Monday, February 15, 2010



Title: The Christmas Cookie Killer
Series: A Fresh-Baked Mystery
Author: Livia J. Washburn
Publisher: NAL Trade (September 30, 2008)

It's Christmastime, and in Weatherford, Texas, it means that the neighborly cookie exchange is in full swing. Yet the cookie crumbles when retired teacher, Phyllis Newsom, delivers some cookies to her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Simmons. Shortly after the cookies are delivered, Mrs. Simmons is murdered, and Phyllis is knocked unconscious. The amateur sleuth finds a hard case to solve and more about her neighbors than she cares to know in this cozy mystery.

Livia J. Washburn's The Christmas Cookie Killer is an enjoyable cozy mystery.. The reader is left with enough clues to figure out who might have committed the crime, although I was still surprised to find exactly who did the deed. The writing style is simple. I felt that the point of view should have stayed with Phyllis Newsom to make a stronger novel, but Ms. Washburn used Phyllis's son, Deputy Mike Newsom, to tell part of the story. Overall, I enjoyed the mystery novel, and Ms. Washburn definitely captured the Christmas spirit with the delectable talk of food (and recipes in the back of the book...yum, yum!). Although, I think the reader learned that we know nothing about our neighbors behind closed doors. This novel is definitely for those that enjoy lighter mystery novels.

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