We Wish You a Murderous Christmas
Vicki Delany     

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: A Year-Round Christmas Mystery
Book: 2

A grinch is spoiling the holiday cheer and causing fear in the latest from the author of Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen...

It’s Christmastime three hundred sixty-five days a year in Rudolph, New York, and as Christmas Day approaches, shop owner Merry Wilkinson is enjoying a rare evening off at the Yuletide Inn when she runs into owners Grace and Jack Olsen. With Jack's health failing, Merry is relieved to hear that his son Gord will be taking over the day-to-day running of the Inn. 

But then Gord reveals that his new plans have no room for Christmas at the Inn, and Merry and the other shopkeepers start to fret about the effect a bland franchise hotel could have on their livelihoods. 

When Gord is found stabbed to death, there’s an entire town of potential suspects—and it’s up to Merry to find whoever brought homicide home for the holidays...

Christmas Day is coming, but it’s always Christmastime in Rudolph, New York. The town is a popular tourist destination because of the Yuletide cheer all year long. Merry Wilkinson is enjoying a night off from running her own shop to enjoy an evening at the Yuletide Inn. The owners, Jack and Grace Olsen, are friends of her parents. When Jack has a health crisis, his son Gordon steps in to help out. Unfortunately, his actions don’t have anything to do with the best interests of his dad and step-mom. He starts scrimping on ingredients at the restaurant, all but fires the head check, and calls in a budget hotel group to consider making the inn a franchise. Before his plans can go too far, “Gord” is murdered. Gord had a lot of enemies, both old and new, but Merry’s dad Noel, who plays Santa for the town, is the prime suspect. Merry knows her dad is innocent and will not allow “Santa” to go to prison for a crime he didn’t commit!

We Wish You a Murderous Christmas is the second in the Year-Round Christmas series. I’m familiar with author Vicki Delany’s work from her Constable Molly Smith series, but missed the debut in this new series, so I was eager to read this book. The book has a lighter, more humorous tone than the Molly Smith series, which is more a police procedural, than a cozy. However, this new series is just as well-written and has plenty of interesting characters. I was able to easily get to know the main character, Merry, as well as the other residents of the town, even though I missed the prior book.

The set-up for Gord’s murder is perfect as he makes enemies throughout the close-knit town of Rudolph. Merry’s investigation kept my interest and the idea of being able to celebrate Christmas all year round is a fun premise for a series. Merry is a likeable character and the resolution of the murder is satisfying. I enjoyed the book and hope there will be others in this series. Readers who enjoy Vicki Delany’s other books, as well as fans of Shelley Freydont’s Celebration Bay series will enjoy this book. It’s great holiday reading for cozy mystery fans looking for a light, well-written book.

~ Christine