Monday, May 18, 2009

Review - The Christmas Cookie Murder


Title: The CHRISTMAS COOKIE KILLER
AUTHOR: LIVIA J. WASHBURN
PUBLISHER: PENGUIN
GENRE: CULINARY MYSTERY SERIES
ISBN: 978-0-451-22534-4

It all started with the Christmas Cookie Contest and the annual Christmas Cookie exchange. Retired teacher Phyllis Newsom, has whipped up the perfect Christmas Cookie. Her 'Snowflake Shaped Lime Sugar Cookies', so delicate yet so perfect and like the snowflakes of winter each cookie is orginal. She thinks that maybe this year she might win the cookie contest. Although her neighbor Mrs. Simmons has baked some very nice Gingerdoodles for the contest. At any rate it's all harmless fun, fun until Mrs. Simmons is murdered while Phyllis is hosting the neighborhood cookie exchange right next door.
Phyllis is having a nice time visiting with friends and neighbors and goes to Mrs. Simmons to take her some cookies and that is when Mrs. immons tells her that her family has come home for Christmas. Phyllis is happy because Mrs. Simmons doesn't get out much and hardly ever has any company. But later when she returns with a plate of cookies for Mrs. Simmons, Phyllis finds that her neighbor has been murdered and there are lime snowflake cookies everywhere, her friend was strangled by the robe from her bathrobe. Phyllis tries to find a pair of scissors to cut the robe with and soon she falls, but the worst of it is that someone hits her from behind and she can't help her friend.
Soon things turn chaotic and Phyllis spends time in the hospital. Now it's Phyllis's family and friends who are worried about her. Before long it's apparent that Mrs. Simmons was letting her grandson live in the attic upstairs and that he has more worries than Phyllis does, but try as she might Phyllis can't really see him murdering his grandmother. However the rest of Mrs. Simmons family certainly has motive from money to investments. Of course Phyllis can't rule out that Mrs. Simmons sat in the chair by the window and knew everything that went on in the neighborhood which gives her even more suspects.
Phyllis's boarders Eve, Carolyn and Sam all would like Phyllis to turn the other cheek but soon they are embroiled in her cause to find the truth about what happened to dear sweet Mrs. Simmons. So even though there is Christmas Shopping to do, a turkey to bake and plenty of cookies to go around Phyllis puts on her apron and proceeds to turn up the heat to expose one cold blooded killer.

The CHRISTMAS COOKIE KILLER is a sweet mystery readers treat. With a delicately woven plot and deft pen Livia Washburn has given us the best Christmas Present of all Murder With a Twist and characters that will melt your heart, the recipes will melt in your mouth and you'll be waiting for next mouth watering mystery in this series. She knows how to quench your thurst for murder. *********
Pamela James

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