It's Christmas in Tinker's Cove, Maine, and Lucy Stone is excited about her acting debut in the town's production of A Christmas Carol. But a real life Scrooge has everyone feeling frosty, and with a murderer on the loose, Lucy will have to unwrap her sleuthing skills faster than she can say, "Bah! Humbug!"
Lucy normally loves planning for the holidays, but this year, Tinker's Cove has fallen on hard times. With so many residents struggling to make ends meet, Christmas festivities are a luxury some can't afford. But the story's not so bleak at Downeast Mortgage, whose tightfisted owners, Jake Marlowe and Ben Scribner, are raking in profits from everyone's misfortune. Half the town is in their debt, so when the miserly Marlowe is murdered, the mourners are few and the suspects are many. . .
It's hard to feel merry amidst all the yuletide chaos. Between her reporting duties at the Pennysaver and nightly rehearsals for the Christmas play, Lucy hardly has time to search for a killer—especially one whose victim left behind so many possible culprits. Scribner believes Marlowe's ghost has come to warn him of his own impending demise, and when he starts receiving death threats, Lucy wonders if there's more to the omen than the ravings of a bitter old pinchpenny. . .
Can Lucy solve the case and deck the halls before the killer strikes again? In a season of giving, receiving a deadly Christmas present is definitely not what Lucy had on her wish list this year. . .