. But I sure hope the ending isn't as bad as this one was.
All told, this book has two good stories to put you in the Christmas mood. And any fan of Joanne and Hannah's will have to have it.
If you'd like more info, check out my full review of Candy Cane Murder at Epinions.