Everything’s going well for singer Emma Wild. Taking a break from her crazy celebrity life in Hartfield has been a refreshing change, even if she did have some difficulty choosing between her movie star boyfriend Nick Doyle and her high school sweetheart Detective Sterling Matthews. But she has made up her mind: she knows who she wants to spend the rest of her life with.
The mayor of Hartfield asks Emma to perform at the annual Snowman Festival, where there are a plethora of fun activities to cure the townspeople of their winter blues every January. But when the mayor’s two children are kidnapped in broad daylight during the snowman building contest, Emma snaps into detective mode. The only clue she has is a ransom note, which contains a couple of lines from an obscure poet named Harold Winken. She thought she also saw the children talking to a man from the stage when she was performing, but she has no idea who this mysterious man could be.
Emma asks Detective Sterling Matthews for help, but he has a new partner, a smart and beautiful brunette named Sandra who only sees Emma as a shallow nuisance. Can Emma solve the case on her own and prove that she’s more than a pretty face?
This book is third of four holiday/winter-themed short cozy stories by Harper Lin. Emma Wild is still in her cozy Canadian hometown, which leads you wondering if she’s ever going to go back to her glamorous life in New York.
In the ending of the second book, New Year’s Slay, Emma told Nick and Sterling that she needs time to herself. Considering how much she was struggling with her feelings for both men, I actually respected that decision. But what I didn’t expect is for her to still be in her hometown a month after her initial arrival. Apparently men aren’t the only thing Emma needs a break from. She’s constantly avoiding calls from her manager, record label, and other corporate types that are panicking because her next album is coming out soon.
Meanwhile, this short story explores a cute little tradition of a snowman building contest. This is exactly the type of thing I expect in a cozy mystery and I feel like the author finally hit the right mark with this book. As the snowman judging comes to an end, the town is surprised to find that the mayor’s two young children have gone missing. Which means Emma’s going to be determined to solve the case… especially since she’s going up against Sterling and his stunning new partner.
Once again, the pattern of suspects continues. But at least Emma is forced to do what typical cozy mystery heroines do: solve it on her own!
Anyone who has read my last two reviews from this series will know that I’ve been critical of the short stories up to this point. However, I was surprised by how much I liked this one. The only thing that angered me was the ending… but I’m not big on spoiling things, so you’ll just have to read it to find out why!
I hope you’ll check this out and let me know what you think!