What up? Welcome to December y’all. As is my tradition I must play for you the greatest Christmas song of all time. Get ready to get your stockings rocked.
Here’s a fun fact about this song. Every year my mom asks me to help her wrap for Christmas at which time I bust out the first verse of this Christmas gem while looking her dead in the eyes and then turn and walk away. It’s hilarious and she falls for it every year.
So anyway, for whatever reason I decided that I would gear up for Christmas by reading Christmas themed cozy mysteries. It seemed like fun and while I’m much more inclined not to hate Christmas now that I haven’t worked retail in a few years I’m just not a holly jolly kind of gal. I mean. my favorite show is about a bunch of teen cannibals so I’m not looking to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Books like It’s a Wonderful Knife, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen,and and Fruit Baskets and Holiday Caskets appeal to both my love of terrible puns and my somewhat warped holiday spirit. Plus there are so many! Like I could read two a week and not run out of options.
Which brings me to my first Christmas mystery. It’s called Baking Bad and I figured that it was a culinary mystery about murder and meth. Why not? You can imagine my surprise when I got a few pages into it and realized that this book also has dragons. Yup. Cupcake recipes, a murdered man of the cloth, and-I shit you not- a pair of dragons. Now, these aren’t your Tolkien kinda dragons. These are slightly larger than a St. Bernard, have a chameleon like ability to blend almost completely into their surroundings, can talk, and are also part of the womens group at the local church. So that was weird. And I spent, like, the first half of the book just wondering what the hell. As you do.
The thing is these dragons aren’t typically dragon like at all, they seem to prefer the company of older women and behave more like the kind of stuffy rich guys that are always walking around in khakis and a matching safari hat, or wearing a smoking jacket and a monocle. Like if Teddy Roosevelt was a pastry obsessed mythical beast who had a yen for solving crime even though he was terrible at it. The whole book is so bizarre I kept a running list of all the batshit things that happened. It’s like those Stefon skits on Saturday Night Live. It’s got everything.
It’s got fish pie, a hedge witch, a dragon with an obsessive fear of being tased, dragons attempting to hide in a crowded church, a crafting dragon who partners with a human to sell it’s goods on Etsy, dragons who sleep on propane barbecue grills, dragons breaking into the homes of murdered Vicars, dragons walking on their hind legs and providing comfy pillows and a bag of cheesy poofs to a distressed senior citizen, a former RAF officer with a mysteriously missing husband who runs her local bake sale like a mafia head and is so intimidating she can force actual freaking dragons to do her bidding, dragons hiding in bathtubs (from tasers), dragons who want to swear but are too polite to actually do it, dragons worried about being arrested (and tased) for trespassing, dragons having complicated trade disagreements with dwarves, cake porn, and a literal cat burgler.
It’s a lot and it’s all bananas. So bananas that I can’t tell if it’s even good but I sure did enjoy reading it. If only to find out what weird nonsense these elderly ladies and dragons were gonna get up to. And I can’t say if I would recommend it. Truly, your girl is flummoxed by the whole book. But, maybe check it out. Especially if Hallmark movies and Christmas caroling aren’t your thing.
Anyway, I figure I’ll spend the month filling you guys in on all of the odd delights I find as I blunder my way through the holiday season. So check back next week to see if I’ve found a mystery where a precocious kid detective teams up with Mothman to solve neighborhood crimes. Actually, I may need to write that book, Probably I do. See you next week!