Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse by Peggy Webb is the 5th book in the “Southern Cousins” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington Books, September 2012

Someone’s ringing slay bells and Callie, her bodacious Cousin Lovie, and the basset hound who believes he’s the King reincarnated must go on the hunt for a killer who’s anything but jolly.

It may be Christmas in Tupelo, but there’s precious little peace in the valley for the Valentine gang. Callie Valentine Jones’ not-quite-ex Jack is trussed up like a holiday turkey, recovering from a shattered leg. Cousin Lovie’s on the rebound, looking for love in all the wrong stockings. And Elvis the basset hound is out for revenge on the Lhasa Apso who’s been singing “Merry Christmas, Baby” to his sweet French poodle behind his tail.

Everyone finally gets into the spirit when Uncle Charlie is pressed into service as Santa at a weekend charity event in the mall. But Yuletide cheer turns to Yuletide fear after a killer tries to zap Charlie back to the North Pole marked “Return to Sender”–and sends Rudolph to the big reindeer pen in the sky.

Determined to find out who’s decking the mall with Christmas corpses, Elvis and the Valentines fill up their sleigh with suspects. Could it be the cookie lady who puts more than sugar into her Christmas goodies? The deranged vet who vows to barbecue Santa? Or the former beauty queen who’s been stalking Charlie in her spare time? Can the Valentine gang unmask this devil in disguise in time to turn their “Blue Christmas” all Christmas-y and white?

When an incident puts Uncle Charlie in the hospital and Rudolph in the morgue, the quirkily eccentric Valentine gang, led by Callie, is back in full force as they take on a killer out to destroy Christmas in Tulepo.

I had such a great time reading this book. The fast-paced whodunit is a hilarious romp through the crazy world of Callie Valentine and her family. The fun never stops even when Callie and Lovie find themselves in precarious situations. The author did a good job in keeping me guessing and creating a dynamite series that boast lovable characters, a feel good atmosphere and zany dialogue. I love this series and I look forward to the next joyous escapades with Callie and her friends.

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