The cookies are baked. The tree is trimmed. The shopping? Well, it's almost done, and Fiona's parents have finally returned home for a holiday visit - along with some unexpected unruly friends. Yep, Fiona's perfectly planned Christmas is coming together, but how could've she planned for her favorite uncle's murder? Who could possibly kill a sweet old man who's played Santa at the local mall every year without fail? Fiona's boyfriend, Detective Nathan Landry, is determined to find out - before Christmas day arrives. There's only one problem: Nancy Quinn. Fiona's mom is just as determined as the detective to catch the murderer, and she isn't shy about getting the job done - even if it includes breaking a few pesky laws! Will Fiona and her mother find the killer first or will the killer find them?
I meant to keep this book for my Christmas binge but in the end, I couldn't resist having Christmas in July. This book is enjoyable any time of the year. Once again Fiona finds things spiralling out of control, despite her best-laid plans. This time, her family are involved in her Christmas catastrophe. These books are cleverly written with a delightfully light touch and despite the subject matter, full of humour. I cringed for Fiona when her boyfriend Nathan came to dinner with the family, which is just one example of a story filled with scenes that will make you laugh as you realise it is exactly what your own family would have done. Hearing Fiona's thoughts makes you warm to her and understand her reactions. She is a very likeable character. Her Kindergarten class feature more in this story and are another source of humour. The plot is well worked out and keeps you guessing to the end as Fiona stumbles her way towards uncovering the murderer, baled out occasionally by Detective Boyfriend, Nathan. Again, a word for the narrator, Merren Swenson Waxenberg; for me, she is the voice of Fiona, but the way she voices the other characters, not only by changing the pitch of her voice, but also by the rhythm, tone and speed of their speech, is perfect.