Wednesday, December 7

Blame it on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Is There Really a Fountain of Youth in Paradise?

Welcome back to Bright 's Pond, where strange happenings are afoot at the Greenbrier Nursing Home. Strange even for Bright 's Pond. The residents suddenly act like kids again riding trikes, climbing trees, and of all things falling in love. Some of the townsfolk blame it on the crooked new gazebo, or its builder, a quirky little man who quotes Don Quixote, collects water from the fountain at the Paradise trailer park, and disappears on a regular basis.

While Chief of Police Mildred Blessing investigates the mystery, Griselda and her friends deal with a luau Thanksgiving, preparations for the Christmas pageant, and maybe even an upcoming wedding. Only, in Bright 's Pond, nothing ever really goes as planned . . .

Joyce Magnin is the author of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, chosen as one of the "Top 5 Best Christian Fiction Books of 2009" by Library Journal. She's written several short fiction and personal experience articles. She co-authored the book, Linked to Someone in Pain. She has been published in such magazines as Relief Journal, Parents Express, Sunday Digest, and Highlights for Children. Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writer’s conferences and women’s church groups. She has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam; one grandson, Lemuel Earnest; one son-in-law, Joshua, and a neurotic parakeet. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, and needle arts but not elevators. She currently lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.

Blame it on the Mistletoe is book four in the Bright's Pond novel series, and it's definitely quirky, downright bizarre at times, and totally unpredictable. I have read one of the previous books, so had some prior exposure to the type of humour that Joyce writes.

Imagine a nursing home where all the residents start acting strange. One old lady is madly riding a tricycle up and down the hallway, constantly ringing the little bell on the handle bar. Or how about the old couple smooching in the gazebo? Nothing seems normal, so they call in the local police officer Mildred to solve the mystery of the weird behaviour. At the same time, there is a strange water fountain in the neighbourhood trailer park that some claim is the fountain of youth. Speculation is that these events might be somehow related.

Quirky characters, nonsense chatter, and a bunch of unbelievable events all combined in a crazy novel that is guaranteed to make you smile or even laugh out loud. And it will also make you scratch your head at times ... I still want to know what a "booby hatch" is.

Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley, courtesy of the publisher Abingdon Press, in exchange for my honest review.

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