As I close the book on this series, I’m kind of in a quandary as to if I liked this last installment.
Nancy Parra did two good things with this series.
The first was limiting to three installments and the second was to set them in the last three months of the year. Fans of crimozies can get Halloween (well, really October); Thanksgiving and Christmas.
With this being the last in the series, Christmas is coming up faster than Toni Holmes wants it to and while taking an extra day off from her bakery, Baker’s Treat, spends some time at the motel where her best friend, Tasha Wilkes works.
When they see housekeeper Maria crossing the parking lot and nearly collapsing in the lobby, Maria tells them that a man is dead in the bathroom.
Toni goes to the room and calls the police.
After they arrive, Tasha finds out that the room was rented out to Toni’s brother, Tim. As the investigation throughout the book reveals, his name is brought up many times at other motels in town.
When a bag of cocaine is found in Toni’s unlocked garage, the police have reason to believe that Tim has been dealing drugs out of the motels.
Toni vows not to investigate since she’s killing herself by trying to fill Christmas orders and is worried about losing the bakery.
To add to her problems, her cousin Mindy comes to town and has eyes for her potential boyfriend, Brad, yet he and Sam Greenbaum are still competing with one another as to who gets the first date after Toni’s year long rule of not dating.
Of course everything is resolved in the end, but after one of many snowstorms to hit Kansas the last half of the book wasn’t all that great.
Don’t get me wrong but this is a good, quick series, but I think a lot has to do with minor errors that were never fixed.
As an example, Tim has moved out of the house (into his own apartment a month earlier) and Meghan, the bakery assistant, has finals at school. In the second installment, Tim is still living with Toni and Meghan has decided to go to school, since a couple of weeks have passed.
My other complaint comes from Parra’s other short series in which the characters set a time and it’s prefaced as either eight p.m/a.m. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know what they’re talking about!
All in all, this was a fun series with great characters and good plots.