A very cute, very light holiday mystery that starts with a series of silly pranks where a person or persons unknown are filling various places of worship with animals – skunks, snakes, ducks, etc – that eventually turns dark, and then someone is dead and it’s not a joke to anyone. Our protagonist isn’t a professional detective or sleuth for hire. As far as I can tell, she’s just an unashamedly nosy mom. But then, this is book #16 in the Meg Langslow series and there is probably a whole lot more to this character and her history than I was able to grasp in this one short book. Certainly there is a whole history to her extended family dynamics, which come into play throughout the story and bring us a really adorable holiday scene at the conclusion. This does work okay as a standalone, but I suspect the pleasure in it would be enhanced for readers who are already familiar with the series.
Many thanks to Themis-Athena and Murder by Death – I can’t remember which of you recommended this one to me, but you were right, this was a fun antidote to the string of unfinishable holiday-themed books that I kept trying to use to put myself in a holiday mood.
Audiobook, purchased via Audible, with a very good performance by Bernadette Dunn, although I think she does a much better job on all the Shirley Jackson books – maybe she needs that darker material to really sink her teeth into.
I’d have liked to use this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, but I already have books lined up for all the book tasks and I already have a Christmas book for the Holiday Book Joker.