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All For One by Melissa de la Cruz
Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans
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Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
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Death by French Roast by Alex Erickson
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 8 by Ryoko Kui
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Like Home by Louisa Onomé
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
Lullaby For Eggs: A Poem by Betty Bridgman and Elizabeth Orton Jones
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier
Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 3 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
Orsinian Tales by Ursula K. Le Guin
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung
Read or Alive by Nora Page
Rockridge by Robin Wolf and Tom Wolf
Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans by Russell Ginns
Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright

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Mistletoe Murder: 04/07/21

Mistletoe Murder

Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier is the first of the Lucy Stone mystery series. The original title, Mail-Order Murder, makes more sense in the overall context of the novel but also shows at a quick glance just how outdated this story is.

Lucy Stone works the night shift as a mail order company. It's coming up on Christmas so she's extra busy. At home she carries all of the emotional labor in planning the holiday events, decorating, baking, and buying gifts for the children. At work she discovers the founder of her company dead in his car of an apparent suicide.

While this book is packaged as a cozy, especially with the newer title (editions from 1998 onwards), there's a callousness to this book that later cozies lack. Cozy leads remain optimistic whenever possible. When there is a death, even after finding more than one body, the cozy sleuths grieve. Lucy lacks this level of engagement and reminds me more of Kinsey Millhone. The difference, here, is Millhone is a private detective.

Another thing that sets the book apart from a typical cozy is the early, grizzly death of the main character's cat. Cats and cozies go hand in hand. The cat is never harmed, unless it's destiny is to be a helpful ghost cat. This cat is just a dead cat who wasn't well cared for and isn't grieved over. Worse yet, the cat is a plot device to get Lucy in the right spot to learn some key information.

The next book in the series is Tippy Toe Murder (1994).

Three stars

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