Title: Hollyberry Homicide (A Berry Basket Mystery #5)
Author: Sharon Farrow
Published on: 29 September 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Hollyberry Homicide is the fifth book in A Berry Basket Mystery series by Sharon Farrow.
Jacob Marley is dead. Um, he’s been dead for a century and a half now… Everett Hostetter, the man playing the role of Jacob Marley in the county’s A Christmas Carol play is found dead in the museum. Hostetter was 95 so there is no doubt he died of old age.
The rumour is that the play is cursed. First Hostetter dies and soon, another actor is hospitalized with a burst appendix, and then comes an accident on set which is followed by another crime or two. This, after all, might not be just a coincidence or a curse…
Hollyberry Homicide can be read as a standalone but I recommend to start from the first book of this series. The simple reason is this: we are given a little background on the main characters of the series but to understand how these friends (and foes) etched their presence in the series, we have to start from the beginning.
Natasha, Marlee’s tenant, is a hoot. The references to her life spent in Russia and her obsession for furs and food knows no limit. Meanwhile, Suzanne, the person in-charge of the play is rude and short-fused. And so is Piper, the wife of the mayor. These two ladies are downright rude with Marlee and I couldn’t understand why Marlee doesn’t give back left, right and center. At times I felt Marlee was being bullied into something she had no interest in.
The mystery behind Everett’s death turns murkier when Marlee finds a clue suggesting there’s more to the old man’s past than what she knows. Not just that, she has a reason to believe the old man was killed. Three major suspects in Marlee’s list – all three of them were related to the victim.
A Christmas themed cozy mystery is incomplete without a mention or two (or hundred) of delicious baked goodies and berry flavored hot chocolate. (Yum!) Marlee’s berry themed goodies is certainly the main attraction of this series. Did I mention berry flavored hot chocolate? Yes, I did. 😀
The identity of the perpetrator was not as surprising as I expected it to be. But this has got to do with the fact that we were given clues about the relationship they have with towns-peeps.
Hollyberry Homicide by Sharon Farrow is an entertaining and engaging Christmas-themed read.
Many thanks to Lori for the blog tour invite.