Murder, She Wrote: Manhattans and Murder and Murder, She Wrote: A Little Yuletide Murder (Crosspost)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Murder, She Wrote: Manhattans and Murder (1994) and Murder, She Wrote: A Little Yuletide Murder (1998)

By Donald Bain

The Christmas episode of the show was fairly lackluster, so I suppose it's fair that the novels match. These two brief books are part of a long-running spin-off series that apparently someone will continue to write until society crumbles. (Seriously, Book 47 is available for preorder.)

The two books have a few things in common. The author can write passable lines of dialogue and narration, but there's no build from scene to scene and the story as a whole is utterly forgettable.

Both books seem determined to raise but refuse to sensitively address social issues (drug addiction and teenage pregnancy, respectively).

Most bizarrely, both books feature a minor subplot about someone asking Jessica to write a true-crime novel about the events going on. Unless this was a running gag in all the books, it seems strange not to reference the first event, given the other superficial similarities. (Both books feature the death of a Santa, the first a man raising money on a street corner, the second a farmer who always played Santa in the town festival.) You might think that I'm the only person who's going to read the second (first by some counts) and tenth books in this series back-to-back and notice this, but they were re-released as one volume in 2009.

Read the full review on Mainlining Christmas.

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