A Holly Jolly Murder (Claire Malloy Series #12)

A Holly Jolly Murder (Claire Malloy Series #12)

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by Joan Hess
     
 

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In A Holly, Jolly Murder, Arkansas bookseller-sleuth Claire Malloy rings in the holidays with a Druid ritual, a run-in with a witch, and a far from ho-hum case of homicide. When Malthea Hendlerson, the self-proclaimed Arch Druid of the Sacred Grove of Keltria, wanders into the Book Depot looking for New Age titles, Claire Malloy assumes the elderly woman is a harmless…  See more details below

Overview

In A Holly, Jolly Murder, Arkansas bookseller-sleuth Claire Malloy rings in the holidays with a Druid ritual, a run-in with a witch, and a far from ho-hum case of homicide. When Malthea Hendlerson, the self-proclaimed Arch Druid of the Sacred Grove of Keltria, wanders into the Book Depot looking for New Age titles, Claire Malloy assumes the elderly woman is a harmless eccentric. Then Malthea invites her to attend a winter solstice celebration at the Sacred Grove. Feeling restless, Claire is actually looking forward to a traditional bonfire in a fir grove. What she gets, however, is murder.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her 12th appearance (after Closely Akin to Murder, 1996), Farberville, Ark., bookstore owner Claire Malloy finds that her desire to be helpful (propelled by an insatiable nosiness) gets her deeply involved in a puzzling midwinter murder. Wealthy physician and landlord Nicholas Chunder has been shot, and evidence points to several of his tenants who are members of his very own cult, The Druids of the Sacred Grove of Keltria. Was Chunder murdered because he was planning to evict one of the cult members? Did a 16-year-old Satanist carry his rituals too far? Claire, beseeched for aid by the cultists who visit her bookstore, uses a low-key approach to interview some decidedly unconventional Wiccans, Satanists and Druids, each of whom adds an individual spin to what becomes an increasingly muddled case. Claire keeps her calm outlook, even as her daughter Caron, a lively and extremely likable teenager, gets into some monumental trouble while working as a Santa's helper at the local mall. Since Claire's significant other, the town's police lieutenant, is out of town (consorting with his former wife), she deals directly with Farberville's gullible yet benign police force. Despite a few unnecessary plot twists and a somewhat contrived finale, Hess's latest is delightful entertainment, a just-right antidote to holiday busy-ness or anytime blahs. (Nov.) FYI: Hess, who also writes the Maggody mysteries, is currently president of the American Crime Writers League.
Library Journal
Small-town bookstore owner Claire Malloy lets curiosity get the best of her: she attends a Druid winter solstice festival. When the would-be celebrants discover their wealthy benefactor murdered, the Arch Druid (a feisty old lady) asks Claire's help. A pleasant, entertaining series addition.
From the Publisher

“Delightful entertainment, a just-right antidote to holiday busy-ness or anytime blahs.” —Publishers Weekly

A Holly, Jolly Murder showcases Claire at her lovable best, struggling with a mystery just as she tries to widen her horizons by diving into the middle of New Age elements.” —Painted Rock

“A pleasant, entertaining series addition.” —Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525942405
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/01/1997
Series:
Claire Malloy Series, #12
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.74(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

JOAN HESS is the author of both the Claire Malloy and the Maggody mystery series. She is a winner of the American Mystery Award, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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A Holly Jolly Murder (Claire Malloy Series #12) 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
glauver More than 1 year ago
I know it is unfair to compare Joan Hess with Chandler, Hammett, or Macdonald. However, this Christmas mystery involving a coven of Druids is a bit lightweight, even for her. She has written better Claire Malloy stories than this. The final confrontation with the killer was simply improbable.