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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Winter Murderland: Psychic Sleuths and Talking Dogs by Max Parrott is the sixth book in the Jaz and Luffy Cozy Mystery series. Jaz and Luffy have a new adventure with another murder to solve but this time they have their own business. Jaz has made her dream a reality by opening a private detective agency and word of their previous cases has gotten out so the owner of a themed festival business asks for her help. It's Christmas and a winter carnival is the place to be in the town of Blackwood Cove. It should be a magical time for everyone, but Peter Rockwell has a problem that he doesn't want to get out to the public - a stuntman was found dead. This may be one of her stranger cases as the dead man was found with frostbite despite being indoors. This is the perfect first official case for Jaz and Luffy to solve with the help of their friend, Brandon, and to save Winter Wonderland.
Jaz and Luffy never fail to win as a delightful duo and the previous installments have led up to them getting their official private detective business with their first case. They've spent the last few books building up their reputation by using their wit, curiosity, and unique capabilities to help the cops solve murders and catch killers. The series as a whole is charming and lighthearted with the endearing duo of Jaz and Luffy bringing humor and heart. Their first break comes when Peter Rockwell needs their help to solve a murder without the public eye and to save the Winter Wonderland festival. The story weaves winter-themed elements throughout with a stunning winter carnival as a background and a matching murder that involves frostbite.
Max Parrott is well-known for a witty writing style and a seamless capture of the canine personality with Luffy's huffiness and constant commentary. Each mystery has contributed to Jaz's growth and independence by going away to college and chasing killers. Her business offers her the opportunity to explore a new stage of her independence and the tone of the mystery feels like a new beginning for her future. Luffy is her main partner but she gets help from Brandon throughout and this reinstates their connection which has always been rooted in friendship. Winter Murderland has a fun winter-themed carnival in the background, a mysterious murder, a charming tone, and a strong sense of humor.