It's the season of peace on Earth and goodwill to all men—except in Byerly, North Carolina, where murder is about to take center stage in the seventh installment in bestselling author Toni L.P. Kelner's Southern mystery series.Laura Fleming's theater-loving husband, Richard, is getting an early Christmas present—he's been asked to direct Byerly's production of A Christmas Carol. To Richard's annoyance, the play is beset by practical jokes and glitches, and Seth Murdstone makes an unconvincing Scrooge. Unfortunately, he makes an all-too-convincing corpse. When Seth is found murdered backstage, Laura agrees to investigate.This time, she has an unexpected sidekick: Byerly's police chief Junior Norton, who's determined to solve the case before her ambitious deputy does. Junior's inside information is a definite boon—for one thing, she knows that Seth was a longtime moonshiner. The man had a veritable stockingful of secrets, and between grudge-filled rivals and feuding family members, there are plenty of likely suspects. But which one decided to bring the curtain down on Seth, and can Laura and Junior stop the culprit from staging an unwanted encore performance?