Murder in Her Stocking by G.A. McKevett
Published by Kensington on October 30, 2018
Series: Granny Reid Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Source: The Publisher
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from The Publisher.
As the Moonlight Magnolia Agency revisits old memories on Christmas Eve, Granny Reid takes the reins back thirty years to the 1980s--back when she went by Stella, everyone's hair was bigger, and sweaters were colorful disasters. But murder never went out of style . . .
Christmas has arrived in sleepy McGill, Georgia, but holiday cheer can't keep temperamental Stella Reid from swinging a rolling pin at anyone who crosses her bad side--and this season, there are plenty. First an anonymous grinch vandalizes a celebrated nativity display. Far worse, the scandalous Prissy Carr is found dead in an alley behind a tavern. With police puzzled over the murder, Stella decides to stir the local gossip pot for clues on the culprit's identity . . .
Turns out Prissy held a prominent spot on the naughty list, and suspects pile up like presents on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, the more progress Stella makes, the more fears she must confront. With a neighbor in peril and the futures of her beloved grandchildren at risk, Stella must somehow set everything straight and bring a cunning criminal to justice before December 25th . . .
Murder in Her Stocking is the first book in the Granny Reid series, which is a spin-off of the Savannah Reid mysteries. I haven’t read the Savannah Reid books, but I had no problems jumping right in with Murder in Her Stocking.
It’s the holiday season in the small town of McGill, Georgia, and Stella Reid is surrounded by her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This time of year takes her down memory lane back to the 1980s, when she helped solve a tragic murder.
As the story jumps back in time, Stella is helping out raising her seven grandchildren. Her son, a long-haul truck driver, is rarely home; her daughter-in-law spends the majority of her days warming her seat at the local watering hole. Stella can’t give her grandkids everything, but she sees to it that they have food on the table and warm shoes on their feet during the cold winter months.
When local woman Prissy Carr is murdered, Stella stumbles across the scene during Prissy’s final moments of life. She’s devastated that someone in McGill would commit such a violent act, and she’s also determined to find out who’s responsible. With her inquisitive granddaughter Savannah by her side, Stella sets out to find the guilty party—and it seems that many of McGill’s residents have a motive for murder.
I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. I went into it expecting a fun, cozy mystery—and while it’s definitely that, it’s also much more. The relationships between Stella and her grandchildren are both heartbreaking and moving, and the complicated family dynamics between Stella and her daughter-in-law feel maddeningly authentic. In addition, I really appreciated how Stella empathized with Prissy when others treated her as less than human at times due to Prissy’s less than stellar reputation. Stella’s moral compass is strong, and while she touches on faith elements from time to time, it never feels overbearing.
I cheered for Stella the whole way through! She’s feisty and ferocious, but in the best possible way. Now that I’ve met the Reid family, I’m looking forward to going back and reading Savannah’s series and I’ll definitely be picking up the next Granny Reid mystery.
Rating: 4.5 stars