Mrs. Claus and the Halloween Homicide by Liz Ireland

April Claus knows being married to the real Santa makes every day feel like Christmas. But when a different holiday arrives at the North Pole, so does murder...

For the first time ever, Christmastown is celebrating a strange new tradition--Halloween. But not everyone is willing to watch their dependable winter wonderland get overrun by carved pumpkins and costume parties. As a series of scary happenings hit Santaland, each one more intense than the last, April realizes having a role in the festivities could cost her family, friends--even her own life.

April isn't the only unlucky target. Outspoken elf Tiny Sparkletoe is found dead in the snow outside his cottage, crushed in the middle of what appears to be a monstrous footprint. With mayhem descending like reindeer on rooftops, April must stop the Halloween killer before the fate of Mrs. Claus becomes another creepy tale to tell in the dark... (from goodreads.com)

It’s finally Fall, and so as far as reading goes I’ve been trying to catch up on my cozy mysteries. Mrs. Claus and the Halloween Homicide by Liz Ireland is book #2 in her Mrs. Claus series, and I totally loved it. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!

What can I say? All of the world building I loved in Book 1 is even better in Book 2.

Liz Ireland has created this wonderful world of Santaland and as an obsessive Christmas fan, I love it. I love reading about the lives of elves and reindeer and the Claus family, who all live together in Santa’s castle. It’s a really cool setting to imagine. Not to mention that book 2 features Abominables and other new characters.

In this story, I felt like the mystery was really convoluted, and I liked that. I kept second guessing myself on who was the murderer because there were just so many people who didn’t like the person who was murdered! Haha. Tiny Sparkletoe might be small (I mean, he is an elf) but he has an apparently large mouth, and gets on the nerves of quite a few elves around town.

Although romance is just a very tiny part of this story, I liked seeing the relationship between Nick (Santa) and April (Mrs Claus) grow further. I like that he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t seem to get flustered easily. When he finds Mrs. Claus in the kitchen at 4 AM, he’s like “Why is she baking this late?” But then he jumps right in to help her out and that’s exactly what a good partner should do.

My only real complaint (and I believe I said this about the last book too) is that there are so many different names to keep track of. I finally remembered that Jingle is an elf who works in the castle and Quasar is a reindeer who is best friends with Lucia Claus, but after that I had a hard time remembering all of the different names of all of the people in town.

But that’s the the thing with small towns. There are lots of people to remember and lots of people popping up here and there with very little notice.

I recommend this book if you like Christmas and Cozy Mysteries. This is a story that will keep you guessing, and it’s definitely a great addition to the series. I hope there are many more Mrs. Claus novels to come!