It’s the holiday season in sleepy Stoneham, New Hampshire, and that also means that it’s time for the annual election of the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Bob Kelly has been Chamber president for years and doesn’t expect anyone to run against him...much less two people! The shock everyone feels at this turn of events, however, is nothing compared to the shock they get when Tricia Miles, owner of Haven’t Got a Clue bookstore, finds one of the candidates dead - stabbed in the chest with an antique letter opener.
As Tricia’s sister, Angelica, is the other surprise candidate, she’s naturally a suspects, so Tricia sets out to try to discover who the murderer is. Even though the dead man was - to put it nicely - unpleasant, he doesn’t seem to have that many enemies in town. And everyone in the vicinity of the murder appears to have an iron-clad alibi. Tricia will have to tread carefully as she tries to clear her sister’s name before the election, and her job is made even harder as the murderer truly is not the killing type.
Adding to Tricia’s stress level are the upcoming wedding of her friend Ginny, her on-again, off-again relationship with Police Chief Grant Baker, the reappearance of her ex-husband Christopher, and her general midlife crisis and depression. Poor Tricia has a lot going on! It’s amazing that she can run her bookstore and her life, plus solve a crime, while dealing with everything else. But we love reading about it, because Tricia, like all her friends and family, is a wonderful, flawed human being to whom we can all relate. We are horrified along with her as she uncovers the sordid truth of the murdered man’s past and realize along with her that we don’t really mind that someone killed him. Still, that person must be brought to justice, if only to prove that Angelica had nothing to do with the crime.
This is the 7th installment of the series and is highly recommended! It can be read as a stand-alone, though reading the rest of the series first will give the reader a better understanding of the characters.