Goodbye Noel, by Nike Chillemi (Desert Breeze Publishing, 2011)
The year is 1946. In the fictional town of Sanctuary Point, on the south shore of Long Island, New York, life is getting back on track after the war. It’s Christmas time, and spirits are high – until Katrina Lenart finds one of her neighbours dead.
Who would murder this young woman while her baby slept in the next room? With the father nowhere to be found, Katrina gets permission to care for the infant. She is, after all, a pediatric nurse. And she lives with her parents, who will babysit while she’s at work.
Katrina and the detective assigned to the case, Ian Daltry, get off to a bad start but quickly fall for one another. Ian can’t forget losing his wife in a drive-by shooting, and he’ll do anything to keep Katrina, his daughter Amy, and baby Leslie safe.
But can he do enough? Why is the baby a target? And for whom?
Katrina is equally determined to protect the baby, and she quickly becomes Ian’s unofficial helper to solve the mystery.
Goodbye Noel is a fun mystery with plenty of clues and red herrings. It gives an interesting picture of this era, where children of immigrant parents still face discrimination (Katrina’s parents are Czech) and where there aren’t enough eligible bachelors to go around. It’s an elegant time, even for middle-class people like Katrina and her family, and we get to observe a high-society soiree as well.
Nike Chillemi has written four mysteries so far in the Sanctuary Point series. Goodbye Noel is the second. For more about the author and her books, visit her Crime Fictionista website.
[Review copy from my personal library.]