Malice in Christmas River: Meg Muldoon

A lot of people in Christmas River will be on Santa’s naughty list this year. Newlywed Cinnamon has branched out from piemaker to instructor by offering pie making classes. While waiting to leave for her postpones honeymoon trip, she tries to teach the secrets to baking the perfect pie. However, if we know anything of Christmas River, it’s that nothing stays quiet for long.
During one of her classes, two housewives rekindle their long-simmering feud. Words & pie fly- right in front of a newspaper reporter. Instead of showcasing her pies, the women become the focus. Both are the wives of men running for mayor. Without even trying, Cin ends up smack in the middle of the drama. But, that isn’t her only brush with recent drama.
Kara, her lifelong best friend, hasn’t been herself lately. Distant & moody, Kara seems discontent with everything in her life. Cin thought that finding John was the answer to Kara’s problems; however, Kara’s pushing John away. All Cin knows is she has to get to the bottom of what’s bugging Kara? Even her best friend will have to take a backseat when Daniel, Cinnamon’s husband, is badly injured while patrolling the rodeo.
According to all involved, it was an accident. An unattended bronco got lost & Daniel was caught in its path. While he lays in the hospital, Cinnamon worries that someone intentionally let the horse loose. Being Sheriff can lead to having many enemies. Who could be that upset with Daniel?
This installment in the series has definitely a hodge podge of events. Of the three main events, any of them could be its own plot. It was nice to see the character development of Kara. She’s been the Robin to Cinnamon’s Batman & we knew very little about her. Now, it seems she’ll take a more active role in upcoming books.
Once again, we see the inept police department having to be helped along by the Sheriff’s wife. Daniel is portrayed as, essentially, a one man police force. It concerns me any time I read of our law enforcement community being portrayed as bumpkins. They may not all be roses but they get enough bad press. I don’t know of any officer who’d jump every time his boss’s wife said to jump.
The storyline with the mayoral candidates’ wives was good. In all honesty, it would’ve been the only ‘mystery’ in this book. It really spoke to the ‘malice’ in the title. Both sides were believable & made up a substantial portion of the plot. All in all, it was a decent read with less mystery than simply fiction. It’s a 3 star rating from me.

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