A Noel Killing is like a fine wine, something to be savored. With a cast of entertaining characters preparing for the biggest holiday of the year it’s hard not to be envious of their surroundings and their choice of food and drink which Longworth showcases throughout. By the time I finished this book, I felt like I had been transported to a dazzling place full of characters I had come to know and love. There was also a satisfying plot and a little romance on the side.
M.L. Longworth manages to create a homey ambiance to her novel, with the Christmas market on Cours Mirabeau and carols in cathedral Saint-Sauveur. I liked the balance the author reached between the local elements...and the international dimension ... The description of the city, with its famous places, streets, plazas, and restaurants, and of the food offered there, is nicely done ... I have not read the first seven books in the series, and maybe this was a major handicap. I felt totally overwhelmed by the number of characters ... My biggest criticism is actually that the mystery starts much too slowly. It is certainly important to set the scene and present the characters. But the crime does not happen until page 78. This felt too late for a 286-page novel, especially in the mystery genre. And because of the multiplicity of red herrings, the plot develops very slowly. The end was satisfying, though not stunning.