Seeing Poppa’s ghost was no big deal, I’d gotten used to it. The reason I was nervous about seeing his ghost was the fear. The only time the ghost of my Poppa came to see me was when there was a murder in Cottonwood.
All Sheriff Kenni Lowry wants for Christmas this year is to make it out of Cottonwood. Her boyfriend/deputy, Finn, wants her to join his family in Chicago for the holidays and Kenni is determined to be there. Unfortunately, her plans derail when a Christmas blizzard threatens to snow everyone in for a truly white Christmas and a young, troubled girl is murdered.
- Poppa’s ghost is lively, and it’s adorable how doting and protective he still is of Kenni.
First, a lump or two of coal. The story’s flow is occasionally blocked by choppy dialogue and a plodding plot pace. And the ending is a bit exasperating (not to worry, everything is ultimately tied up neatly into a logical little bow). Tangled Up in Tinsel is still entertaining and a quick read (the book took me roughly the time of two or three Hallmark Christmas movies to finish it), it just felt a bit unpolished in places.
On to the good stuff. The mystery contained plenty of twists and red herrings to keep me guessing, but Kappes’s charming depictions of Cottonwood and its colorful townsfolk are why I kept reading. Kappes’s small-town touches to the story are spot-on. Another bright spot is the story’s humor. Kenni’s stubborn refusal to accept the possibility of a blizzard hitting the town before she can leave for Chicago and the antics of Kenni’s mother as she tries to become the town’s holiday Snow Queen (because, with Kenni out of town, “What else do I have to look forward to this Christmas?”) are priceless.
Tangled Up in Tinsel isn’t perfect, but it is fun. My suggestion? Fix up a hot mug of homemade hot chocolate, grab a handful of little candy canes to absentmindedly nom on, and cozy up under a warm afghan before you start reading. Not a shabby way to spend a December afternoon. Not at all.