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Deck the Halls With Murder; a Josie Pigeon mystery.
By Valerie Wolzien,

Ballantine/Fawcett Gold Medal, 1998/pbk.

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Building and remodeling projects are scarce in the island resort town during the winter season, and building contractor Josie Pigeon is reluctantly preparing to lay off her all-female crew when she gets an unexpected rush job. The client is a prickly, condescending college professor who demands immediate attention. A quadriplegic, he wants his vacation home to be extensively remodeled to meet his needs, and he has no patience for excuses or deviations from his exacting plans. When one of the workers keels over in his living room after eating a poison-laced snack, Josie is threatened with the loss of the contract, and even her business.

The murdered carpenter, new to the island, was almost a stranger to Josie, but the person who confesses to the crime is one of her best friends. To clear her friendís name and save her company Josie investigates the background of the victim and the other crew members, one of whom must be the true murderer. She also has to deal with entertaining her teenage son and his boarding-school friend, making Christmas dinner for her lawyer-sweetheart, Sam, and his well-organized mother, and keep out of the way of the bumbling local law enforcer.

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