Title: Better Watch Out (A Merry and Bright Handcrafted Mystery #2)
Author: Christina Freeburn
Publication Date: 15 October 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Merry Winters’ divorce is still in question. She’s behind on her crafting orders. She’s also in charge of the Seasons Greetings annual parade. Thanks to Jenna, the line-up for the parade is still pending. With everybody except Jenna’s float at the venue, Merry is losing her patience. Jenna’s float has a naughty list with names and ‘naughty’ deeds.
With just ten minutes to go before the parade starts, Merry makes a startling discovery. She’s helping Norman with his Santa Sleigh float when she finds Jenna in Santa’s sack – dead! As Merry involves herself in the case, she’s threatened. Also, her late ex-husband (probably not her ex-husband as the divorce is still in question) is accused of fraud. The last names in the naughty list are dropping dead. Merry wants to solve the case before the killer puts her name on the list and crosses her off for good.
Better Watch Out is the second book in Christina Freeburn’s Merry and Bright Handcrafted Mysteries. After reading the first book in the series – Not A Creature Was Stirring, I was very much looking forward to reading more of Merry Winters’ adventures. This series is a perfect read for Christmas.
You will fall in love with Merry. A single mom who struggles between her new-found hobby turned profession, a step-daughter, ex-husband and grown-up kids. As the story proceeds, the reader is given a peek into Merry’s thoughts. She is sometimes lost in her past – the memories are too painful and her eyes most fill with tears every time she remembers it. She’s betrayed by those whom she considered close – in this story, it is Rachel, her best friend.
Her divorce situation is a mess. In the first book, Merry found herself in a craft exhibition with her ex-husband Samuel’s dead body tucked under a seat in her RV. And as usual, the spouse is the first suspect. Merry soon learns that she and Samuel weren’t probably divorced because Samuel hadn’t signed the papers. Brett, Merry’s first husband, and her kids’ father offers to help Merry clear her name. They still have feelings for each other but they both know that their relationship can be nothing more than platonic.
There are too many things happening in the story. Merry’s emotions, one of the characters (Eric) threatening her and Cassie (her step-daughter), Rachel’s betrayal, Norman’s wife going through some form of illness, Merry’s mother’s struggle with memory loss, and Jenna’s murder. And this is what I like about this series. Christina Freeburn is an excellent author and Merry and Bright series is proof of it.
Merry and Bright are partners in crafting. They both have an Etsy shop where customers place orders – mostly Christmas decors. The surprising thing about their friendship is that Merry and Bright have known each other for the past 8 years and yet, they haven’t met – not even once!. Not just that, Merry has spoken to Bright just once so far – in the first book where Bright is so worried about Merry being caught up in the murder mess that she gives Merry a call. Though the ladies haven’t met, Bright seems to understand Merry and her sixth sense works just fine. In this story, she asks Merry if she’s caught up in another murder mess – without Merry actually telling her anything about finding a body at the parade.
I am completely in awe of this series and I am looking forward to reading more of Merry and Bright’s adventures. This series is one-of-a-kind and if you love to read cozy mysteries then I recommend you to check out this series.