Krista Davis' atmospheric mysteries wrap the reader in the holiday, no matter what time of year it actually is. The Diva Haunts the House was one of the best Halloween mysteries I ever read. Now, she succeeds equally well with The Diva Wraps It Up. With a full cast of suspects, Davis leaves readers and her amateur sleuth, Sophie Winston, guessing until the very end.
It's time to prepare for the Christmas holidays in Old Town Alexandria. And, the season always kicks off at Horace Scroggins' party. This time, he isn't feeling well during the party, and when he leans on the railing of his balcony to watch the carolers, the railing gives way. Sophie has been around too many deaths, and she's suspicious, especially when Harold whispers to her, and then Edith Scroggins throws everyone out of the house and doesn't follow her husband to the hospital. But, Horace's accident is just the first in the neighborhood.
No one will believe Sophie when she claims another accident was caused by a ladder rung that was cut. However, everyone trusts her instincts when a new neighbor's cookie swap ends in disaster, followed by murder. But, what kind of killer wraps the victim in Christmas paper, and puts a bow on top? As Sophie and her best friend, Nina, look for likely suspects, they realize there are a number of people who might have wanted the victim dead. And, topping the list is Natasha, the woman who has been Sophie's competition since they were girls.
Krista Davis excels at combining well-drawn characters with murder, humor, and entertaining. Only a domestic diva can make everyone feel at home in her kitchen while they discuss murder. Davis creates a charming neighborhood, welcomes everyone into Sophie's home, and then deliberately destroys the peace with a murder. It's a recipe for a successful mystery. If that isn't enough to tempt you to try the book, Davis' latest includes a collection of Christmas cookie recipes. This time, The Diva Wraps It Up in a pretty package of mystery.
Krista Davis' website is www.kristadavis.com
The Diva Wraps It Up by Krista Davis. Berkley Prime Crime. 2014. ISBN 9780425258149 (paperback), 289p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.