I bought a stack of Christmas themed murder mysteries this year with high hopes that I'd get time to read them. I still have a stack of Christmas themed murder mysteries to get through, and whilst it's certainly been cold and miserable enough the last few days to put me in a murderous state of mind I've been too busy at work to pursue that line of thought.
I did manage to read 'Another Little Christmas Murder' though and it was generally entirely satisfactory. Originally published in 1947, but with a distinctly pre war feel to it (there's plenty of food and petrol for a start) there's an independent sort of heroine (she travels in patent medicines), and a suitably rugged hero who turns up to rescue her when her car gets stuck in a snowdrift on the edge of a precipice somewhere in Yorkshire.
There's a handy blizzard in progress so he invited her to come with him to his uncles house. Upon arrival the warm welcome is notably absent, there's a new young wife in residence and uncle is apparently on his deathbed. The snow keeps on driving stray travellers to take refuge in Wintry Wold, which would be trying for any hostess, never mind the suspicious new wife.
In the night our heroine, Dilys, finds herself in the uncles bedroom having a perfectly sensible chat with him, but he does seem to urgently want to see his nephew, Inigo (our hero) so she's more than surprised when his death is announced in the morning. Foul play is naturally suspected, and suspicions are vindicated.
It's not a book that takes itself particularly seriously, the culprits are easy to spot (even if the motive turns out to be slightly surprising) but not in a bad way, there are some satisfyingly catty exchanges between Dilys, and aunt Theresa, and really the only thing that jarred was Inigo's eventual demand/assumption that Dilys give up her job in favour of being his wife. She doesn't seem to mind, but I think I expected more of Dilys than that she would meekly head off into the sunset in such a way. That's only a very small quibble though, and I'd pick up another Lorna Nichols Morgan with interest if I ever get the chance.