Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Holly, Jolly Murder (Claire Malloy, #12)” as Want to Read:
A Holly, Jolly Murder (Claire Malloy, #12)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Holly, Jolly Murder (Claire Malloy #12)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  557 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
With Farberville's college on holiday break, Claire Malloy's bookstore is quiet . . . deadly quiet. Breaking the silence is a little old lady looking for volumes on pagan rituals, applied magick, and Celtic mysticism. Claire is intrigued and—miffed that her lover, Farberville police Lieutenant Peter Rosen, says she's in a rut—happily acce
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Minotaur Books (first published November 1st 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Holly, Jolly Murder, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Holly, Jolly Murder

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-arkansas
Bookstore owner Claire Malloy finds her holiday season clouded by local pagans, who involve her in their disputes and in a murder case.
Emily Cullen
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Accused of being in a rut, bookseller Claire Malloy accepts an invitation to attend a winter solstice ceremony, but instead of a celebration, one of the members of the Sacred Grove is found dead. This was my final Christmas cozy mystery of the season and I was disappointed. I have read the "Claire Malloy" mystery series years ago but did not feel at all compelled to pick it up again. Joan Hess writes the Arly Hanks, Maggody cozy mystery series too and I find that much funnier with more detailed ...more
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Dec 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Shelves: 2008, mystery
Very disappointing addition to the Claire Malloy series. A Holly, Jolly Murder has been tagged as a "Holiday Themed" book. Only by stretching the imagination to its very outer limits would I categorize it that way. Merely because Hess mentions Christmas or Santa Claus now and then doesn't make this book anywhere near being about the holidays. It's about Druids and Satan-Worship and Wiccans... if that dredges up sweet memories of Christmases past for some readers, fine. It certainly did not do th ...more
The Badger
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Claire Malloy series is a step above a Cozy, mainly because you actually LIKE the characters. Claire is the single mother of Caron, a teenaged daughter who's at the age of speaking in ALL CAPS. Claire is also the proprietor of a bookstore (which she doesn't seem to spend much time in, on account of solving murders and trying to calm Caron down to at least italics). Peter is Claire's detective boyfriend whom she's lucky to have, otherwise she'd spend the majority of her time in a holding cell ...more
Pamela Mclaren
Oct 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
There's nothing lonelier than a bookstore near a college campus when school is out of session but that has never stopped Claire Malloy from being visited by several weird and assorted characters, especially in this holiday driven book where in a moment of trying to find some excitement, Claire decides to join the local Druids and Wiggans as they celebrate the winter solstice. As usual, it doesn't go off without a hitch: one of their flock doesn't show up and when they check on him, he is dead.

Dharia Scarab
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Still not my favorite series, but not bad either.

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by t
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
This is the first Joan Hess book I have read, and I really enjoyed the book. I found the plot interesting, and did not have a definite idea about who had committed the crime until very near to the end. I enjoyed the subplot with Claire's daughter too. I am looking forward to reading more Joan Hess books in this series.

Also, unlike other reviewers I found the Christmas theme very important to the plot of the book. The main character discusses Christmas on practically every page. If you are looki
Dec 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
I haven't read anything by Hess is quite awhile, but I remember liking the Malloy series. I simply could not get through this book and on about page 47, I wondered why I was reading it. Malloy, who is smart enough to help solve murders, was portrayed by her actions as witless and her supposedly clever thoughts were mundane. I was looking forward to a little cozy for the holidays, but I was disappointed instead.
Mar 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Hess, Joan: A HOLLY, JOLLY MURDER, A Claire Malloy Mystery (#12): neither any of the characters, nor the plot could hold my interest—dropped after 100+-pages; on my GoodReads “To Read” list; not sure where I heard about it but it was added to my list in mid-Mar. ’14, so guessing it was NYTimes review; published 1997 hardback via Madison Co. Public Library, 265 pgs.; attempted May 2014
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
I thought this story' is boring. Not much about Christmas. The plot was weird and weak. I liked the character Clare. She was interesting and straight forward. Her daughter on the other hand was very snotty. Which is very un becoming for a young girl. I learnt nothing about theDruids and Wiccans. I'm glad that I finally finished the book.
Dec 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: funnylight
While poking fun at organized pagans, Hess shows a surprising appreciation for all the various forms and an understanding of some of the political/religious differences between druids, wiccans, etc. Made me think she might have done some personal research--perhaps at my alma mater, where the druids were revived in the late 60s!
Lynn Demsky
Aug 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
This was really a slow moving boring book - usually I really enjoy the Claire book store owner books but, just took me months to read ---- I could care less about the witches, druids or Wiccans religion etc and just kept wading along -- Santa was a drunk, there was no holly jolly anything in this story. The last maybe third of the book was worth reading ..... maybe.
Lesley Looper
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, 2012
I expected this book to have more of a Christmas theme, but the Christmas holiday seemed to be more in the way of the story (especially when it came to Caron's mall job fiasco). Instead, Claire gets entangled in some Druid drama that doesn't quite fit with the title or book cover. *sigh*
Diane Wachter
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Joan Hess, A Claire Malloy Mystery, Bk 12, PB-B @ 1997, 5/10. Bookseller Claire gets involved with wacko witches and druids when their benefactor is found dead of a gunshot wound, and the druids are harboring secrets. Weird, nothing to write home about.
Mary Newcomb
I had a lot of trouble tracking this story. Not sure if this is due to the story or the fact that I read this late at night (and fell asleep doing so more than one night). The side story, involving Caron's part time job, was entertaining.
Lauri Saplad
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atw
I must read more of Joan Hess' work! As mysteries go, this one was exceptional! She is acerbic, hilarious and witty. This was not your normal Christmas story either. Wiccans, Druids and Satanists -- oh my! Highly recommended.
Chris Vassey
Loving this book so far!! On page 108 and woke up early this morning to squeeze in a few more pages before the rest of the family wakes up.
Feb 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
Clare Malloy gets involved with a group of Druids and Wiccans who all seem linked to the murder of a prominent citizen.
Jen Voszler
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Really didn't have much to do with Christmas and sometimes it just made no sense whatsoever.
Levy Roberge
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I like the way she writes. I'll be looking for more of her works.
Charlene Gordon
Aug 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Ok book. Read this in 2000.
Caralyn Rubli
Not a bad story. But every single person in this book is a raging asshole.
Lois Hecksel
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
More a story about Druids than Christmas.
Kathleen Kelly
no review
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another Joan Hess. So glad my daughter gave me my first one!
Mary Mckay
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love her books all are written well and are funny.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
fairly dark for a Claire Malloy
Mary Ann
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun story centered around scrapbooking. Enjoyed reading it at Christmastime. Good scrapbooking tips too.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Typical Hess.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Silent Knife (Celebration Bay, #2)
  • Slay Bells (Pennyfoot Hotel #14)
  • The Alpine Christmas (Emma Lord, #3)
  • Corpus Christmas (Sigrid Harald, #6)
  • Murder is a Girl's Best Friend (Paige Turner, #2)
  • Two Cooks A-Killing (Angie Amalfi, #11)
  • A Stillness in Bethlehem (Gregor Demarkian, #7)
  • Make No Bones (Gideon Oliver, #7)
  • Mrs. Jeffries and the Silent Knight (Mrs. Jeffries, #20)
  • Let There Be Suspects (Ministry Is Murder Mystery, #2)
  • Advent of Dying (Sister Mary Helen #2)
  • Death, Snow, and Mistletoe (Tori Miracle, #4)
  • A Wicked Slice (Lee Ofsted, #1)
  • South Of Sanity (Hannah Garvey Mystery #2)
  • Resort to Murder (Henrie O, #6)
  • A Carol for a Corpse (Hemlock Falls Mysteries, #15)
  • Holly and Homicide (A Domestic Bliss Mystery, #7)
  • Do Unto Others
Joan Hess was the author of both the Claire Malloy and the Maggody mystery series. Hess was a winner of the American Mystery Award, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writers League. She lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Joan Hess also wrote a mystery series under the pseudonym of Joan Hadley.

Series contributed to:
. Crosswinds
. The Year's 25 Finest Crime and M
More about Joan Hess...

Other Books in the Series

Claire Malloy (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Strangled Prose (Claire Malloy, #1)
  • The Murder at the Murder at the Mimosa Inn (Claire Malloy, #2)
  • Dear Miss Demeanor (Claire Malloy, #3)
  • A Really Cute Corpse (Claire Malloy, #4)
  • A Diet to Die For (Claire Malloy, #5)
  • Roll Over and Play Dead (Claire Malloy, #6)
  • Death by the Light of the Moon (Claire Malloy, #7)
  • Poisoned Pins (Claire Malloy, #8)
  • Tickled to Death (Claire Malloy, #9)
  • Busy Bodies (Claire Malloy, #10)

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • Fractured
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Never Smile at Strangers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Furious (Faith McMann Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • Where Eagles Dare
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Alone
    $17.99 $2.99
  • Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes, #2)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Period 8
    $6.74 $0.99
  • The Guns of Navarone
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Idaho
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Dead Letters
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Phantom (Alexander Hawke, #7)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Working Fire
    $3.99 $2.00
  • The Barkeep
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00
  • Moving Day
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unrivaled (Beautiful Idols #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Secrets of Southern Girls: A Novel
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Dorchester Terrace (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #27)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Flower Net (Red Princess, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Grave Tender
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ugly Young Thing (Strangers #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Before I Go to Sleep
    $8.24 $2.99
  • When You Reach Me
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pretty Little Things
    $4.49 $1.99