This is one of the most wonderful, charming, interesting, and fun books that I have ever read. I was very satisfied when I finished it. This book is three books in one, by three different authors. All three books are fun, very well-written, clever, and entertaining.
"Candy Cane Murder" by Joanne Fluke:
The first book is by Joanne Fluke. Anybody who reads my reviews knows how crazy I am over the Hannah Swensen series, and this book is no exception.
This book starts out with Hannah at the Christmas party, dressed up as an elf. They are having a dinner and invited the children at the children's home. Hannah has a bucket of miniature candy canes for the children, and is looking forward to making candy cane cookies with the leftovers. When leaving the party, Hannah and her sisters find a miniature candy cane. . . Hannah also finds a body. I will not say more about the candy cane because I do not want to ruin the book.
There are lots of clever clues and fun adventures. The final solving of the mystery is very interesting and clever. And the recipes really look good. On a scale of 1 to 5, a hundred stars would not be enough for Joanne Fluke's part.
"The Dangers of Candy Canes" by Laura Levine:
While putting a huge, decorative neon candy cane on a roof, the person falls off because a shingle is loose. Was the roofer negligant in making sure the shingle was in place, or did someone deliberately loosen the shingle? Jaine is determined to find out. She goes on some interesting investigative adventures until she finds out who did it. The mystery solving was interesting.
This book was fun and funny. I had never read anything by this author before. By itself, this book would definitely have been 5 stars. Actually, a lot more than that. Five stars would not have been enough.
"Candy Canes of Christmas Past" by Leslie Meier:
Lucy, the main character, reflects on her first Christmas in Tinkers Cove, Maine as a young wife and mother. She makes friends with Miss Tilley and Sue Finch (and others). A glass candy cane makes Miss Tilley remember the death of her mother, which was many years ago. I will not say how the candy cane makes her remember, because I do not want to ruin the book for those who haven't read it. Lucy solves her first mystery that year: she solves the mystery of Miss Tilley's mother's death, even though it was many years ago. I enjoyed the mystery solving; it was really clever.
I love the atmosphere of this book. Lucy is taken back in time when she was a struggling new wife and mother. Her little boy, Toby, is sweet and adorable. Their house needs a lot of costly repairs. Even though those times seem hard and bad, those were actually the "good ole days". I know this because I have been reading the Lucy Stone series, and as the series progresses, and the kids get older, and Lucy and her husband are doing better financially, the atmosphere isn't quite as good and sentimental. But this story is more like one of the original books of the series, back when it was one of my favorite series.
On a scale of 1 to 5, a hundred stars are not enough.
This entire book as a whole:
This is one of the best books I've ever read. All 3 novellas were wonderful, clever, fun, interesting, and entertaining. If you like fun, warm, comfortable cozy mysteries, I highly recommend this book.