Sunday, December 9, 2012

REST YOU MERRY by Charlotte MacLeod

There are books, and there are books! Charlotte MacLeod’s Rest You Merry has got to be one of the best Christmas cozies on the market. It was a bargain too.

Professor Peter Shandy decorates his home with gauche decorations. He wants to make a statement.

Balaclava Agricultural College has an outlandish Christmas tradition--the Grand Illumination. Student elves run around charging people to carry them on their sleighs. The Grand Illumination involves all kinds of other silly things too.

So Shandy puts up his decorations complete with flashing lights, leering Santas, and reindeer on the roof. Then he leaves town.

When he returns he finds a body.

The victim is a pushy assistant librarian few people like. The local police believe she died in an accident. She had broken into Shandy’s house to disarm his embarrassing display. She fell, hit her head, and ended her life behind Shandy’s couch.

But Shandy doesn’t believe it. He investigates, going to all the wild Grand Illumination activities. There is another accident-murder, and there may have been more.

Along the way, Professor Shandy meets a love interest.

This is one of those stories where almost anybody could have done it. I had some intuitions, not about the culprit, but about what happened. Also, I laughed a lot.

A few years ago, Corey Wilde recommended this book to me. Recently it came up as an inexpensive e-book on Amazon. I jumped at the chance to buy it. 

I see there are other Professor Peter Shandy books in e-books. I plan to try to read those too.

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