I had read the first two of this series last year before Christmas (prior to starting this blog) and boy, was it hard to resist reading this one since it came out not too terribly long afterwards. I purposely saved it for July and as it turned out, one of the Facebook book clubs picked it for the July discussion this weekend.
This is the third book in the Year-Round Christmas series by well-known author Vicki Delaney. She also writes the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series that I’ve reviewed on the blog, all first three of them. I love the idea of Christmas anytime but the proverbial Christmas in July is well-celebrated in the town of Rudolph, NY in the series.
My Goodreads review:
Hark the Herald Angels Slay by Vicki Delany
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What an awesome book to read for a July book club discussion, perfect for Christmas in July, which is exactly what the town of Rudolph, NY was celebrating, only to have it interrupted by a murder that takes place (again) in Merry’s shop, Mrs. Claus’s Treasures. This time she definitely has an alibi, the detective on the case personally saw her at the beach when Santa arrived by boat (her dad, Noel).
Merry’s ex-fiance, Max Folger, was in town with some of the employees from the magazine where Merry used to work. Max has another agenda though–he wanted to talk Merry into getting back with him despite the fact that his fiancee, Erica Johnstone, who happened to be granddaughter to the magazine owner, Jennifer, was planning the wedding of the season. After finding Max in her shop, Merry could only think that someone from the magazine must have had it in for him, and she actually got to eventually work a little with Detective Diane Simmonds, who unlike the local police officer, Candy Campbell, respected Merry’s thoughts on the case. Merry’s main employee went missing at the time of the murder, which was a big reason why Merry wanted to be on the case.
I had my suspicions about the killer but there was a good twist and I was off base quite a bit. Everything worked out and Erica honestly became somewhat likable. She and her grandmother came to an understanding about the magazine as well. I love how Merry could feel kindness toward the woman who had stolen Max from her, but possibly she thought of it as Erica doing her a favor, seeing how things turned out. I was glad that Merry finally felt she could move on and allowed Alan into her life more. I’m anxious to see what the next book brings! This series just continues to get better and better.