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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.
Police Chief Merry Folger is used to the logistical hassle of high-profile politicians spending Christmas on Nantucket. Unfortunately, this year the holidays will include not only the Secretary of State and her family but a Hollywood film crew–and a couple of dead bodies.
The Sec’s stepson Ansel recently learned that his estranged mother was squatting on their old house on Nantucket, despite the fact that his father told him she was dead. He spends two days with her, admiring her artwork and watching her photograph island birds on the moor before she turns up dead for real–murdered. Grief-stricken Ansel confides in his new friend Winter, daughter of the lead actor in a film shooting nearby, who lost her own mother years earlier to suicide. But Winter has problems of her own, being sexually harassed by a vindictive, abusive Hollywood agent, husband of the film’s director, who has spent every day of his short time on the island making enemies. When he goes missing, it’s too much to hope that the two incidents could be unconnected, and it will be up to Chief Folger and her team to untangle the secrets and hidden connections between the stars and the suits before the killer strikes again.
Grudges galore and shifting points of view yield abundant suspects for this evenly-paced, traditional murder mystery. With echoes of the COVID-19 pandemic and the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, DEATH ON A WINTER STROLL juxtaposes timely explorations of grief and trauma with a charming Nantucket Christmas backdrop for a satisfying, suspenseful read with moderate edginess. No need to have read the previous books in this series to jump right in with this one!