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Breaking the Mould: 08/11/20
Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton is the eighth Vintage Kitchen mystery. It's Christmas again and the historical society is getting ready for the annual Dickens Days. This year a family has moved into the house next to where they build the stalls. Evan Nezer, the owner, threatens to sue when the popcorn stand's supports are hammered into his property. That's the first of many run-ins the historical society will have with him until his untimely death.
Nezer leaves behind a wife, an ex-wife, a son, a housekeeper and her son. All of them are awful people in one way or another and one of them is probably the murderer. The basic set up reads like a mixture of two Miranda James mysteries: Classified as Murder (2011) and Six Cats a Slayin' (2018).
Namely it's a mixture of an awful family vs. murder at another Christmas party. But this one suffers from being too Dickensian. Evan Nezer isn't the only one with a similar sounding name to the characters from A Christmas Carol (1843). Each of the major players has a name that's akin to ones in Dickens's novel. The name choices are distracting and unnecessary.