What do you get when you mix grannies, gangsters, murders, and pastries? Why, it’s The Twelve Suspects of Christmas by Ana T. Drew.
In 1961, Annie Malian and Rene Chantome are in love and secretly engaged. That is until the charming and well-liked Rene commits suicide while facing criminal charges for murdering his roommate.
Annie never believed any of it. Then a surprising postcard turns up in the 84-year-old’s post. She enlists the aid of Rose Tassey, a retired teacher, current doga master, and amateur sleuth, to hunt down the truth in a journey that sends them around the countryside of France and into Monaco. A lot of things may look different, or even feel different like in the case of Annie’s knees, but some things never change.
It’s the Die Hard of cozy Christmas mysteries – an engaging mystery full of intrigue and spies that happens to take place at Christmas rather than a Christmas book that happens to have a mystery. Well, minus all the shooting. There’s really only a couple of knives and a jar of cinnamon.
I was thoroughly dazzled by this quick cozy mystery. I didn’t realize it was part of a series until I started reading it. There are references to other books throughout, but I didn’t feel so much FOMO that I couldn’t enjoy it.
Ana T. Drew manages to do what I wish more cozy mystery authors could achieve. She keeps you guessing with twists and turns despite the short length of the plot. Sure, there are the expected quickly rushed facts that magically appear to help push the plot along to the inevitable conclusion, but it’s packaged in such a well-written, witty way that I really didn’t mind.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a cozy Christmas read for their holiday travel plans. It’s light on suspense and heavy in humor and heart.
Looking for more to read? Check these other reviews out from the MockingOwl contributors and authors.
- Claus, The Legend of the Fat Man
- Humbug, The Unwinding of Ebenezer Scrooge
- Ronin, the Last Reindeer
- Her Dangerous Journey Home
- Murder with Earl Grey Tea
- Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands
- The Boy in the Rain
- The Whalebone Theatre
- Jana Goes Wild
- Thief Liar Lady
- Death by Food Truck, 4 cozy culinary mysteries
- The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip
Katie Daniels is a speech language pathologist in Florida, where she resides with her husband and their pup-child. She has dabbled in professional and personal writing over the years, but only recently began sharing her work with others. She is a proud Florida kid who enjoys meeting new people, seeing new places, and all things related to laughter, travel, faith, Disney, reading, and F.S.U. football. She is easily bribed with donuts or mac ‘n cheese.
She would love to connect on Instagram.