“I am sorry for those that disagree with me because I know that they are wrong.” – Woodrow Wilson
I hadn’t read any of the three previous Hoale Construction Mysteries, but decided to take this one on because it looked good. I’m glad I did. I will now have to read the first three books, because these are some of the funniest, most colorful and sexy characters around. If this was what Declan Sands could do with them in 75 pages, I can’t imagine how great a whole novel would be.
Adam Hoale is back in Candlelight, IN to celebrate Christmas with his family. His on again/off again partner, the swoon-worthy Dirk Williams, isn’t able to join him. He is accompanied by his huge dog Walter and his colorful friend Mink. Adam’s parents don’t know that he is gay, and Adam is terrified of his father’s reaction.
When he arrives, Adam drives through town and sees that the living crèche that should be standing in front of the church isn’t there. He soon finds out that his father hasn’t been able to build it due to trouble with the local lumber supplier. Once the cavalry rides to the rescue, the crèche is completed and the manger is found in the basement with a dead man sprawled across it.
Everything seems to point to Adam’s father as the murderer. The sheriff has a long-standing grudge against Mr. Hoale, the elder, and seems in no hurry to prove his innocence. The citizens of Candlelight are more interested in gossip than truth. From an intrepid gossip reporter to a crazy bunch of supporting characters, this is a fun and sexy mystery.
As the title suggests, this isn’t the first time Adam has had to solve a mystery. He and his group of friends, including Walter the dog, eventually get to the bottom of things. And the one thing Adam was most worried about, his father’s reaction to his homosexuality, becomes not such a big deal what with the murder charges and all.
This little novella was so readable. I loved every second of it. Not realistic crime solving, but where’s the fun in realism? The characters weren’t well developed, but I chalked that up to the fact that I hadn’t read the preceding novels in the series. I look forward to them. Hoale-heartedly recommended!