Joyce and Jim Lavene write wonderful stories, where the mystery and characters keep me coming back for more.
Bonnie Tuttle’s family had come from a small town in Tennessee, but she left to strike out on her own. Now, her new job as a wildlife ranger and her ailing mother have brought her back to Sweet Pepper and Christmas Tree Valley. Small towns can be a bit claustrophobic. Not only does everyone know your name, they know your business.
Some people thought she was stubborn, but she believed she was just determined.
Bonnie and Matthew are drawn together by circumstances and events out of their control.
Her first day, she is forced to deal with a fire, a couple of murders and a snowstorm. She also meets some ghosts. In Sweet Pepper they are accepted as a part of life. They can be helpful, even going so far as to open the door for the ladies. But are they good or bad? Will they help her or hurt her? Could that slight puff of air on your neck be a friendly ghost or your worst nightmare? How about the stuck door? Do they not want you to leave?
She has friends in the animal world. They are drawn to her when in need of help, but will they return the favor when she is in trouble?
Oginali became my favorite character. He is persistent, patient and determined.
I love the Indian mysticism. I am reading about a protector of the animals and earlier I was watching a TV show about their Extinction.
The Native American beliefs and mountain magic make all things seem possible in Bonnie’s world.
If the mystery isn’t enough to chill your bones, Joyce and Jim do a great job of bringing back memories of the need to shovel and plow the snow, scraping the windshield as the car warms up, and the dangerous driving. I do not miss it!
The humorous writing keeps the story light, even though there is plenty of murderous greed to go around.
In case you work up a hunger, we have some delicious Christmas recipes to share.
I received a copy of Murder Fir Christmas by Jim and Joyce Lavene in return for an honest review.