Cecily Sinclair Baxter loves celebrating Christmas at the Pennyfoot except for one thing - the Christmas Curse that seems to happen each year. She's hoping this Christmas will finally be murder free but her hopes are quickly dashed when the body of a former employee is found in the duck pond. The local constable is convinced one of Cecily's staff is responsible for the murder but agrees to hold off arresting anyone until after Christmas. Cecily must rush to not only prove her staff member is innocent but catch a killer before it is too late.
"Decked with Folly" is the latest holiday book in Kate Kingsbury's delightful cozy mystery series set at the Pennyfoot - an annual Christmas gift to her fans. The setting is a familiar one for her fans and the mystery is a bit lightweight - the constable all too conveniently disappears so Cecily can solve the crime herself and it is pretty easy to figure out who the killer - but Kingsbury fans will want to read this book (and the other books in the series) not for the mystery but to revisit favorite characters. All of them are here: Cecily and her beloved husband Baxter, her unconventional friend Madeline and Madeline's husband Kevin, her friend Phoebe (who isn't in the book as much as one would like - even her annual Christmas pageant is poorly treated), her household staff - Mrs. Chubb, Gertie, Pansy, and temperamental chef Michel. The book focuses mostly on Cecily and Gertie, alternating between the two of them - readers may want to shake Gertie and tell her to straighten out her tangled love life for once and for all, but that's the beauty of this series - Kingsbury has created characters that you care about and feel like family.
Fans of cozy mysteries will love "Decked with Folly" and spending the holidays at the Pennyfoot - I look forward to visiting there again next Christmas.
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I have read all of the books so far in this series. The stories are simple and somewhat predictable but the unique characters have become like old friends whose lives are fun to follow. I have enjoyed the books more for that reason than for the mysteries surrounding the deaths which threaten to bring about the closure of the Pennyfoot Country Club. I have found it relaxing to read about these people as they cope with life during the beginning years of the nineteen hundreds. This book is another pleasant addition to this cozy mystery series.
I recommend every one of the Christmas themed Pennyfoot Hotel murder mysteries. The characters in these books are well developed and take place over the years so the characters have their own backgrounds which may or may not cause problems in the book. Therefore, there are always a pleasant read.