Down the mountain from Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is Christmas Tree Valley, a place filled with hundreds of Christmas tree farms where generations of growers have made people’s lives brighter. Yet even here in this quiet, postcard-perfect corner of the world, darkness and murder can still stalk the night.
Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle has always had a special gift with wild animals. It was one of the reasons she decided to train with the wildlife agency. She’s spent the last ten years in Alabama working, but her mother needs her home and she’s back despite all the bad parts of her life she hoped to leave behind.
Her first day home begins with a fire on the island in Sweet Pepper Lake and the death of Harvey Shelton, the wildlife agent she’s supposed to replace. Bonnie manages to rescue dozens of animals from the fire – including a wolf pup that was shot with the same bullet that killed Harvey.
Now she’s hot on the trail of Harvey’s killer and trying to reintegrate the wolf back into the wild even though he seems to want to stay with her. Yet old memories persist in the small community where she grew up, and the killer now seems to believe that she has what he killed Harvey for. All she has to do is figure out what that is before it’s too late. (summary via Goodreads)
I was so caught up into Murder Fir Christmas that when I clicked my Kindle to turn the page I was shocked to see that I was on the last page. I truly loved this book and cannot wait for the next book in this new series.
Ridng along with Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle as she gets re-aquainted with her home town in the middle of a snowstorm and the murder of the agent she is replacing is a wild ride. Bonnie has 10 years experience on the job so she has no trouble getting to work right away. Although there is a lot going on you are able to follow along smoothly. It is like everything blends together and you can just read the story without having to stop and think. You truly feel like you are right there in Sweet Pepper Lake.
What can be said of Joyce and Jim Lavene that hasn't already been said ? They have written so many good books and series that everything good has already been said. The talent between them is unremarkable. The gift they give to the reading community is a gift to be treasured. Whether the book is written by Joyce alone, Jim alone or the two combined, you know you have a great book and will enjoy the story inside.
** This was a hard review to write as Murder Fir Christmas was dedicated to Joyce. She passed away on October 20, 2015. She will be missed by all but if you have read any of her books, she lives within you. Her writing leaves an impression on you that will always be there. Her memory will live on with her great books. I highly recommend reading Murder Fir Christmas and feel Joyce's spirit within the pages......
Review by Missi S.