A Very Merry Murder

A Very Merry Murder

by Mary Angela

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It's December in Copper Bluff, and from hillside to hallowed hall, everyone is merry--or will be as soon as semester break arrives. Students are studying, professors are grading, and Emmeline Prather is anticipating the university-sponsored holiday concert. Friend and colleague Lenny Jenkins will be accompanying the visiting quartet, Jazz Underground, and Em can't think of a better way to kick start the holiday season.

But before she can say "Jingle Bell Rock," trouble arrives at Candlelight Inn, the bed and breakfast where the quartet is staying. One of the band members dies unexpectedly, and suspicion falls on Em, whose altercation with the man ends with him on the floor. He never recovers, and now she's worried her reputation might not either.

When Emmeline starts to see parallels between an Agatha Christie novel she's teaching and the victim, Lenny claims she's read one too many mysteries. But as the clues unravel, so does the murderer's patience. Em is close to finding the truth, but will the truth--or the murderer--push her over the edge? It will take a Christmas miracle to solve this case, but if there's one thing in surplus this time of year, it's faith.

Book Three of the Professor Prather Mystery Series.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161933732
Publisher: Camel Press
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Series: A Professor Prather Mystery , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 529,632
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Mary Angela is the author of the Professor Prather academic mystery series, which has been called “enjoyable” and “clever” by Publishers Weekly. She is also an educator and has taught English and humanities at South Dakota’s public and private universities for over ten years. When Mary isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. For more information about Mary or the series, go to MaryAngelaBooks.com.

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A Very Merry Murder 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Dollycas 7 months ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Christmas is in the air . . . and so is murder! As the Christmas Holiday Break draws near the university is hopping. Students have papers to complete and final classes to attend. Professors like Emmeline Prather have papers to grade and classes to wrap up. One of her classes is reading and analyzing a tome by Agatha Christie. Em is also excited about the holiday concert of the group Jazz Underground. Her friend Lenny Jenkins is going to be joining the quartet. The group is staying at the Candlelight Inn, a local B&B and Lenny invites Em to join the group for a little get-together. When one of the band members acts weird and gets a little handsy, Em gives him a shove and he falls to the floor. He never gets up, even after she administered CPR. Their little altercation puts the spotlight on Emmeline and she decides to channel a little Hercule Poirot and try to solve the crime. But will she get too close to the killer? Will she be the next victim and the murderer go free? ___ The recurring characters are joined by an interesting group of musicians and the owners and staff of the B&B. Those core characters continue to evolve. Again Em and Lenny team up with assistance from one of Em’s former student who is now on the police force to try to solve the case. Lenny is friends with one member of the quartet. And it appears she would like to rekindle that relationship. Em is surprised by the jealousy she feels. This relationship has been pending for the entire series so far. I have enjoyed the way it has been written and even more so in this story. The author had laid out a very well-written mystery. Several suspects, a unique means of murder, and a fantastic closed room style reveal that I absolutely loved. We were served plenty of red herrings, twists, and turns. I was totally surprised by when the guilty party was fingered by Em. She has a great relationship with police and she gave them a vital clue so they allowed her to run with her presentation of the case and the proclamation of the killer. I have enjoyed every book in this series The core characters are engaging and the mysteries are complex and puzzling. Author Mary Angela gives plenty of background so that each book can be read on its own but I would recommend reading the series from the beginning.
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
A Very Merry Murder is the third book in Mary Angela's Professor Prather Mystery series, but the first that I've read. I loved it! Going back asap to read the first two, but I was able to dive right in as it worked perfectly as a standalone. Lots of suspects and although clues were given throughout the story the author did a great job of keeping the reader guessing. Highly recommend this 5 star cozy mystery!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Justine Reyes for Readers' Favorite The Christmas spirit has filled the streets of Copper Bluff, South Dakota and on the horizon for local college English professor Emmeline Prather is an upcoming concert of the Jazz Underground. A Very Merry Murder by Mary Angela is a cozy sleuth novel, the third story in Angela's A Professor Prather Mystery series. As the title implies, not everything is about the jolly spirit of Christmas ... or jazz for that matter. When Miles Jamison, a bass player in the concert, is found murdered, Prather becomes the number one suspect. Prather will have to prove her innocence while also finding out what really happened to Miles Jamison. This is my first Professor Prather Mystery and I can honestly say this was the best way to be introduced to the series' titular sleuth. A Very Merry Murder has a great ambiance outside of the suspenseful and oftentimes cozy narrative. I don't think readers will need to read the other previous books to feel caught up in the tale. I read it as if it were a contained story before realizing there were two books prior to this one. However, after reading A Very Merry Murder, I have the utmost desire to check out Mary Angela's two previous novels from her Professor Prather series. It reminds me a bit of M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth, at least when it comes to the small town atmosphere and the style of writing. Reading A Very Merry Murder was an early Christmas gift in itself. I can't wait to recommend this book to fellow fans of sleuth mysteries and cozies!
Bookaholic-mka More than 1 year ago
What an enjoyable cozy. I think a good part of the fun has to do with the character, Emmeline, or should I say Professor Emmeline Prather. Em is a little, shall I say “bookish” and murders just sort of seem to happen around her. Then again, that has to happen to someone in most mysteries for there to be a book, doesn’t it? But this cozy…the setting is fun and really quite different. There’s a little tongue-in-cheek as far as academia is concerned right along with those dedicated teachers we’ve all had at one time or another. All of this comes with a Christmastime mood and spirit. I’ve probably already given you an idea of how I felt about the main character, Emmeline. She makes this story. Could a few of the other characters have been a little more defined? Maybe but I don’t think the lack of it detracted at all from the story. Another definite attraction was the author’s description of the scenes. The decorating for Christmas, the elaborate decorations at the Inn. All of this was very vivid, and I felt as though I was amidst it all. This is Book 3 in a series titled “A Professor Prather Mystery”. It was a fun, enjoyable, quick read and after all…it really puts you in the Christmas spirit. What more could you ask?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ryanphoffmann88 More than 1 year ago
Emmeline "Em" Prather is back in this holiday whodunit. It's December in the quaint, little college town of Copper Bluff, SD, and ever one is in the spirit of the holidays, including Em. Her colleague and "Waston", Lenny Jenkins, is performing in his Jazz Quartet fot a Christmas concert. One of the members, a pompous cad by the the name of Miles Jamison end up dead and because Em is seen arguing with the jerk, she becomes the person of interest and primarily suspect. I like these types of mysteries where it's set around the holiday, or season. Living in South Dakota, I can picture a South Dakota winter. I enjoyed this book like the rest. They are all traditional/cozy type whodunits, and well written with great characters that are flushed out, and a great mystery plot.
Elena Hartwell More than 1 year ago
Another 5-Star book in the Professor Prather Mystery Series. Emmeline Prather looks forward to a holiday concert featuring her friend—and maybe romantic interest—Lenny Jenkins. What better way to kick off the season? But a suspicious death, with Em the prime suspect, throws a wrench into her holiday plans. Instead of cuddling up next to a cozy fire, Em scrambles to solve the murder before the police lock her up for good. Set in charming Copper Bluff, South Dakota, the third book in the series can be read as a standalone, but you’ll be thrilled to know there are two other books waiting for you to devour. Christmas comes early with this sweet whodunit.
Librarirun More than 1 year ago
Holiday spirit is in the air on the campus of the sleepy Midwestern college in Copper Bluff, South Dakota. The Music Department is involved in preparations for the upcoming concert; English Professor Emmeline Prather is immersed in teaching her literature course, Crimes and Passion; and students and faculty alike are anticipating the town's holiday festival. What could possibly interfere with the merriment of the season? A mysterious death, of course. The sudden demise of Miles Jamison—visiting professor from Minnesota and charismatic leader of the Jazz Underground, the quartet headlining the holiday concert—throws a damper on the upcoming festivities. And during the investigation into what appears to be a suspicious death, the police identify Professor Prather as their main person of interest. It's true that Em clashed with Miles at a group breakfast at The Candlelight Inn and later rebuffed the pass he made at her, but she wasn't the only one Miles sparred with that morning. In an attempt to clear her name, Em and her close ally, fellow English professor Lenny Jenkins undertake an investigation of their own. It quickly becomes apparent that someone is trying to frame Em for the murder because techniques from the plot of the Agatha Christie novel she is using in her class lessons have been implemented in the crime. As she pursues her hunches, Em discovers that several students, faculty, and townspeople had previous ties to Miles—and possible grudges against him. As Em closes in on the truth, narrowly escaping from an attempt on her life, the final pieces of the puzzle come together, and Em convenes a meeting of the suspects at The Candlelight Inn to reveal the killer and the motive for the crime. A Very Merry Murder is a classically crafted and masterfully methodical mystery with carefully placed subtle clues. It is a gem of a read with its Agatha Christie feel, and although it is part of a series, it can be very satisfyingly read as a stand-alone. Mary Angela has populated the Copper Bluff campus and town with a solid cast of interesting and realistic characters, much like what you would expect in a small college community. The setting and characters envelop readers in an inviting environment, making the Professor Prather Mystery Series a welcome addition to the cozy mystery genre.
CozyMarie More than 1 year ago
This series gets my award for the best series you didn’t know existed. Don’t let Professor Emmeline Prather and her adventures fly under your radar. It is a fun series that is well written and full of enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end. The author does a great job of incorporating a quaint and enjoyable setting into the book that really is a character unto itself. This series is becoming more of a favorite with each book I read.