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Candy Cane Murder    by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine & Leslie Meier order for
Candy Cane Murder
by Joanne Fluke
Order:  USA  Can
Kensington, 2008 (2007)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke, The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine, and Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier chain stories of candy canes together to create a delightful trio of cozy mysteries for the holiday season.

Candy Cane Murder bumps off a pseudo Santa with a pocket full of miniature candy canes, leaving a trail that leads to his body. Bakery owner Hannah Swensen has a problem consuming too many calories. Maybe she thinks chasing down clues to the murderer will reduce the overall count and not make her elf costume any tighter.

The Dangers of Candy Canes outlines the pitfalls of climbing on your roof to put up Christmas lights. One misstep could end your celebrating forever. Jaine Austen is hired to find out who could have loosened roofing tiles to hasten the death of a thoroughly disliked man.

Candy Canes of Christmas Past travels back in time twenty-some years, when Lucy Stone arrives in Tinker's Cove, Maine to begin a new life with her husband and little boy. As that life becomes very cumbersome and the two are about ready to give up and go back to the city, the caring of the small town makes them see Christmas in a different light. And Lucy manages to solve a years' old murder to boot.

These are delightful stories, rich in humor and well developed personalities. All three authors (none newcomers to the mystery scene) help to bring a candied new twist to a well-loved holiday.

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