"Merry Christmas Murder" A Merry Wrath Mysteries novella by Leslie Langtry: Review/Giveaway

Review by Becky Sue Epstein

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book and a link to purchase it.How appropriate that this light holiday novella should begin with a blood-curdling Christmas card from The Hyena of Death in Turkmenistan – where she will hopefully remain until long after readers have enjoyed this holiday-themed, short chapter in the delightfully improbable exploits of amateur sleuth Merry Wrath.
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Image Source Gemma Halliday
Not that long ago, Merry returned to her hometown of Who’s There, Iowa, after her CIA cover was blown and she was forced to retire while only in her 30s. Instead of drifting aimlessly through life, she was immediately co-opted by her childhood best friend into co-leading a girl scout troop. Only, the tween aged troop eagerly devours – and practices – any covert training Merry happens to provide.

 In this novella, the girls decide to have an innocent-seeming holiday lights competition for all the residents and businesses in town. (The troop’s motivation is the one thing the author could have improved by making the contest an educational” experience - so many cultures in the world have festivals of lights!)

Of course, there is a murdered man tied up in holiday lights. In this case, the victim is found at the home of Merry and her husband Rex, a police detective.

Was the murdered man someone from Merry’s CIA past? How did a ladder mysteriously disappear, stranding Merry on the roof in freezing weather? Did one of the girl scouts somehow force the town’s beloved dentist to retire? Would the problem of not having a town dentist to put braces on their children’s teeth drive certain parents to a murderous frenzy? These and many other questions must be asked and answered before Merry solves the case.

Along with other red herrings, the animals in the cast also create their own brands of mini-havoc, including Officer Kevin’s adorable Hamlet” hamsters dressed in their tiny police uniforms, and Philby the cranky cat who accidentally deploys miniature weapons that are used as Christmas tree ornaments.

Significantly for the continuation of the series, a few issues are left to ponder. Among them: though she vehemently denies it, has one of the scouts developed feelings for a real-life boy? Also, will The Hyena of Death show up in Iowa one day? Stay tuned…

To enter to win an ebook copy of Merry Christmas Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "merry christmas murder,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 9, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

While traveling the world and writing about wine and spirits, Becky Sue Epstein read cozy mysteries to relax. One day it occurred to her that she could combine the two pursuits. She recently began to write wine-themed cozy mysteries. Hopefully, her agent will love them.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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