Let me be perfectly honest.
If I were a fictional friend of Suzanne Dietz's, I would definitely end our friendship, for she brings too much murder into the town of Kindred and this is the second Christmas in a row that she's ruined.
During a tech/ dress rehearsal for the Kindred Players production of A Christmas Carol, lawyer Allan Sharp (as Scrooge) is murdered by the Ghost of Christmas Past as Suzanne witnesses the murder. When she realizes that Sharp has been killed, she chases the killer backstage and into the alley where he (or she) disappears after getting a good look at Suzanne.
While Sharp was not a well liked citizen, Suzanne receives a visit from her friend Missy and is asked to help her friend, Amber Payson when she's questioned for Sharp's murder. Since Suzanne helped Missy, she knows that she can also help Amber.
Reluctantly, Suzanne meets with Amber and she finds out that she was a former employee of Sharp's but quit after Sharp kept making advances toward her. It's something that she didn't bring up to Sheriff Doogie.
The ladies at the Cackleberry Club also meet a new minister in town, Ethan Jakes, who appears to have a shady past and had a beef with the deceased. He lives by the Bible and was upset when Sharp wouldn't help get a day of prayer approved in the town.
When Suzanne and her partner, Toni, learn of a cross country fundraiser, the two decide to take a break and ski the snow covered countryside. Since neither are experienced skiers, they're told to follow the trails and they'd see markers and along the way, there would be coffee/hot chocolate stands for a quick break.
They're also told that groups of skiers would be at least five minutes before and after them, but as they go through the woods, they don't see any other skiers and when they finally see a building, they think they're on the right track and think that other skiers are inside getting warm.
They are wrong.
Once inside, the door slams shut and they're locked inside with coffins waiting to be buried in the spring. Toni freaks out and calls her soon to be ex husband, Junior, and he comes to rescue them.
But, Junior is also a suspect in Sharp's murder as he was told to move his trailer (by Sharp) and when it hasn't been moved, it mysteriously catches on fire. Homeless, Toni says that he can move in with her until he finds a place of his own.
As Suzanne gets closer to finding the real killer, she's also wondering if she'll have a Merry Christmas.
For the most part, this installment kind of goes along the lines of the previous installment, since Suzanne and Toni are once again on a trail which end up in the cemetery and while in the cemetery, they're trapped against their will.
I was hoping that this would have been a fairly quick read, but it was kind of slow.
The characters are well developed and again, Child's threw me off the trail of the killer. Out of the previous seven installments, I've only pegged one murderer. I'll give her credit in the red herring department.
It's still a good series, but, I'm hoping for something a little meatier down the line.
Eric Tuchelske (author) from Detroit on April 21, 2021:
The series has been so-so. I had a lapse in reading it for about six years and it was hard to get back into it. There have been two year gaps in between books as well, so, you tend to forget things!
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on April 21, 2021:
It sounds like an interesting book. Just the kind of book I'd enjoy, I think. =)