To close out the 2014 Christmas mysteries – here are the actual books – not anthologies – I read.
An old author, still good – Ngaio Marsh – I have no idea how to pronounce her name – was an important writer as I was growing up, still going strong in 1972, when Tied Up in Tinsel was published. The class English manor house on the moors, a Christmas house party, eccentric guests, an artist and her detective husband. And a bunch of convicted murderers as servants. Quite the gathering and a fun read.
Then a much newer mystery, in a series called Home Repair Is Homicide, by Sarah Graves, set on the coast in tiny Eastport, Maine. This one is Wreck the Halls. Graves’ mysteries are so fast paced – usually solved in 2 or 3 days, dashing from one scene to another. Fun, interesting, sufficiently quirky, the protagonist has a good friend, a good looking husband, a challenging ex, a blossoming son, all of whom always play a part in bringing it altogether. Tricky plotting always.
And lastly – a weird book. On Amazon as Six Christmas Murder Mysteries: Miss Tayke Investigates, by Jim Green. The size of a large coloring book, with a bright silver and pink tree on the cover. It took me a while to figure it out. This person writes short e-books of all kinds, maybe 17 big pages for most, and collected these, for some reason, into an actual book. Miss Tayke has two good friends, a gay couple continuously arguing. They all go from a party at the parsonage to a gathering at Miss Tayke’s, where murder abounds in their village. Once I understood the (stock and predictable) characters and the nature of the book / stories, this was fairly fun. There are pages of other books in the series listed in the back.
And so another year is complete!