Monday, February 25, 2019

Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery Book 1)

Author:  T.C. Westcott
Genre:   Mystery

Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781732135819
Better Mousetrap Books
330 Pages
$12.99; $4.99 Amazon
November 23, 2018

Tonight, in Christmas Village, a killer is stirring.

Nestled betwixt an opulent garden with meandering footpaths and an ancient grove of plum trees, Plum Cottage Inn is plum-full with lodgers for the Christmas Festival.  There are no vacancies...until one by one the lodgers start dying in inexplicable ways.

Short as a stump, round as a wheel, sweet as a candy cane, and sharp as a whip, Maribel Claus loves a good puzzle.  Can Mrs. Claus solve the mystery and save Christmas?


When a traveling troupe of what seems to be circus performers arrives in town for a winter festival that is over Christmas, one of them is causing a lot of trouble.  In fact, when he turns up dead - on a snowy hill with no footsteps around him it's a puzzle how he died.  But Mrs. Claus is determined to find out the truth, and sets about looking for a killer, before they kill again...

This book doesn't come right out and say it, but we're given the idea that Maribel Claus is "the" Mrs. Claus.  First off, why is the festival right during Christmas week, when "the" Mr. Claus wouldn't be around to enjoy it?  Just wondering about that one...

Anyway, from the name of the troupe I thought at first they might be whalers.  Who ever heard of a circus troupe named "Harpoons"?  That in itself was odd.  But the name of the man who died - Barnaby Snipes - had me rolling my eyes.  Could you find a more dastardly name?  I almost expected to read about him twirling his moustache as he gave an evil laugh.  The characters were cardboard cutouts and had nothing to recommend them.  The conversations were simple and written almost as if they were for children.  Sorry, but that's my opinion. 

At any rate, I found the book boring in the extreme, with nothing to draw me into the story.  The explanations of the deaths didn't seem plausible at all.  Honestly, I got so bored I kept quitting and starting back up again.  All I can say about this book is it's good reading material if you can't sleep.  It will do the job in no time.  Sorry, but I won't read any more by this author.


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