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Reviewed by Justine Reyes for Readers' Favorite
The Christmas spirit has filled the streets of Copper Bluff, South Dakota and on the horizon for local college English professor Emmeline Prather is an upcoming concert of the Jazz Underground. A Very Merry Murder by Mary Angela is a cozy sleuth novel, the third story in Angela's A Professor Prather Mystery series. As the title implies, not everything is about the jolly spirit of Christmas ... or jazz for that matter. When Miles Jamison, a bass player in the concert, is found murdered, Prather becomes the number one suspect. Prather will have to prove her innocence while also finding out what really happened to Miles Jamison.
This is my first Professor Prather Mystery and I can honestly say this was the best way to be introduced to the series' titular sleuth. A Very Merry Murder has a great ambiance outside of the suspenseful and oftentimes cozy narrative. I don't think readers will need to read the other previous books to feel caught up in the tale. I read it as if it were a contained story before realizing there were two books prior to this one. However, after reading A Very Merry Murder, I have the utmost desire to check out Mary Angela's two previous novels from her Professor Prather series. It reminds me a bit of M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth, at least when it comes to the small town atmosphere and the style of writing. Reading A Very Merry Murder was an early Christmas gift in itself. I can't wait to recommend this book to fellow fans of sleuth mysteries and cozies!