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The Snow White Christmas Cookie (Berger and Mitry) by David Handler
Cover Artist: Hugh Syme
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250004543
Date: 16 October 2012 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

It is one week before Christmas and historic Dorset is blanketed with snow and festive decorations. Resident state trooper, Des Mitry, learns from the postmaster, Paulette Zander, that someone is stealing cash, gift cards, prescription meds, and other valuables from the mailboxes. Bryce Peck, a neighbor of Des's film critic boyfriend, Mitch Berger, commits suicide via an overdose of prescription meds. Soon afterwards, there is another suspicious suicide. While investigating a possible link to the Castagno crime family, Des learns that Mitch has gone missing and may be dead.

David Handler's The Snow White Christmas Cookie is a great follow-up to its predecessor, The Blood Red Indian Summer. Comedy and snow are piled deep in this tense, holiday thriller. Many questions are introduced concerning the security of the mail that is placed in our mailboxes. Can we trust our neighbors not to pilfer from us? Can we trust our mail carrier to put our mail in the right box? Yesterday evening, one of my neighbors brought me a stack of my junk mail that had erroneously been placed in her mailbox. Praise the Lord for honest neighbors. I've hand delivered errant mail myself on numerous occasions.

Des's love for Mitch is clearly revealed in this installment. There is the exchanging of Christmas presents, which is a sweet greeting card moment. But the most exciting proof comes when Des and her hilarious gal pals on the police force (Toni Tedrone and Yolie Snipes) race against time to find Mitch before he experiences a horrible death. Speaking of humor, I didn't think this one would top The Blood Red Indian Summer, which had a celebrity athlete and his ghetto relatives. However, The Snow White Christmas Cookie has an abundance of Swamp Yankees, what we in Tennessee would call rednecks or poor white trailer trash.

There is a lot of adultery taking place in Dorset, Connecticut, over the holidays. (This cozy little town has more Ho's than Santa Claus and more nuts than a fruitcake.) There is a perky, blond life coach, Josie Cantro, who helps men overcome their sexual inferiority complexes. Skanky drug addict Gigi Garanski is being pimped by her stupid bodybuilding boyfriend, Thomas Burke Stratton (a.k.a. Tommy the Pinhead). Lem and Tina Champlain's marriage is on the rocks. Lem has a high maintenance girlfriend, Debbie, and Tina keeps sexting her boyfriend, Matt, on her cell phone. Tina claims to love Matt even though they've never personally met; they've also e-mailed nude photos of themselves to each other.

Laugh-out-loud humor, zany characters, suspicious deaths and a freezing-cold, holiday setting make David Handler's The Snow White Christmas Cookie a must read. Fans of Christmas mysteries, such as I, won't be disappointed. The revelation of the killer's identity was a shocker. I didn't have a clue. My only complaint was some of the subplots were left unfinished. For example, what is the actual identity of Tina's cell phone lover? A lesbian? A group of college students punking her? Nevertheless, I highly recommend that fans of Mitch Berger and Des Mitry read this installment over the Christmas holidays.

Our Readers Respond

From: Valerie Cannata
I love this series and would never miss one, especially Christmas theme, but your review makes me want to run out the door and start it NOW. Thanks.

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