I decided to go with a mystery Anthology for my second Spirit of Christmas Challenge read. All three of these stories are about established series characters.
Joanne Fluke is the headliner with her bakery owning character Hannah Swensen in Candy Cane Murder. Hannah must solve the murder of department store owner Wayne Bergstrom who is playing Santa Claus. Many people had reason to dislike Wayne, but Hannah solves the case with help from both of her male friends, Norm and Mike. This story is sprinkled with a lot of cookie recipes that sounded absolutely delicious! I did actually figure out who the killer was in this one, much earlier than I normally do, so I was kind of proud of myself!
In The Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine, ad writer Jaine Austen is called in by one of her clients who owns a roofing company, when one of his customers falls to his death from the roof while decorating for Christmas. Jaine discovers many suspects and some unsuspected relationships, all while telling some whopping lies of her own. It almost backfires on her however, as she nearly becomes a victim herself! Jaine's foray as an LA Girlfriend in this one is also funny, a little bit of charity almost gone wrong! I was surprised by the killer in this one!
Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier has her character Lucy Stone remembering a particularly difficult Christmas in her life, before her second child is born and during the renovation of a house that is taking every cent she and Bill had. It seems like anything that can go wrong for her in the house does, but she also discovers what a caring town they have moved to. The mystery in this one is a historical murder, the mother of the town's librarian Miss Tilley. It was never clear if Mrs. Tilley's death was an accident, her daughter has always suspected the worst, and Lucy is able to help her solve the crime. I admit I didn't figure this one out either!
Again I'm having a hard time deciding which story was my favorite, but I think I have to go with Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier. This is the first Lucy Stone character mystery I have read, I was already familiar with of the other characters.
For more information on these authors, check out their websites: