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The Snow White Christmas Cookie: A Berger and Mitry Mystery    by David Handler order for
Snow White Christmas Cookie
by David Handler
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's Christmas in the historic New England village of Dorset, 'the gem of Connecticut's Gold Coast', where trooper Des Mitry ('a lithe, long-limbed, six-feet-one-inch woman of color') and her 'weight challenged Jewish film critic' boyfriend Mitch Berger live - she lovingly calls him Doughboy. They have solved crimes in many previous mysteries, which I unfortunately missed.

Now blizzards and murders strike the area in unison, and there are puzzles a-plenty for the crime-fighting duo to solve. First, Mitch learns that a grinch has been stealing mail from outside boxes on Hank Merrill's postal route. Hank has big-time money problems; is he doing it himself?

Then Bryce Peck (Mitch's blue-blooded neighbor on Big Sister Island) dies of a drug overdose, leaving a suicide note - was he helped? Bryce lived with a lovely, perky life-coach, the much younger Josie Cantro. She and Mitch call each other naybs and jog together regularly, but Des has never trusted her. Is Josie a scam artist or even a black widow?

As Des investigates (hindered by a task force including G-Man Grisky), she finds links to the illegal trafficking of prescription drugs and ties to organized crime. As always, Mitch does his own digging, gets into serious trouble, and needs rescuing.

The Snow White Christmas Cookie is a solid mystery, but what makes it stand out is the charming relationship between the engaging Odd Couple leads, and the steady stream of movie references that the chubby film critic injects into the story.

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