Review: Murder Under the Mistletoe (Maybridge Murder Mysteries #2) by Liz Fielding

Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Joffe Books (November 7, 2023)

From Abby Finch heads to the old church hall armed with mistletoe and holly ready to help decorate in time for the festive season. But she arrives in time to witness a horrifying sight. Edward Marsh reaches to test the antique star at the top of the tree. There’s a fizz and the lights go out.

Abby hears the sickening thud of a body hitting the ground. When the lights turn back on Edward is dead.

It soon becomes clear it was no accident.

The real victim should have been Gregory Tatton, a dapper silver fox, popular with the ladies of the seniors’ lunch club. And a known blackmailer . . .

Abby is desperate to know the truth, but putting herself in danger isn’t on her Christmas list.

Who’s been naughty? Who’s been nice? Who’s hiding the fact they’re a murderer?


My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

There were a few things about this novel that I just couldn't get into. Let's start with the fact that this is book number two in a series. Technically, it can be read as a standalone, but the first book is mentioned a lot in terms of how Abby knows the police force, and her husband being murdered. The second part especially left me slightly confused. Not only were we not given even a basic recap as to who killed her husband and why, you would think that having something like that happen, Abby would have known better to run around town trying to track down a killer on her own. I understand she was personally invested in the case based on her fingerprints being found on some chocolates and some other circumstantial evidence, but she should have at the very least kept her police officer friend Dee appraised of what she suspected. 

Another issue I had with Abby was the way she treated her boyfriend. While it is obvious that he cares for her (and it is revealed that they have a history together from before she was married), the way that she constantly pushes him away, then gets mad when he takes offense got old quickly. Yes, she had been widowed six months prior to that, but it wasn't as though hers had been a happy marriage considering her husband had left her and fathered a child with another woman. Honestly, if her children could come to terms with their father doing that to them, then they certainly could have come to terms with their mother dating again, especially when they were cool enough with him to ask him to bring presents back for them from Italy. 

There was also a long list of characters who, for the most part, blended into one another. Honestly throughout most of the book (even when the killer was revealed) I barely had any idea who one person was over another, and I feel like if they would have narrowed down the list of characters it would have been easier to keep track of who was important to the story and who wasn't. 

Now that being said, I did enjoy the author's writing style, so much so that I may go back and give the first book in the series a try. As it stands now, I would read more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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