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Life is hectic enough for suburban single mom Jane Jeffry this Christmas season-what with her having to survive cutthroat church bazaar politics and finish knitting the "afghan from Hell" at the same time. The last thing the harried homemaker needs is an unwelcome visit from old acquaintance Phyllis Wagner and her ill-mannered brat of a teenage son. And the Wagner picture becomes even more complicated when a dead body is woven into the design. Solving a murder, however, is a lot more interesting than knitting, so Jane's determined to sew the whole thing up. But with a plethora of suspects and the appearance of a second corpse, this deadly tapestry is getting quite complex indeed. And Jane has to be very careful not to get strangled herself by the twisted threads she's attempting to unravel.
When an unpopular cleaning lady is strangled to death with a vacuum cleaner cord, Jane Jeffry, a single mom with an eye for mysteries, finds time between PTA meetings and car pools to do some sleuthing. A widow of seven months, Jane must also delve into her past searching for clues and some meaning to what is happening in her world. Juggling 3 active children, a best friend who likes to volunteer her for things, and a handsome policeman keep Jane on her toes.
Jane Jeffry is event manager of a rich wedding at a remote club. But before the wedding day arrives a violent storm has knocked the lights out and someone takes a slippery slide to sudden death. Jane quickly steps into the role of investigator. But before she can supply the police with a motive for murder, the ceremony begins, and someone's idea of a fantasy wedding suddenly turns into a killer of an occasion.
'Tis the season to be jolly and suburban mom Jane Jeffry's in a mad scramble to finish her cookie baking and household chores before her teenage kids arrive home. Also expected are two moms-both the late husband's mother and the disapproving mater of police Detective Mel VanDyne, Jane's significant other. The kitchen is a disaster zone, the dog has decorated the house with hair, and the earsplitting racket coming from the neighbor's tacky, music-making Christmas display is driving Jane crazy. Now she has to get the green icing out of her hair and be ready to host her post-caroling dinner party. One thing Jane isn't ready for is a surprise visit from a muckraking TV "action reporter," disguised as Santa Claus. The nasty old St. Nick is out to wrap a happy holiday caroling into a package marked "scandal," but before he has a chance to color the event with yellow journalism, his red-suited body slides off the neighbor's roof to land, silenced forever, on the horns of a plastic reindeer. It looks like Santa's mishap is no accident and, with the help of her friend Shelley, Jane finds plenty of suspects. The phony Santa has an ex-wife and a female assistant who both hate him, and plenty of nice people ruined by tales of naughtiness. Now Jane has to find the Grinch who thought murder was a way to save Christmas...before the holiday turns into the unhappiest day of the year.
Jane Jeffry has a new hobby: the theater. Jane has graciously agreed to lend her taste buds to the college's newest production, helping Shelly judge prospective caterers who will be feeding the actors. But soon she's drawn deeper into the real life drama surrounding the play than she ever hoped or anticipated.
Wealthy old Auguste Caspar Snellen, the legendary Pea King, is long gone, but his greatest legacy lives on: the Snellen Museum, an institution dedicated to the glorification of local lore and legumes. But at this years annual Pea Festival, the museum sustains a terrible loss when its able, innovative director, Regina Price Palmer, is shot to death during a noisy reenactment of a Civil War battle. Suburban single mom Jane Jeffrey was a costumed participant in the deadly pageant. Now her part-time work at the museum has put Jane and best friend Shelley Nowack in the midst of a veritable potful of murder suspects. And its up to Jane and Shelley to determine who fatally beaned poor Regina--before another victim is planted six feet under.
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