Mrs. Clause and the Halloween Homicide by Liz Ireland
The second in the Mrs. Clause Mystery series, this book is great as an independent read or after reading the first book. After a summer in Oregon, April and Nick are back in Santaland just in time for Halloween, which is being celebrated in the town for the first time. There is of course, some complaints about this and the loudest of the complainers winds up dead in what might be a snow monster footprint. April tries not to investigate, but since celebrating Halloween was her idea she does ask questions. In trying to find the killer, April is almost killed and runs into an orphan who she ends up helping get him an apprenticeship. A fun light-hearted read, even with a murder, that is great for the holiday season.
Character List/Book Summary:
April Claus – mentioned a pumpkin patch idea before she spent 4 months in Cloudberry Bay, and came back to town to find out Halloween will be celebrated. Is not overly accepting of Juniper’s boyfriend and tries to warn her, but it back fires and they get into a fight. Works with Jake and Nick to find out who killed Tiny and tried to kill her.
Salty – Castle Kringle’s head gardener, his pumpkin patch greenhouse was vandalized.
Nick “Santa” Claus – April’s husband, acting Santa until his nephew turns 21. Is worried about April after the cable was cut and brings in Jake Frost. Tries to keep the town calm when word of a snow monster gets out.
Constable Crinkles – upset about the loss of turnips he claims, worried about selling raffle tickets and picking new wallpaper for the “cells” not the most capable of solving murders.
Juniper – town librarian, April’s friend, dating Chip. April and her get in an argument after April expresses concern about Chip
Christopher – Nick’s 12 year old nephew, excited about Halloween, will one day be Santa.
Ollie – Crinkle’s nephew, sent a text about a possible snow monster attack before Santa said to keep it quiet to that there is not a panic in town.
Tiny Sparkletoes – runs one of the two boot companies in town. President of Christmastown Community Guild not happy about Halloween. Killed in what appears to be a footprint. Not well liked by many, including his wife. Cared most about money and power over others.
Jingles – Castle steward, who helps April with her schedule.
Lucia – Nick’s sister, who helps wrangle drunk reindeer after April misunderstood what she was supposed to bake.
Claire – April’s best friend in Oregon, tease a possible visit after Christmas.
Chip Pepperbough – town optician, dating Juniper. Overly affectionate and devoted to Juniper. Wanted to buy one of Tiny’s buildings, they got into a heated argument when Tiny refused to sell. Hired Jake Frost to spy on Juniper, makes it sound as if he doesn’t want Juniper having friends or activities that do not involve him.
Louie Terntree – Tiny’s only employee, plays trombone, was forced to sign Tiny’s petition. He is the one with the talent for making boots, not Tiny.
Pixie – Tiny’s wife, forced to sign his petition against Halloween. Cleans cabins and homes because Tiny forced her to.
Quince – an orphan who wants to be a detective and create a shelter for snowmen.
Miss Gladgoose – orphanage director, does not like that April goes off script during the opening of the new orphanage.
Waldo – helps Jingles in the Castle, parents were run over by reindeer as a kid, April thinks she saw him before her “accident” disappeared when Jake came to the castle. Confesses that Tiny was blackmailing him
Madame Neige – head of the Order of the Leven Seamstresses, making April’s dress for the new orphanage and Halloween costume.
Tiffany – Christopher’s mom, had been a figure skater and has a special costume for the Halloween celebration
Pamela – April’s mother-in-law, keeping her Halloween costume a secret
Cranberry – elf in the kitchen that Waldo claims he was with the April had her “accident” later claims she was blackmailed into giving Waldo an alibi.
Jake Frost – detective, Nick asked him to look into who caused the cable to be cut causing April to get hurt and solve Tiny’s death. Jake was also hired for a secret side project.