In the frigid Canadian north, Madoc and Janet try to keep warm and stay alive
Though he may not look the part, Madoc Rhys is a Mountie - and his keen sense of detection tells him it’s time to ask Janet Wadman to marry him. They have just gotten engaged when Christmas rolls around, and Janet’s boss invites them to his family estate for a last holiday fling before Janet leaves her job. After a long helicopter ride, they are at Graylings, ancestral home of the Condryckes, a family so strange that Canada’s shortest Mountie fits right in.
There is a psychic old woman, an erudite butler, and a family patriarch who is the spitting image of an English country squire. And when the elderly Mrs. Condrycke is found murdered, Janet will be glad she brought Madoc along. Though civilization is far away, when there is a Mountie in the house, justice is close at hand.
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a weaker MacLeod cozy, but Christmas setting
I found this a bit campier than others by MacLeod but still delightful. Some reviewers seem unhappily surprised by their first MacLeod download, so know what to expect: She is closer to a PG Wodehouse than a PD James, so don't expect deep characterization or intense atmosphere but a humorous light cozy with small town mores of the early 70s, not the writing date (*80s). If new to MacLeod, you might want to research her briefly to see where she is coming from.
A couple small bones to pick: If you download cozies like these for their settings, know that this is set in Northern New Brunswick, not the Cdn North as the publisher's blurb suggests - still a charming place, however! Dufris mixes some location pronunciations (Somewhere in between the two official languages of the province). And, although I like to chuckle at the octogenarian MacLeod trying to create two teen stoner characters, she ought to know better than to refer to a "race" issue in Quebec, even if race is a socially constructed concept.
Nit-picking aside, I am grateful to this fun author for the six cozies that just saw me through a recent surgery - very decent distraction by a very talented creator of cozies! And I can only guess that an actual Christmas spent with a NB old money family inspired this farce.
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