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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
When someone poisons a man's Christmas gift, a local businesswoman searches for the killer in the delightful sleuth mystery, The Murder Before Christmas by Michele Pariza Wacek. Charlie creates her own tea blends and herbal tinctures and sells them from her home. At times, Charlie mixes infusions and teas for her clients' specific purposes or ailments. When Courtney, a beautiful young pregnant wife, asks her to make her a love potion, Charlie refuses her request. Distraught, Courtney makes a comment about killing her husband, but Charlie quickly passes it off as a weak joke produced by stress. Several weeks later, Courtney's husband dies, and the murder weapon is a bottle of poisoned brandy. Charlie immediately visits Courtney, wondering if she followed through with her idea of murdering her husband. After meeting with Courtney, Charlie believes the girl could be innocent. However, the police have an entirely different opinion about Courtney's guilt. At Courtney's request, Charlie starts looking into the murder. Is Courtney innocent? Or is there someone else who had a motive?
The Murder Before Christmas by Michele Pariza Wacek is a delicious murder mystery that is an absolute delight to read! Set in a small Wisconsin town, the book is an irresistible cozy mystery. The combination of a hometown feel, the pall of murder, the intrigue, and the relatable characters create a suspenseful and engaging storyline. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, Charlie's character is a charming nosy neighbor who is easy to like. It is a sensational story that will thrill everyone who loves an entertaining amateur sleuth novel starring a determined protagonist who always seems to find herself knee-deep in murder.