This book ticked so many boxes, a cozy murder mystery and Christmas – my favourite things, but as I started to read, it all went pear shaped.

The lead character Lucy Stone is married with children and is working herself to a frenzy keeping the house going, cooking up a storm for Christmas, looking after her husband and kids and working nights at a call centre for a catalogue company.

I found this book intensely depressing.  The description of the call centre job was  nothing but soul destroying, then one of their pet cats were killed, which Lucy and her husband casually dismissed (I think that I was more upset about it than they were).  Then Lucy’s mother was coming to stay and there was a long description about her father’s death and how she was coping with it.  In short, there was so much misery that the book gave me a stomach ache and life is too short to read books that do that to you, so I stopped reading it (something that I have only done with two other books). Out of curiosity, I flicked through to the last chapter and found out that I had guessed who the murderer was, so the murder mystery part of the book sucked too.

Some people really like this series, but it was just too much gloom and doom for me.  Blarg.