Camel Press (2018)
Reviewed by Cathleen Stout for Reader Views (10/18)
I was thrilled to have found “A Very Merry Murder,” by Mary Angela. This is a perfect cozy mystery to curl up with on a cold winter’s night. The storyline is a page turner from the first chapter to the last and the reader will be pleasantly surprised with climactic suspense.
The main character, Emmeline, is a college professor that teaches English and solves mysteries as an amateur sleuth on the side. The setting of the story is in a small town called Copper Bluff, South Dakota. A picture-perfect Hallmark Christmas card scene is laid out and the holidays are in full swing in the little college town until an unexpected murder of a musician at a B&B spoils the festive mood. Emmeline is suspected of the murder and as the holidays approach, she is frantically trying to clear her name.
I was amazed at how well the author was able to depict the setting with such detail. Readers will feel as if I they were walking down Oxford Street in the snow as they look in the quaint town shops decorated for the holidays. I felt a butterflies-in-your-stomach type of nervousness, as Emmeline was trying to clear her name. I honestly did not know who the killer was until the last chapter and was completely surprised in the way the suspect was revealed.
I absolutely loved the choice for the main character. The author could not have picked a more perfect sleuth, Emmeline, as an avid mystery reader and professor of English Literature. With her vast knowledge she is able to unravel the clues and put together a motive no one else can see
The only thing I would have changed is that I would like to have read the first two books in the Professor Prather Mystery Series before reading this one, so that I could get a better understanding of the development of the characters from the previous stories. I highly recommend “A Very Merry Murder” by Mary Angela to all fans of cozy mysteries.