Stars: 3 / 5
A Little Yuletide Murder is the 11th book in the Murder, She Wrote series by Donald Bain and fictional writer Jessica Fletcher based on the popular TV Show of the same name. The book was published in 1998.
This time around the plot is set in Jessica's own home town Cabot Cove, Maine. When the entire town is in full-mode planning for the town's famed week of Christmas celebrations, Rory Brent - local farmer who played the role of Santa Claus every year - was found murdered in his barn. Why would Rory be walking off to his barn that was almost half a mile from home with no coat, no hat and gloves in the bitter cold? Sherriff Mort Metzger had confirmed that Rory Brent had been murdered. Who would have had motive to kill him, other than the obvious person, Jake Walther - Jake and Rory had bad blood between them for a long time.
As the Sherriff and Jessica are investigating the crime, the rumor mill of Cabot Cove with its sharp tongue is bent on convicting Jake Walther without a trial only because he had burned quite a few bridges with everyone. But, did he really kill Rory Brent? Did Rory have any other enemies? With enough probable cause, Sherriff Metzger arrests Jake on suspicion of murder. And now Mary reaches out to Jessica for help. Jessica takes it upon herself to help Jake despite her mixed feelings. Will she be able to uncover the truth? Find who really killed Rory? And what is the reason behind all of it?
As usual no matter what Sherriff Mort Metzger might say, Jessica butts her head into the investigation. And she comes up with a series of potential suspects - Robert Brent (Rory's rebellious 18-year old son), Patricia Brent (Rory Brent's wife who had taken the death of Rory rather easily causing eyebrows to rise), Jake Walther (obviously because of the bad blood between Jake and Rory), Mary Walther (Jakes's wife), Dennis Solten (Mary's slow-witted brother), Jill Walther (Jake Walther's daughter)
The plot was essentially a very good one, with lot of complexities tied in. However there are quite a few chapters that go on and on and on about the nature of Jake Walther, the reasons for him to be suspected, etc. It made me feel as though I was living through the rumor mill. It was tiring to read so much of repetitive text. All in all another easy read from this series.
1) Grammatical errors in the book: a. On Pg. 24, para 2, in the last line "Jos. A. Bank" is spelled as "Jos. Bank" - the "A" is missing.