By Kelly Bridgewater
Back Cover Copy:
As Christmas 1946 draws near, thirty-something marine officer-turned-homicide detective Lane Walker has his hands full. Three men with seemingly no relationship to each other have been murdered, including the powerful District Attorney. The only connection between the crimes? The weapons: twenty-year-old unopened fruitcake tins manufactured by a company that is no longer in business.
While some foods may be to die for, fruitcake isn't one of them! This heaping helping of murder will be no easy task for Walker, and he certainly doesn't need the determined and feisty Betsy Clayton, the political reporter for The Chicago Herald, getting in the way.
Personally, I have never read anything from Ace Collins. I have heard of his mystery books, but I have never gotten around to fitting them into my crazy to-be-read pile. After reading The Fruitcake Murders, I am glad that I did finally read something of his. Collins story features everything a great mystery should have. A daring cop. A nosy reporter. A love triangle. And three dead bodies with the ties to the mob.
The mystery centers around a fruitcake tin. No one I know will even eat the stuff, so I thought it was neat for Collins to create a complete mystery that deals with a fruitcake tin. The mystery is a interesting and has many different layers to it. I couldn’t wait to find out who the bad guy was. There were moments of me wanting to read faster so that I could figure out who done it. Just when I think that Tiffany, Lane, or Bret Garner would solve the mystery something awful would happen and change my perspective. Collins does a great job at hiding the identity of the villain until the last moment. I was surprised.
I really empathized with Tiffany, the reporter who wanted nothing more than to be loved and make her name known in the news reporter world. What person now days doesn’t want to succeed at their chosen profession? I completely related with her. On the other hand, Lane and Bret Garner also wanted to succeed in their missions to help Tiffany solve the two crimes. But along the way, both of them believe they are falling in love with Tiffany. Don’t be threaten by my last sentence, there really isn’t any of the gushy romance stuff that happens in romance books. The story handles the mystery for the most part.
The plot of the novel takes place in 1946. Christmas 1946 to be more accurate. I felt the biting wind across my cheek as Tiffany ran through the snow to be free of the bad men chasing her. I got nostalgic as I pictured the holiday decorations and lights in the store windows (it is my favorite time of the year). But I had a hard time believing the story took place in 1946. As for the historical accuracy of the time period, I think it should have had a little more attention to detail. This story could have happened in the middle of the fifties during the age of decents where everyone wanted to have the new and latest things. It doesn’t take away from the mystery; I still completely enjoyed it.
I received a complimentary copy of The Fruitcake Murders from Abingdon Press and the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars