This cozy mystery was a delight to read. It has all the elements I require for a satisfying novel.
Reading this novel was my introduction to the Santa Fe Cafe series. This one takes place at the Christmas season. Chef Rita Lafitte of Tres Amigas Cafe is trying to entertain her mom, visiting from Minnesota. She's also keeping track of her teenage daughter performing in the outdoor Christmas play. When Rita discovers a dead actor during the first performance, she swears she is not going to investigate. Try as she might, she is soon involved in a very dangerous situation.
I love the characters in this novel. Rita is good but the side characters make this novel so much fun. I love the Knit and Snitchers, an elderly group of ladies who who knit pieces they sneak onto statues, stop signs, and other items. One of them even makes her own moonshine. She was kicked out of the farmer's market when she tried to sell it there but was a hit for one day. These women provide inside information for Rite and are a hoot.
There are other great characters too, like Rita's mother who is a little out of her element. I like how she adapts to her daughter's life in the south. Other entertaining characters include a Native American witch casting spells, a zen focused woman spreading healing herbs, and a villain who is really mean. There are even quirky animals, like the miniature donkey who loves baked goods, snitching muffins from admirers.
The setting is wonderful, Santa Fe at Christmas. I learned a great deal about the Christmas celebrations they put on. I also suffered from drooling over all the ethnic food described. Myers provides several recipes and the bizcochitos sound delicious.
I like it when I am entertained and informed by a novel. Myers has included information on a serious issue for Native Americans. Many Hopi artifacts have been recovered and taken from sites over the years as there is a lucrative market for them, especially sacred items. Many local tribes are asking museums to return items and this is a thought provoking issue.
I like how, as the plot progresses, the possible motives for murder multiply, as do the suspects. And there is a good bit of suspense and danger near the end. Even so, an added plus in this mystery is humor. It is a welcome treat throughout the novel.
I recommend this novel to those who enjoy a cozy mystery with quirky characters, an informative and entertaining setting, and an issue to think about. I suggest you only read this novel on a full stomach as the food described is mouth watering.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. Click here to view the 'Feliz Navidead by Ann Myers' Tour Participants.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Ann Myers writes the Santa Fe Cafe Mysteries. The first book in the series, Bread of the Dead (2015), introduced cafe chef and amateur sleuth, Rita Lafitte. Rita and her friends stir up more trouble in Cinco de Mayhem (March 2016) and Feliz Navidead (October 2016). She and her husband live in southern Colorado. You can find her online on Facebook and her website.
Book Details:Genre: Cozy Mystery, Christmas
Published by: Avon
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0062382322 (ISBN13: 9780062382320)
Series: Santa Fe Cafe Mystery #3
Feliz Navidead Can Be Found on: HarperCollins, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.