Book Review

Wicked as a Christmas Fruitcake

Paranormal in Manhattan, #10

Lotta Smith

Self-Pub, Nov 2017

Kindle, 151 Pages

Also available in paperback

Genre(s) Romantic Paranormal Cozy Mystery, Christmas, Holidays

Source Purchased at current price

Other books in this series

*Wicked for Hire #1, W is for Wicked #2, Wicked Little Secret #3, Wicked of the Christmas Past #4, Sweet Wicked of Mine #5, *Wicked and Haunted #6, *Wicked, Manor, and Murder #7, Wickedly Ever After #8, Speak of the Wicked #9 (* = read & reviewed)

My Disclaimer:

I purchased a copy of this book at the current price. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.  ~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it’s about…

Charmed and Sprinkled’s business has dropped off very badly since Woody Napolean died there while eating their Nutty Nutcracker’s Christmas Delight fruitcake. This season’s special.

Can Mandy and Rick solve this one before the family shop has to close its doors for lack of custom? Woody’s hanging around to find out who dunnit!

Technical Tidbits…

The cover is as usual, and especially yummy looking, in that great stylized graphic design.

The storyline is a tried and true who dunnit.

The characters are some old and some new. The new characters come in and get enough for us to feel comfortable around them so we can help figure out the dastardly deed. Though we don’t, or I didn’t. I never do.

The pace is quite steady in this one. Rick is busy with other issues so Mandy and Jackie are on this one. They get lots of “help” from Woody and other characters. They keep on it right up until they solve it.

The tension is pretty good right up until the end when they solve it and the tension goes right out of it for some reason. It was disappointing.

And this is where you STOP if you don’t want to see any SPOILERS

The good, the bad, and the ugly…and how much it lit up my life… ✰✰✰✰

I do enjoy this series. It’s light and fun with Mandy and Jackie paired as they are. And Rick along to make sure that Mandy stays alive and unhurt. This one is in a family run bakery which has just been handed to the daughter to run and the parents have gone off on holiday. Then Woody dies while eating this season’s special fruitcake. He remembers a couple of things he sees as he lays dying there on the floor of the bakery before he’s taken in the ambulance. The other lady passed out. The purple blooms. Those two items stuck in his mind. Later on, they become important, but almost too late to do any good. But no one sits him down and asks him if he remembers anything unusual, so I guess it’s their own fault.

There is this one character that is in on things, but I’m not sure what her purpose is really. I guess she does expedite things there a time or two. Her name is Madame Roloff. She’s known for her extra large hats and for being the logo on all sorts of expensive things, including buildings. She developed a chain of condotels (?) and is fantastically rich. She’s the client keeping Rick busy and why he isn’t working on this case with Mandy. But Madame Roloff is running around town with Mandy and Jackie sleuthing in her bright orange car.

I don’t know if I am simply not good at picking up on clues or if these books are really written so that the solution simply pops up at the end, but I never figure these out. I have a lot of fun going along with the puzzle and enjoy the characters immensely. I love Rick and Mandy as a couple. I like Mandy and Jackie paired up. But I really don’t see that they uncover enough to solve the case. It always seems to be something that they just sort of uncover at the end. This one was really out of the blue. Who had any clue there had been anything between Anna Linton and Woody Napolean once in the past? Woody certainly didn’t remember. That’s why she did it for heaven’s sake! Because he didn’t remember her. Yes, there was a mention of the purple flowers in the beginning. Other than that, I didn’t find any other clue about Anna Linton that indicated she had done this and for this reason. It’s just not fair for an author not to leave clues so that the reader can solve the crime as well.

Well, I still want to read all the ones I’ve missed in the series by jumping around as I have. I’m not sure if I’ll end up reviewing them all for the blog, but I want to at least read them.


814 wc

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