Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I suspect more and more of you are doing most of your shopping online this year. Maybe by next year life will return to normal, and we’ll be able to shop in and enjoy the holiday decorations in all the local stores—assuming there are any brick and mortar stores left.
Lois Winston, my author, hasn’t yet dropped the bombshell about the demise of Lord & Taylor. The chain was still hanging on by a thread when she finished writing A Sew Deadly Cruise, the latest Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery. When Mama learns of the iconic department store’s demise, it will send her reeling. My mother’s relationship with Mr. Lord and Mr. Taylor has lasted far longer than any of her marriages, including the one to my father. I’m assuming Mama will learn of the bankruptcy in the next book Lois writes about me. If I’m lucky, she’ll make sure I’m out of town when Mama hears the awful news.
Anyway, since most holiday shopping this year will occur on our smart phones, tablets, and laptops, that leaves more time for holiday reading, which is less fattening than doubling your usual Christmas cookie output. (This pandemic is making the Freshman Fifteen look like a fond memory!)
There are two books in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series that take place during the holidays, Drop Dead Ornaments and Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide. The two books are available individually, both as ebooks and in print, but they’re also bundled together in one ebook set. They’ll go great with a cup of hot cocoa, tea, or coffee and a few Christmas cookies.
Drop Dead Ornaments
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 7
Anastasia Pollack’s son Alex is dating Sophie Lambert, the new kid in town. For their community service project, the high school seniors have chosen to raise money for the county food bank. Anastasia taps her craft industry contacts to donate materials for the students to make Christmas ornaments they’ll sell at the town’s annual Holiday Crafts Fair.
At the fair Anastasia meets Sophie’s father, Shane Lambert, who strikes her as a man with secrets. She also notices a woman eavesdropping on their conversation. Later that evening when the woman turns up dead, Sophie’s father is arrested for her murder.
Alex and Sophie beg Anastasia to find the real killer, but Anastasia has had her fill of dead bodies. She’s also not convinced of Shane’s innocence. Besides, she’s promised younger son Nick she’ll stop risking her life. But how can she say no to Alex?
Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 8
Two and a half weeks ago magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack arrived home to find Ira Pollack, her half-brother-in-law, had blinged out her home with enough Christmas lights to rival Rockefeller Center. Now he’s crammed her small yard with enormous cavorting inflatable characters. She and photojournalist boyfriend and possible spy Zack Barnes pack up the unwanted lawn decorations to return to Ira. They arrive to find his yard the scene of an over-the-top Christmas extravaganza. His neighbors are not happy with the animatronics, laser light show, and blaring music creating traffic jams on their normally quiet street. One of them expresses his displeasure with his fists before running off.
In the excitement, the deflated lawn ornaments are never returned to Ira. The next morning Anastasia once again heads to his house before work to drop them off. When she arrives, she discovers Ira’s attacker dead in Santa’s sleigh. Ira becomes the prime suspect in the man’s murder and begs Anastasia to help clear his name. But Anastasia has promised her sons she’ll keep her nose out of police business. What’s a reluctant amateur sleuth to do?
Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, Books 7-8