“A Christmas Village Mystery Short”
Maribel Claus is one smart cookie. Pie-baking, puzzle-loving Maribel, lives in the picturesque town of Christmas Village. Currently, the small town’s theater is hosting Wild Willy’s Western World. Featuring acts straight out of the Old West, it’s a popular show.
However, the theater is about to be the scene of a more lively show. A call from her reporter niece appeals to Maribel to come to the theater. It seems that the owner & star, Wild Willy himself, has been murdered. Willy’s death is unnerving enough, but to make matters worse, he’s found dead in a room, locked from the inside. With no visible way for the murderer to have entered then exited the room, blame falls on an ex-con with a lock-picking past.
That seems too neat & tidy for Maribel. But, never one to shy away from a good puzzle, Maribel takes it upon herself to solve the crime.
Although the novella is quite brief, Alex Colwell packs a great mystery into it. I like the concept of the locked door/no way out scenario. It adds an element of tricky thinking on the part of the reader.
Maribel is such an adorable character. It’s impossible to not like her. She has that ‘Grandma’ persona that just feels like you already know her. It’s this endearing quality that really makes her character work. It’s a good, short read for these busy December days. I give it 4 stars.