Yule Log Murder

Yule Log Murder

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Overview

Fresh-baked desserts can warm even the frostiest Christmas in coastal Maine. But there’s little room for holiday cheer when murder is the new seasonal tradition . . .
 
YULE LOG MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
Lucy Stone is thrilled to be cast as an extra in a festive period film—until the set becomes a murder scene. Returning to her role as sleuth, Lucy dashes to restore peace to Tinker’s Cove, unwrap a cold-hearted criminal’s MO—and reveal how one ornate Yule log cake could possibly cause so much drama.
 
DEATH BY YULE LOG by LEE HOLLIS
Hayley Powell’s holidays aren’t off to a very merry start. Not only has her daughter brought Conner—an infuriatingly perfect new beau—home to Bar Harbor, but a local troublemaker has been found dead with traces of Hayley’s signature Yule log cake on his body. . . . And Conner is the prime murder suspect.
 
LOGGED ON by BARBARA ROSS
Julia Snowden can’t make a decent Bûche de Noël to save her life, so she enlists the help of her eccentric neighbor, Mrs. St. Onge, in hopes of mastering the dessert for Christmas. But with everyone in the older woman’s circle missing or deceased, it’s up to Julia to stop the deadly tidings before she’s the next Busman’s Harbor resident to meet a not-so-jolly fate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496717054
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 47,837
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

LESLIE MEIER is the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty Lucy Stone mysteries and has also written for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. She is currently at work on the next Lucy Stone mystery. Readers can visit her website at www.LeslieMeier.com.
 
LEE HOLLIS is the pen name for a brother and sister writing team. Rick Copp is a veteran film and television writer/producer and also the author of two other mystery novel series. He lives in Palm Springs, California. Holly Simason is an award-winning food and cocktails columnist living in North Carolina. You may visit their website at www.LeeHollisMysteries.com or find them on Facebook by typing in: Lee Hollis.
 
BARBARA ROSS is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. The first book in the series, Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She is co-editor/co-publisher of Level Best Books, which produces anthologies of crime stories by New England authors. She writes at her home overlooking the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Readers can visit her website at MaineClambakeMysteries.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"Well, I'll be," declared Phyllis Lundquist, waving a small slip of paper. Phyllis was the flamboyantly dressed and coiffed receptionist at the Pennysaver newspaper office, and the slip of paper was one of the order forms for classified ads that ran in every issue of the weekly paper that chronicled "Life as it is lived" in the tiny coastal town of Tinker's Cove, Maine. The form was usually used to advertise used furniture, used cars, and used baby gear, but this was clearly something out of the ordinary.

"What is it?" asked Lucy Stone, the paper's part-time reporter and feature writer. "Not another stuffed moose head?"

"No. It's a casting call for a feature movie to be shot at Pine Point. They want extras to play townsfolk. No experience necessary," said Phyllis, pulling off her reading glasses, which hung on a chain, and letting them rest on her ample bosom. The cheaters matched her hair, which was dyed bright orange and coordinated with her sweater, which featured an appliqued Thanksgiving turkey trimmed with oversized sequins that trembled with every breath she took.

"They're making a feature movie here in town?" asked Ted Stillings, the paper's publisher, editor, and chief reporter, who had just entered the office. His arrival was announced by the jangling of the little bell fastened to the door.

"Apparently, if this ad isn't a joke," said Phyllis, frowning suspiciously. "The check is signed by someone named Ross Rocket."

"That does sound suspicious," said Lucy, remembering various adolescent attempts to run prank ads.

"Only one way to find out," said Ted. "Lucy, drive over to Pine Point and check it out."

"I'm right on it, boss," she replied, "as soon as I finish writing up the new trash-recycling regulations."

"Now that's news we can use," said Phyllis, nodding approvingly and setting the suspicious ad aside.

An hour or so later, Lucy was driving along Shore Road, enjoying the million- dollar views of the spectacular Maine coast. Reaching the dizzying hairpin curve that wound high above a rocky cove, she gripped the steering wheel tight and concentrated on the road, remembering several fatal accidents that had taken place there. Once safely past the dangerous "Lovers' Leap," she flicked on the directional signal and turned through the open gate to Pine Point.

Pine Point was once the home of fabulously wealthy Vivian Van Vorst, but following her death, it had been inherited by her great-granddaughter, Juliette Duff. Juliette was a top model in New York, and visited the estate only occasionally, usually bringing friends along to enjoy the oceanfront views, riding trails, tennis court, and indoor and outdoor pools. The mansion, originally built in the Gilded Age, was still considered an architectural marvel for the clever way antique elements imported from Europe had been included without sacrificing modern conveniences and comfort.

Today, however, as Lucy followed the winding drive that led through the estate, she noticed the garden was filled with numerous white trucks and trailers, and lots of people were hurrying about, seemingly intent on serious business. Finding an empty spot along the drive, which was lined with all sorts of vehicles, Lucy parked her car and got out. She stood there for a few minutes, looking for somebody to approach, and finally spotted a young man with a familiar face, who was strolling along, seemingly studying a script.

"Hi!" she said, giving him a wave.

"Hi, yourself," he replied, pausing and waiting for her to catch up to him.

As she grew closer, Lucy realized the young man was Chris Waters, a leading Hollywood star she'd seen just a couple of nights ago on her TV, saving an entire platoon of soldiers from the Nazis. "Ohmigosh," she said, suddenly flustered. "I had no idea ..."

He smiled, revealing a dazzling set of teeth. His skin, she couldn't help noticing, was a lovely tan shade, his square chin sported a stylish stubble, and his longish hair had blond highlights. He was tall, and she knew from the all-too- brief love scene in the film that he had an admirable six-pack under that puffy parka. His eyes were brown, and his expression was amused. "How can I help you?"

"I'm from the local newspaper," she began, feeling her face grow warm, "and we got an order for a classified ad, calling for extras, and I'm here to find out what's going on."

"We're making a movie. It's called Guinevere and it's a remake of Camelot from a feminist perspective."

"Wow," said Lucy.

"Wow, indeed," said Chris. "I suppose you want to talk to Ross, he's the director."

"Ross Rocket?" asked Lucy, remembering her earlier doubts. "He's for real?"

"Oh, he's real all right. He's the director, thanks to his wife, Juliette Duff. She's financing the film." He sighed. "And starring in it."

"Juliette's married?"

He nodded. "From what I hear, it was very sudden. One day they showed up at city hall, got married, and flew off to Italy for a honeymoon."

This was a surprise to Lucy. "There wasn't anything in the news."

"I guess that was the point. They wanted to avoid the paparazzi."

Lucy bit her lip. "I'm supposed to interview him. Do you think he'll talk to me?"

"He's over there," said Chris, pointing to a slight man in jeans, parka, and baseball cap. Strangely enough, he was talking with someone Lucy knew, her friend Rachel Goodman, who was busy nodding along and taking notes.

"Thanks for your help," said Lucy, giving Chris a wave and hurrying across the frosty grass to the pair.

Seeing her approach, Rachel gave her a big smile. "Hi, Lucy! What good timing! Ross, this is my friend Lucy Stone, who works for the local newspaper."

"Nice to meet you," said Ross, who was a small, wiry man with a patchy beard and eyes set rather too close together. "I suppose you want to know what this is all about."

"Sure do," said Lucy. "This looks like a big story."

"Oh, it's big. It's hu-u-ge. It's gonna be great, fantastic, magnificent."

"Okay," said Lucy, responding to his enthusiasm. "Mind if I snap a photo or two?" She produced her phone and snapped away, making sure to capture both Ross and Rachel in the photo.

"Super," said Ross, stepping back. "I'll let Rachel fill you in. ..."

"Oh, but, it would be better ..."

"Sorry. Gotta run."

Lucy watched as he hurried off, then turned to Rachel. "So what's up?"

"They're making this movie, a new version of Camelot, and I got a phone call from Juliette Duff, asking me to help with the music. Ross is her husband and he's the director."

"You sly thing. You never told me. ..."

Rachel smiled apologetically. "I wasn't at all sure about it. You know I've got my job with Miss Tilley, and I help Bob at the office, I didn't think I could manage it. But now that I've talked to Ross, it doesn't seem like it will be too much after all. It's not actually a musical, but the idea is to use local people for this one big scene where the townsfolk bring in a Yule log and sing carols for the nobles."

"I heard that Juliette is financing the film?"

"I don't know if that's for publication," said Rachel, looking serious. "She's the star, playing Guinevere, and Chris Waters is Lancelot."

"I already met him," admitted Lucy, with a smile, as she wrote it all down. "Any other big stars?"

"Just Chris," said Rachel. "He's the only one I recognized." She paused. "But they're all pros. It's not amateur hour."

"They're going to run an ad for extras in the paper this week," said Lucy.

"That's great. You're going to try out, right? You and Sue and Pam," she added, listing the group of friends who got together every Thursday morning for breakfast at Jake's Donut Shack. "It'll be fun."

Lucy struck a pose, lifting her chin and staring off into the distance. "I always wanted to break into show business...."

"Well, this is your big chance," said Rachel, laughing.

* * *

The Thanksgiving turkey and the leftovers were only a memory, and preparations for Christmas were well under way, when the extras were finally called for filming some four weeks later. Lucy soon discovered that being a movie star, or even a lowly extra, involved a lot of waiting around. The stars waited in their cozy trailers, but Lucy and the other extras had to make themselves as comfortable as they could while remaining out of the way, but near enough to react quickly when they were called. Lucy and her friends, along with the others, had spent hours waiting to get their costumes and were waiting to rehearse in the mansion's ballroom. The ballroom was actually once the great hall at Scrumble Thornhill, an English castle, but had been transported stone-by- stone in the 1880s and rebuilt at Pine Point. Now it was crowded with dozens of extras and countless crew members, lights and cables that seemed to run everywhere, and cameras. There were even a few canvas deck chairs labeled with Chris's, Juliette's, and Ross's names, now unoccupied and awaiting their owners.

"This thing itches," said Pam Stillings, who was married to Lucy's boss, Ted. She poked a finger beneath her wimple and scratched her head. "I hope it's not used and full of cooties."

"That would certainly add to the authenticity of the scene," said Lucy, smoothing her long skirt. "People in the Middle Ages never bathed, they thought it was unhealthy."

"I wish they'd let us have a little makeup," said Sue Finch, studying her face in a small hand mirror and grimacing. "I'm afraid I look a little too authentic." She held out her hands, which had been stripped of polish, and grimaced. "That was a fresh manicure, you know."

"I wish they'd get started," complained Pam, with a big sigh. "I've got a million things to do. Christmas is almost here."

"Tell me about it," said Lucy, who had a big box of presents in her car destined for her son, Toby, and his family, who lived in Alaska. She knew she had to get them to the post office soon if they were going to arrive in time for Christmas. She was also uncomfortably aware that even though Ted had agreed to let her cover the movie shoot for the paper, this was Monday morning and she had lots of other stories to write before the Wednesday noon deadline.

She was looking about, hoping to spot Rachel, who was responsible for rehearsing the extras and might know the schedule, but instead caught sight of Ross Rocket. He was standing in front of a rough table that was laden with fake food meant to represent the feast provided for the townsfolk and was clearly furious about something. He had his hands crossed against his chest and was tapping his foot, rather like a school principal awaiting a wayward pupil. In this instance, the wayward pupil was Elfrida Dunphy, the cook at Pine Point. Everyone in town knew Elfrida, a former party girl who had five children by five different fathers, but had settled down after getting the plum job at Pine Point.

"What the hell is this doing here?" Ross demanded, pointing to a luscious Yule log cake that was set among the prop meats, breads, and fruit. The cake was frosted with fluffy pink icing, decorated with adorable meringue mushrooms and glistened with a dusting of sugary snow.

"It's the Middle Ages," he continued, "they didn't have fancy cakes and stuff. Am I right or what?"

"I wondered where that got to," said Elfrida, looking murderous as she picked up the offending cake. "Now I know and I've got a good idea how it got here. It sure didn't pick itself up and walk out of the fridge."

Elfrida marched off, carrying the cake, heading for the stairway that led to the subterranean kitchen area. She had just reached the doorway, when a bright feminine laugh rang out, and she turned her head, spotting her assistant, Bobbi Holden. Lucy knew Bobbi, who'd been in some of her daughter Zoe's high school classes, where she'd often been the ringleader for various mischievous pranks. She was a big girl, tall and carrying an extra twenty pounds, but had an easy laugh and an attractive, dimpled smile.

Bobbi, dressed in a shocking-pink mohair tunic and dark blue jeggings, was engaged in a lively conversation with Chris Waters, but sensing Elfrida's gaze, she quickly scurried off in the opposite direction. Elfrida watched her until she disappeared from sight, then ducked through the rather low, authentic medieval doorway to return to her kitchen in the great house's basement.

Ross, who'd turned his attention to Rachel, blew on the whistle he wore on a lanyard around his neck and everyone turned to him, waiting for instructions.

"Well, you guys look great, and I want you to remember you're simple folk in the Middle Ages. Put away those cell phones and eyeglasses, imagine you haven't eaten anything except gruel. ..." Here he turned to his assistant, a serious young woman with a clipboard who followed him everywhere. "Do you know ... does anybody know what gruel actually is?"

Receiving only a shrug in reply, he continued. "Well, the point is, you guys are hungry and you're bringing the Yule log into the castle, where it will be warm, and if you sing a nice song for the king and queen, you'll be given some food, which you really want. So the trick is to look hungry and famished and pathetic at the same time doing your damnedest to amuse and entertain your betters. So I'm turning this over to Rachel, here, who's going to teach you some old English carols, and don't worry if you don't know what the words mean, just sing along as if you mean it. Right? Right."

Rachel stepped forward, clutching a thick stack of papers, which she asked a few townsfolk to pass around to the extras. When everyone had the sheet music, she instructed them to begin on the first page with "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming." When everyone had the page, she blew on a pitch pipe, and they all began singing. They weren't very good, thought Lucy, but they probably did sound a lot like a bunch of poor peasants, hungry for some decent food.

The rehearsal lasted well past Lucy's usual lunchtime, and she was famished by the time the extras were finally released, but instructed to return Tuesday evening at six for filming. She grabbed a plastic-wrapped sandwich and a bag of chips at the Quik-Stop on her way to the office; by the time she parked the car, she'd eaten most of the chips and half the sandwich. She polished off the rest at her desk, followed with a warming cup of tea, which she made by heating a mug of water in the office microwave.

"Gosh, it was cold at that rehearsal," she told Phyllis as she dunked her tea bag. "I don't see why they couldn't put on the heat. And it would've been nice if they'd given us extras some lunch. They put out piles of food but it's only for the actors." She tossed the sodden tea bag into the trash and picked up the mug, wrapping it with both hands to warm them.

"The director's probably trying to keep it as authentic as possible," said Phyllis, when her phone rang and she picked it up. It wasn't the usual irate reader with a bone to chew; it was Elfrida and her voice came through the earpiece loud and clear, ringing through the office.

"You won't believe this," she began, sounding hissing mad, "that stupid Ross Rocket accused me of planting a fancy cake in with the fake food to sabotage his scene. Like I don't have better things to do, that's for sure. I'm cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for tons of people, plus Juliette's planning a big party this weekend and wants all sorts of fancy food like Yule logs and angels on horseback. I don't have time to blow my nose, much less plan stupid tricks, and besides, everybody knows it's Bobbi who's the troublemaker. She's the prankster. She's supposed to be helping me, but she's never around when I need her. She's always hanging with the actors instead of peeling carrots or washing dishes."

Elfrida paused for breath, and Phyllis clucked her tongue sympathetically. "What a shame, you used to love your job."

"That was when it was part-time, and I was able to keep track of my kids. Honestly, Aunt Phyl, I'm terrified what I'm going to find when I finally get home. Those kids are wild, they're turning into monsters."

Lucy and Phyllis shared a look. They both knew that Elfrida's five kids were a handful at the best of times.

"I don't know what I'm gonna do. Angie is supposed to be in charge, but she's only fifteen, and Justin's actually taller than she is, even though he's younger, and he won't listen to her because she's a girl, and little Chrissie's got a cough and I need to get her to the doctor. I've got an appointment at four-thirty, but I can't get away from work. ..."

"I'll leave a bit early and look in," offered Phyllis. "I'll read them the riot act and take Chrissie to the doctor and pick up a pizza for supper."

"Auntie Phyl, you're an angel. ... Gotta go." They heard Elfrida scream Bobbi's name; then the line went dead.

(Continues…)


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Yule Log Murder 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I kid you not, when I tell you I have been craving making one of these yule logs ever since I seen them being made on a cooking show on television. To see them showcased in this novel, in three mini mysteries was entertaining, to say the least. Then, to top it off, there are recipes inside this novel including one for the yule log which I will attempt. What I liked about this novel is that all three stories are different yet they all carried the central theme of the yule log. I was surprised how much I liked this novel. I really enjoyed two of the stories and I would have liked the third story more had it not had so many characters in it. I usually don’t read novels with multiple stories in them and I really don’t have a good reason why. I just haven’t in the past and after reading this novel, I know now that I need to start looking more closely at them. In Yule Log Murder, I thought this mini mystery had too many characters and I had a hard time keeping track of them. Set in a mansion, a movie is being filmed with residents as extras. Excitement and anticipation fill the air as individual begin working on the film. A yule log cake with its luscious frosting loses its glamour when blood enters the scene. With a few likely suspects, could it be that easy? In Death by Yule Log, I thought this mystery was really good. What makes this murder interesting is that it occurs after a holiday party and (1) what is that on the body and (2) there are a host of suspects to choose from. It seems that someone ate some of Hayley’s mother’s yule log before they were murdered. Hayley tries to clear her boyfriend from being the prime suspect and as she does, she uncovers some interesting information. This girl is good! I thought the police department should put this lady on their payroll. In Logged On, Julia wants to start making her own holiday dessert but it’s a disaster. Enlisting the help of her mother’s next-door neighbor, she just might be able to pull it off. I thought this mystery was funny and entertaining. A younger Mrs. St. Onge used to make yule logs for friends and family but those days are over. Mixing baking tips with personal stories, Julia begins to question her teacher. It’ an entertaining and enjoyable novel that doesn’t need to be read just around the holidays. Don’t forget those delicious recipes included in the book either. I won a copy of this book from Kensington Publishing Corporation- thank you! This review is my own opinion of the novel.
bookaholique More than 1 year ago
3.5 Three holiday murder mystery novellas by three talented writers. What a way to end my holiday reading! And while I was familiar with Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis and Barbara Ross are both new to me. I'm excited to have found two more writers of cozy mysteries as this is one of my favorite genres. Each of these short stories was a fast read and very entertaining. All three lead characters were smart and funny. I'm now ready to dig into more books from each of these authors. Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
Another fabulous Christmas anthology from wonderful cozy mystery authors Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross. I was going to review each story in this book separately, and I do have a favorite of the three, but the overall anthology was so good, I have decided to give my thought on the overall volume. Meier, Hollis, and Ross have once again given readers a Christmas treat with, YULE LOG MURDER. I read this holiday delight over the course of two days. I hated putting it down! Each story in this anthology, YULE LOG MURDER, DEATH BY YULE LOG, and LOGGED ON, is a cleverly written mystery, packed with more twists and turns than you’ll find on a candy cane. Each author penned their respective tale with intrigue, fun, and the Christmas spirit. Oh, and recipes! YULE LOG MURDER is the prefect present under any reader’s tree!
Cora More than 1 year ago
This book contained three Christmas cozy mystery novellas. I thoroughly enjoyed each one. I was able to get right into each story from the beginning and didn't want them to end so quickly. I received a copy of this to review from #netgalley & #KensintonBooks.
AmyWeidenaar More than 1 year ago
3 delightful stories that I tried to read as though they were stand alone stories as I've no idea where they fell in any series. I've read a few of Leslie Meier's books but not in any order, so it wasn't terrible. If you're a reader who has to have them in order though? Be sure you do your research. I loved the recipes that came in the books. I'm hoping to be able to make at least one of them. One, I know I have no hope of making. The stories were very well written and I enjoyed the unique writing styles of each author. This is easily a must-read/give for the holiday season. If you're trying to find a last minute gift for the holidays, surprise your reader with this. Thank you so much to Kensington Books, Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross, and NetGalley for allowing me the chance to read these stories and share my honest thoughts and opinions with others.
Abby-F More than 1 year ago
The perfect compilation of cozies to keep you warm on a cold winter night! All the stories revolve around the holidays and, of course, yule logs. Each author did a wonderful job creating short holiday cozies. Although the stories are in a certain order, you can read them in whatever order you want. They aren't connected. Plus, all of the stories feature delicious looking holiday recipes! The first story is Yule Log Murder by Leslie Meier. She has many books in her series containing Lucy Stone, but this is the first story from the series that I have read. That being said, I had no trouble understanding what was going on. It was very friendly to new readers. I found Lucy to be an overall likable character. The movie shoot created the perfect background for a murder mystery. Especially one that was, you guessed it, death by yule log. Lucy is trying to juggle the unexpected arrival of her family for the holidays, her job at the newspaper, being an extra in the film, and solving a murder. That's a lot for someone to juggle at anytime, but especially at the holidays! She did a great job balancing it all. The second story was Death by Yule Log by Lee Hollis. Once again, this was the first story in the series that I have read. I didn't have a hard time following along. The mystery was superb. It was very Yule Log oriented. It definitely stuck to the theme. I loved the humor displayed in this story. The characters were all very animated. I found myself laughing along with them. I thought the sleuth had a legitimate reason for looking into the case. Not only does she have a personal stake, but she also works for a newspaper. Albeit she isn't an investigative reporter, but she still has press credentials none the less. The mystery was put together very well. I had to change my prime suspect multiple times. I kept guessing incorrectly! It is sure to keep you on your toes. Hayley's interactions with her daughter were genuine. She wants to protect her, but she also acknowledges that her baby has grown into an independent woman. She reminisced about several holidays of years past. Because most people find themselves reflective during the holidays, this was a great detail. The third story was Logged On by Barbara Ross. Unlike the other two, I have read all of the books in her Clambake series; therefore, I am familiar with all of the characters and the setting. Logged On features a bit of a twist on the mystery which I loved. She is looking into deaths and missing people rather than finding a body and solving the crime. Out of all three of the stories, I think this one was the most Yule Log centric. Once again, the characters shine in this story. I found the humor and the mystery kept me coming back for more. You have to feel so badly for Julia. All she wants to do is master the Buche de Noel ( yule log cake ) to impress her boyfriend's family. That's what gets her involved with the whole mystery in the first place. She was looking into the mysteries in a way I found to be very believable. She didn't break the law or pull any crazy stunts. She went about it in a more natural way which added validity to the story. The author does a marvelous job of putting all of the pieces together. In each book the mystery is solved just in time for the holidays. No matter what time of year it is, I suggest you grab this collection of delightful holiday cozies and immerse yourself in the stories full of murder, holidays cheer, and, of course, yule logs.
arkieclown More than 1 year ago
YULE LOG MURDER is three Christmas novellas by three cozy mystery authors all with a common thread of all taking place in Maine and have a yule log being an important factor in each one. It was wonderful to see that the main characters were from one of their series in each novella. The authors also includes recipes that were mentioned in their story, which was a wonderful addition to the book. YULE LOG MURDER by Leslie Meier is set in Tinker’s Cove, Maine. Lucy Stone, who works at the Pennysaver Newspaper, has landed a role as an extra in a film production. The filming is at Pine Point, now owned by Juliette Duff, who inherited it from her Grandmother - Vivian Van Vorst, and directed by her recently wed husband, Ross Rocket, whose real name we learn is Ronald Rosensweig. It’s during work on the production that Bobbi Holden, a young prankster who was an actress want-a-be, is found murdered lying face down in a yule log with a knife in her chest. Lucy, while maintaining her newspaper job, and sometimes in that capacity, and keeping up with the filming schedule, uses her past amateur sleuth abilities to help find out who the killer is and why Bobbi was killed. It seems that all the evidence points in one direction, but sometimes the compass is off it seems and things aren’t quite as they seem. DEATH BY YULE LOG by Lee Hollis takes place in Bar Harbor. Hayley Powell Christmas is starting off to a rocky start when she find out her son, Dustin, isn’t able to get home for Christmas due to the weather. Then Gemma shows up with Conner, her boyfriend, who she is less than thrilled with from the first get go. When Ryan Toledo shows up vying for Gemma’s attention while in a drunken state, Connor comes to her rescue which led to a big brawl with Conner injured and Ryan thrown out. When Ryan is found murdered shortly thereafter, Conner is the prime suspect. Hayley puts her initial feelings aside and fights to find out the truth on what happened to Ryan and who the real killer is. LOGGED ON by Barbara Ross happens in Busman Harbor. Julia Snowden is determined to be able to make the perfect Buche de Noel for Christmas so that she can have something to make her stamp on or contribution to the holidays. Her Mother suggest that she ask their eccentric neighbor, Mrs. Odile St. Onge to teach her how since hers from years page were all the rage and most sought after around. As a child, Julia, as well as all the other children, feared that house and its occupant. Julie faces her fears and approaches Mrs. Onge to ask for her help. She then feels sorry for this elderly lady all on her own and tries to help with things like picking up groceries and doing things around the house. She still feels that something isn’t right but can’t quite put her finger on it until they start talking. Seems everyone is either missing or dead that had had dealings with Mrs. Onge including her husband. Was he missing or dead? Can she figure out what amiss before something else happens to someone? I found this book a delight to read and bound to get any cozy reader into the holiday frame of mind. After reading the three novellas in this one fantastic book, you will be running to find some of the other books that their amateur sleuths are in to read more of their adventures. Definitely recommend this book any cozy mystery reader for any time of year. After all, can’t we all use a bit of holiday mystery all year long!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Three writers all with the same cozy title but written with three different story lines thoroughly enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Three wonderful, entertaining stories by three wonderful, entertaining authors. A well written read to get you in the holiday mood. Enjoy!
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Yule Log Murder contains three entertaining cozy mysteries. While the three tales are part of existing series, you can read them as standalones. I enjoyed visiting some of my favorite characters during the holiday season. Yule logs are woven into each story. While these delectable cakes are beautiful, they are not easy to make. There are friendly characters, charming small towns, holiday cheer and mysteries in each novella. All three are well-written with steady pacing and good flow. I was a little surprised by what is happening with Patrick Stone’s family in Yule Log Murder. They are not as I remember them, and I hope we see significant changes before they appear in the series again (I know I am being vague, but I do not want to spoil it for you). All three mysteries have humor, but I found myself laughing more at Julia’s antics in Logged On. All three crimes can easily be solved, but they are still pleasing to read (I stayed up very late finishing this collection). I am giving Yule Log Murder 4 out of 5 stars. Find yourself a comfy chair to relax in while reading the diverting and merry novellas in Yule Log Murder.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This book contains three Christmas mystery novellas by three different mystery authors that I love, featuring their main characters and a Yule Log. Up first is the title story by Leslie Meier as Lucy Stone tries to figure out how a young woman died on the set of a movie being filmed in town. Next comes "Death by Yule Log" by Lee Hollis. In this story, Hayley Powell meets her daughter's new boyfriend. While she is less than impressed with him, she begins to poke around when he is accused of murder. Finally comes "Logged On" by Barbara Ross. Christmas is approaching, and Julia Snowden is determined to make a great yule log, so seeks help from Mrs. St. Onge, an unpleasant neighbor everyone agrees makes the best yule log cakes around. All her relatives seemed to have died at Christmas and others in her life are missing. Can Julia solve this mystery? This is a nice anthology featuring three strong mysteries. The stories are not long, but the authors managed to write some good stories with a few twists and turns. I think I liked Death By Yule Log the best, but all were enjoyable. You do not need to read the series these stories are connected to in order to enjoy them, but if you do, you will recognize many of the same characters. The Yule Log Murder is an excellent way to get into the Christmas spirit. Despite all the tales using a yule log, each one had an entirely different spin on the plot. You'll get plenty of Christmas spirit while reading this book, and each author includes some recipes you can make after you've finished the book, including three different recipes for yule logs. The publisher, Kensington Publishing Corporation, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
This book contains three Christmas mystery novellas by three different mystery authors featuring their main sleuths. Up first is the title story by Leslie Meier as Lucy Stone tries to figure out how a young woman died on the set of a movie being filmed in town. Next comes "Death by Yule Log" by Lee Hollis. In this story, Hayley Powell meets her daughter's new boyfriend. While she is less than impressed with him, she begins to poke around when he is accused of murder. Finally comes "Logged On" by Barbara Ross. Christmas is approaching, and Julia Snowden is determined to make a great yule log to impress her boyfriend's family. She's so desperate she gets help from Mrs. St. Onge, an unpleasant neighbor everyone agrees makes the best yule log cakes around. Only, something seems off. Can Julia figure out what is going on? Fans of any of these authors will want to pick up this book. All three feature strong mysteries. Each story is around 100 pages, yet still feature some good twists and surprises that kept the pages flying. I did find the characters in the Lucy Stone story annoying, but that is my only complaint with the book. I don't read Lee Hollis, but I am tempted to with how much I enjoyed the story here. I love Barbara Ross's books, so it was fabulous to get another story with them. You'll get plenty of Christmas spirit while reading this book, and each author includes some recipes you can make after you've finished the book, including three different recipes for yule logs.
gardener0126 More than 1 year ago
This is actually a collection of three Christmas themed novellas, each Involving a Christmas dessert known as a Yule log. I have read and enjoyed most, if not all of Leslie Meijer’s Lucy Stone series but this particular story just didn’t grab me. Lucy seems to be a little out of character in this one. Her overly negative attitude toward her son and especially her daughter in law seemed unlike her, although I suppose you could argue that it makes her more human. The story as a whole was ok, not up there with Meier’s best, but certainly worth reading. The other two stories in this book both featured new to me characters. Since I had no preconceived notions about the characters, I enjoyed them both, In general, if you like to read Christmas themed books, you will find much to enjoy in these stories. These are light hearted, cozy style mysteries, great for when you want to read something with a bit more substance than a short story, but not as time consuming as a full length novel. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free review copy. This review is my own opinion of the book.
lynnsreadingcorner More than 1 year ago
This collection of short stories by some of the best cozy mystery writers is just in time for the upcoming holidays! Three novellas are included in this volume and each story features a mystery with a Yule Log as a centerpiece. Because these are short stories, they go by fast but set a great tone for the holiday season. Each author brings characters into their short stories from their popular series, but you don't necessarily have to be familiar with the characters to appreciate the writing. I was pleased to see the release of another compilation from this publisher as I have been quite fond of the previous holiday story collections released. Don't miss out on the newest collection - you will be pleased - so pull up your favorite blanket, cup of hot cocoa and let this book set the scene for this years holiday season!
Calliegh0 More than 1 year ago
Yule Log Murder is a compilation of three cozy mystery reads by three different authors. Each story contains a Yule Log for Christmas. While Leslie Meier's Lucy Stone is an old favorite of mine, Lee Hollis and Barbara Ross were new to me. I am glad that I took the opportunity to read these novels. Lucy Stone must locate who murdered a cook helper while she is cast as an extra for a movie. Will she find the killer before the movie becomes a wrap. Death By Yule Log tells the tale of Hayley Powell. When he daughter brings home an obnoxious boyfriend, Hayley must decide if she will help when he is accused of murder. Bonus content is new recipes to try. Logged On finds us trying to figure out if the Yule Log has poisoned people and why. I really enjoyed all three stories. I am equally glad to find two new authors to read. I received a copy from Netgalley. A review was not required.
TarynLee More than 1 year ago
In this fun Christmas Cozy we have three authors who deliver on some great mysteries. I read all three authors and love the series that they write. In this wonderful compilation you'll first meet Lucy Stone who is happy that her grandson is there to spend Christmas with her but what also has her excited is being an extra in a film that is being shot at a local home. When one of the workers is murdered Lucy finds someone standing over the body with a knife, but did they do it? In the second story Hayley isn't sure how she feels about the boy that her daughter brought home, there is just something about him that rubs her the wrong way. She also hates that her son in snowed in at his fathers and won't be home for the holidays. While at a party an uninvited guest causes a scene and is later found dead. Who would want to kill such a young man and why? Could he really have that many enemies at his age? During the third story Julia wants to learn how to make a Yule Log so her mother suggests she seek out the help of an elderly neighbor who was at one time know for the dessert. Julia gets the older woman to help but during the process she realizes quite a few people have ended up dead around the woman. Is something sinister going on with her or is it all just a fluke? To learn what happens with each of these main characters and their stories jump right in and enjoy the mystery of it all.
TarynLee More than 1 year ago
In this fun Christmas Cozy we have three authors who deliver on some great mysteries. I read all three authors and love the series that they write. In this wonderful compilation you'll first meet Lucy Stone who is happy that her grandson is there to spend Christmas with her but what also has her excited is being an extra in a film that is being shot at a local home. When one of the workers is murdered Lucy finds someone standing over the body with a knife, but did they do it? In the second story Hayley isn't sure how she feels about the boy that her daughter brought home, there is just something about him that rubs her the wrong way. She also hates that her son in snowed in at his fathers and won't be home for the holidays. While at a party an uninvited guest causes a scene and is later found dead. Who would want to kill such a young man and why? Could he really have that many enemies at his age? During the third story Julia wants to learn how to make a Yule Log so her mother suggests she seek out the help of an elderly neighbor who was at one time know for the dessert. Julia gets the older woman to help but during the process she realizes quite a few people have ended up dead around the woman. Is something sinister going on with her or is it all just a fluke? To learn what happens with each of these main characters and their stories jump right in and enjoy the mystery of it all.
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
Yule Log Murder brings three of my favorite authors together again for another holiday trilogy of Maine Christmas novellas, and I couldn't be happier! Yule Log Murder by Leslie Meier is the first story in the book, and Lucy Stone has her hands full when Toby, Molly, and Patrick surprise the family for a Christmas visit, but she's too busy to spend much time with them because she's (of course!!!) investigating a suspicious death that occurred at the estate formerly owned by the late, and very wealthy, Vivian Van Vorst, and her friend Phyllis's niece is the prime suspect! Lee Hollis' Death by Yule Log finds Hayley and family missing Dustin at Christmas after he's snowed in at his dad's house, but with the arrival of Gemma and her boyfriend (who may or may not be a serial killer), Hayley's quickly distracted. Add in the discovery of a local bad boy murdered outside of Liddy's house, and her blossoming romance with (who'd have thunk it???) Bruce Linney, and Hayley's up to her meringue mushrooms in trouble! The final story, Barbara Ross' Logged On, focuses on Julia's quest to make a perfect Buche de Noel for the holidays so that she can impress her boyfriend Chris' family when they arrive for a visit. The trouble is she needs help from the scary woman next door, Odile St. Onge, whom Julia suspects may have poisoned several relatives, to master the task! These three stories are the perfect combination of cozy and murder, all with yummy holiday recipes, and each one is a great addition to the authors' series. A+++
diane92345 More than 1 year ago
Three novellas in bestselling cozy mystery series all involving yule logs and set in the Christmas season are told in the Yule Log Murder. The Yule Log Murder is part of the Lucy Stone series. An assistant on a movie shoot is killed while transporting a yule log. It includes the recipe for the yule log at the end of the story. In Death by Yule Log, the obnoxious boyfriend of the daughter of Hayley Powell is suspected of bludgeoning someone to death with a frozen yule log. The recipes included sound yummy. They are: • Mom’s Christmas Morning Cocktail • Dustin’s Christmas Morning Cinnamon Muffins • Gemma’s Hot Chocolate • Mom’s Special Hot Chocolate (adds vodka and peppermint schnapps to Gemma’s recipe above) • Randy’s Crock-Pot Mulled Wine • Hayley’s Christmas Yule Log Logged On tells the story of elderly Mrs. St. Onge, whose complicated Buche de Noel (yule log in French), is suspected of poisoning multiple people in the town. This tale is part of the Maine Clambake Mystery series. It includes the recipe for the Buche de Noel plus a warning by the author to find a professional baker to make the complicated recipe. The author helpfully includes an easy recipe for Jewel Brooch Cookies for those of us that are not professional bakers. While I enjoyed all three stories, Logged On was my favorite because of its unusual plot. I liked it so much that I am beginning to read the Maine Clambake mysteries beginning with Steamed Open to be published on December 18, 2018. Many people read cozy food mysteries for the recipes. The recipes in Death by Yule Log are much more likely to appear on my Christmas table. Lucy Stone is one of my favorite characters. I feel like I am growing up (or old?) with her family and friends. The Yule Log Murder is an excellent way to get into the Christmas spirit. Despite all the tales using a yule log, each one had an entirely different spin on the plot. It is recommended to cozy readers looking for a few light evening reads. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4! Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an advance copy.
ELLABELLA01 More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read this book because I am an avid Leslie Meier fan and I read everything Lucy Stone related that I can get my hands on. I especially love the Christmas stories. It was great to catch up with Toby and his family and the mystery was really good, too! This is the second time that she has teamed up with Lee Hollis and Barbara Ross. I have really enjoyed reading both of their books. I really like Hayley Powell in Death by Yule Log. Not only do I like her character, but the mystery was good and I never would have guess who the killer was. In Logged On, I could not put it down! I needed to know if Mrs. St. Onge was poisoning everyone, and where Gwyn and Bradley were! I was pleasantly surprised. This is a great book to start off the holiday season.
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
What a great way to get into the holiday spirit, especially if in addition to food, recipes, parties, and decorations you don’t mind an amateur sleuth and a little murder and mystery. Yule Log Murder is made up of three stories relating to the Yule by best-selling authors Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis and Barbara Ross. Whether you’ve already read these authors (and if not, you should!) or they are new to you, each story is a standalone featuring a character from their well-known, well-loved series. Meier’s Lucy Stone is feisty and outspoken. I love her attitude! In addition to her job and other commitments she once again gets involved in a murder investigation while dealing with some tricky family issues. Hollis’s Hayley Powell doesn’t want to acknowledge that her children have grown up, and that her daughter’s Mr. Perfect might be too good to be true. Especially when it looks like he might be the murderer. Ross’s Julia Snowden just can’t get that Bûche de Noël dessert to come out right, and it’s a lot of fun watching her try, especially with the cranky old neighbor Mrs. St. Onge. Why is it Julia isn’t supposed to go in the coal bin side of the basement, and why did so many of Mrs. St. Onge’s relatives die during past holidays? All three stories – Yule Log Murder, Death by Yule Log, and Logged on – are good, solid mysteries that keep you turning pages and guessing right until the end. The characters are well developed even in these short novellas and make you want to know them better. The references to food are sure to make you hungry and the recipes look delicious. I was provided a copy of Yule Log Murder from one of the authors but a review was not required. That said, I recommend you add it to your holiday reading list and then either go back and start from the beginning or pick up the next books in these terrific authors’ series to see what Lucy, Hayley and Julia get up to next!