Saturday, December 24, 2022

December Read: Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O'Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart


I picked this up last minute at the library as I was reshelving new books and just finished it a few minutes ago, on Christmas Eve. Just before I turn on the tree and start preparing our eats for the evening. 

This is three cozy mystery short stories, all centered around a scarf or yarn as the murder weapon. I haven't read any of the authors; but quickly understood each story was part of cozy mystery series: the Irish Village Mystery series; the Country Store Mysteries, and the Knit & Nibble Mysteries. I didn't have any issues diving into each short story and catching up pretty quickly on characters. 

Christmas Scarf Murder takes place in Ireland. A retirement community is rocked by some unusual robberies just two weeks before Christmas, and in the course of investigating, married police officers Siobhan and Macdara get involved in a murder of one of the suspects--caused by a scarf wrapped around his neck becoming entangled in a tractor wheel. There's lots of suspects for sure, and two mysteries to solve: who stole from the retirement home, and why? And who killed Michael? Are the two connected? Travel to Ireland for the holiday season with this enjoyable mystery that has a twist or two.

Scarfed Down by Maddie Day features Robbie Jordan, owner of Pans 'N Pancakes restaurant in Indiana. Christmas is just a short few days away, and Robbie's Aunt is implicated in the murder of a local knitter who was poisoned by yarn. Yes, poisoned by yarn soaked in a toxic chemical deadly to human skin. Robbie's Aunt Adele raises her own sheep and produces special yarn from their wool; Robbie sells the yarn in her small gift shop at her restaurant. Who would want to kill Vicky, and in such a cruel way? As Robbie keeps busy at her restaurant, she's trying to put the pieces together, knowing Adele's future is on the line if she doesn't figure out who put the poison on the yarn. This was a fun mystery that was chock full of tasty food, lovely folks, and a clever who-done-it. 

Finally, there is Death by Christmas Scarf by Peggy Ehrhart. It takes place in New Jersey, and involves a knitting group that is tied to a recent murder just days before Christmas. The group knitted scarves for an auction to support the local library, and one of those scarves was a murder weapon used to kill local sour puss Carys. The winner of the auction for that scarf, Laurel, is hauled into the police station and arrested for murder--she found Carys and her explanation that she didn't pick up the scarf at the auction falls on deaf ears. Now Pamela and her best friend Bettina are determined to discover just who is behind the murder of Carys and why. 

Full of, yes, again, delicious food, good friends, and small town holiday feels, this is another interesting cozy mystery that will keep you guessing. 

I enjoyed all three mysteries, and was really happy to read short stories over the last day--easy to put down in between cooking, running errands, and braving the wind and blizzard! 

Rating: 4/6 for entertaining short cozy mysteries that were perfect to read leading up to Christmas Eve. You don't have to be familiar with these authors or their cozy mystery series to read these; you may just find another author to read!

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio.

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