They are having a lovely Christmas event in their lovely small town with children's choirs, a reenactment of Joseph and Mary's journey, and a manger for everyone to gather 'round. The only problem is that there is a dead man in the stable...
Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you). It will be published August 1st, so make a note on your TBR list to pick it up then.
Two children found the dead man. They had gone out to see if the doll would fit in the manger. While they are staggered by what they see, they also notice a small puppy hiding in the manger area. They rescue him and Mary rescues them. She's in charge of the event and this murder ends it.
There are several suspects. Even the priest is under suspicion because of his monk clothing and the sandals he wears. However, he's not the only one. The puppy is a mystery, but he's also a clue.
Everyone is trying to protect the two children who saw the killer. Even with the whole town on watch, they aren't really safe.
When the next person is murdered, the waters grow even more muddy. Mary is amazed to find herself with a dog. She was the murdered man's dog and no one else has room for her. As anybody with animals knows, it doesn't take long for the dog to get Mary on her side. She even sneaks in bed with her.
The world of animal breeding is vicious. Everyone has their own techniques, their own beliefs, and some breeders are almost rabid about them. Mary is pretty sure that's what's behind the murders but she can't see who is benefiting from the deaths. She keeps snooping though, and it's almost the death of her.
My favorite characters are the little boy and girl in the story. They're fearless when they need to be and they added a lot of life to the story. I like Mary and look forward to seeing her again in another book. Why don't you see what you think?