26 January 2011

CANDY CANE MURDER (a compilation of stories) by JOANNE FLUKE, LAURA LEVINE, AND LESLIE MEIER

 am no stranger to the cozy mystery. Some of my favorite series are in this genre, but I had never read anything by any of the authors listed in the compilation. In addition, I usually don't read "holiday" theme books. This compilation was good, though. I liked all three stories, to varying degrees. 

Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke 

This was my first Joanne Fluke story, who I have heard compared to Diane Mott Davidson. One of my favorite cozy mystery writer. I totally agree with this comparison. There are may similarities between the two series. In addition to the type of mystery, the fact that both main characters cook for a living and solve crimes as a hobby. Both sets of books include recipes that you can make yourself. Both main characters are have a romantic relationship with a local law enforcement character. As such, this story was both a comfortable read and familiar at the same time. I gave it 3 stars. 

The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine. 

This story was also the typical cozy mystery, but more in the Stephanie Plum vain. Unfortunately, I did not like this story as much. The main character was a little too brash. While I don't mind characters with caustic personalities, I felt that this characters personality was too over the top. I did enjoy the surprise as to who was the murderer, and the main characters dealing with the troubled teen, but not enough to redeem the story. I gave this one 2 stars. 

Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier 

I actually liked this story the best of the three. I liked the "city girl turned country girl" main character. I liked her family situation, a young mother, but mostly I liked the historical aspect to this story. In this one, the protagonist had to dig back into future generations to solve the mystery. It was fun to hear a bit about the area an