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A Merry Little Murder (A Rhodes to Murder…
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A Merry Little Murder (A Rhodes to Murder Mystery Book One) (edition 2007)

by Mary Welk

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Member:krystalsbooks
Title:A Merry Little Murder (A Rhodes to Murder Mystery Book One)
Authors:Mary Welk
Info:Echelon Press (2007), Paperback, 260 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:DONE

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A Merry Little Murder by Mary Welk

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Review: A Merry Little Murder by Mary Welk.

This was an interesting mystery. The plot was intriguing and many amazing characters. I have to admit a few more characters than the story needed. The reader had to pay attention or the characters get confusing. I glad to see the author used an older women and a male friend who seemed like a mysterious character himself throughout the book as secretive investigators. It seemed more on the line of an Agatha Christi mystery.

Cari Rhodes, a recent widow who witnessed her husband run down by a hit-and-run driver just moved to a small town in Illinois to be closer to her son and daughter-in-law. The story begins Two weeks before Christmas with an unexpected bombing in a psychiatric ward of the hospital during the trimming of the Christmas tree which is an important event to lift up the patients spirits. Cari was there that day because she worked a few hours a week caring for patients. The other nurses were squabbling about how to decorate and who was better at certain things than others while also trying to get the patients involved in the activity. Finally the trimming was done, nurses and patients moving in and out of the room and asking who was going to plug in the lights. They ended up choosing a very hesitant patient who eventually reach low and behind the tree to plug in the lights…Boooom!!

A few patients, nurses and an aide died. Cari escaped with only scratches as she was far enough away from the point of explosion. That part of the hospital was closed off and an investigation was started. Who would want someone dead or carry revenge towards the hospital for some reason? There were plenty of questions but no answers. They did agree that their old tree was damaged and couldn’t be used anymore. But before they could look for another one, a brand new tree in a box was delivered to the psychiatric ward, unanimously and at the time no one gave it a second thought…..

Cari and Carl a local professor who also doubles as Santa Claus for the small town decided to do some investigating on their own. The small town was well known local people who knew one another and everyone’s agenda. So, when Carl and Cari started talking and asking questions as just everyday general information of curiosity they shuffled a few feathers with some local older residents. They started accumulating information that was helpful to the reason for the bombing and were close to putting it all together. They needed and wanted to get through the festivities before they brought their findings to the police.

During the Christmas outdoor festivities the town has every year the atmosphere started to hover over the town as a dense thick fog of tension and apprehension throughout the parade and Christmas caroling. Cari lost sight of Carl who was Santa Claus and moved furtively through the crowd to find him. She had a feeling she was being followed. Did Cari find Carl before someone got to her…???
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
Great plot twists! I never saw the murderer coming. Great engaging story line. ( )
  krystalsbooks | Dec 16, 2012 |
The Christmas season is rocked with an explosion in the psychiatric unit of St. Anne Hospital, where our heroine, Caroline Rhodes, R.N., works part-time. She’s not injured, but seven others – six patients and a student nurse -- are killed. When the cop assigned to the case discovers Caroline’s own history of hospitalization for psychiatric illness, he believes that makes her a top suspect.

The “celebrity” that comes with being, at the very least, a witness to such a crime garners Caroline an invitation to a party at Bruck University, where she holds down a full-time job as the nursing dorm mother. There she meets Professor Carl Atwater, who looks like Santa Claus – all 300+ pounds of him. The two wind up joining forces to solve the crime and exonerate Caroline.

It seems implausible that anyone would classify the brutal murders of seven people as a “merry little murder,” so I thought the title of this book was quite inappropriate. Although the two main characters make a compelling sleuthing duo, the book’s flaws negate some of that likeability.

Folks who live in small towns are often interconnected, but I thought the degree of connectedness in Rhineburg was tough to believe. Silly, little errors I thought would be absent in a book that’s a revised second edition often distracted from the story. Plus the last two chapters – which followed the resolution of the main crime -- seemed anti-climactic. I’m a big fan of holiday mysteries, but A Merry Little Murder won’t make it to my list of favorites.

*Previously published as A Deadly Little Christmas in 1998.

Review based on publisher- or author-provided review copy. ( )
  NewsieQ | Jan 27, 2011 |
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