Murder on a Midnight Clear by Sara Rosett

Murder on a Midnight Clear by Sara Rosett

Yes, I've started reading Christmas books already. No, our house isn't decorated yet. Does anyone have any great ideas to protect a Christmas tree from a dog? The dog in Murder on a Midnight Clear is an adorable Jack Russell terrier who is a little better behaved than mine. Olive and Jasper are officially dating now, but Olive is her usual curious self, determined to figure out Jasper's secret. She follows him and does a bit of spying, which is in character if a bit annoying. She has a car accident that lands her in the same country house as Jasper for Christmas. And of course, there's a murder - the butler is found dead. A county house murder at the holidays may be my favorite set-up. I enjoy the decorations, the food, the presents, all of which give us some clues here. This time around we have an eccentric set of characters, each with their own secrets. Well, except Olive, she...
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Magical Midlife Dating by K.F. Breene

I loved the first book in the series and picked up Magical Midlife Dating, #2, almost immediately following. Jessie has decided to stay in Ivy House and take up all the magic powers that includes. She's decided to settle into her new life and apparently dating is part of that. Granted, it makes for some funny moments, but I'm really not sure that's where her focus should be. And, really, we know who she should be dating. Learning new powers is not as easy as it sounds, and although I love Ivy's House's guardians, they are not always the best at helping. Jessie accidentally ends up summoning others for help, but she has no idea who will show up until they get there. These new folks, and another who shows up later in the book, are a good mix, some I liked, at least one was rather sleazy. Magical Midlife Dating had me smiling and laughing and rooting for Jessie. ...
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Magical Midlife Madness by K. F. Breene

Magical Midlife Madness by K. F. Breene

Why have I never read anything by Breene before? Magical Midlife Madness is funny and cute and I loved it. Alright, maybe Jessie being in her 40s helped too, even though I question 40s being middle-aged, I certainly don't feel middle-aged, but Jessie does seem to have more creaky joints than I do. But 40 is definitely not too old to start a new adventure and I love that Jessie goes for it. I also adore that her "team" is older too. Recently divorced and in need of a do-over, Jessie accepts a position as caretaker of Ivy House, an old mansion she visited as a teen. Between the strange butler, groundskeeper, and talkative next-door neighbor, things seem more than a little crazy. We've got plenty of paranormal characters, shifters, gargoyles, a vampire, an alicorn, and who knows what else. We've got a touch of romance that I assume will progress as the series continues. Best of all, we've got a...
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After the Storm by Isabella Muir

After the Storm by Isabella Muir

After the Storm is the second mystery starring Giuseppe Bianchi and his niece, Christina Rossi. Giuseppe has been in England visiting his cousin for several months now. He has been in England for several months, when a new friend, Edward Swain, dies during a storm. Edward owned a large rambling house. He lived in part and rented parts to two young adults. The lodging house is in poor condition, and the storm strikes down a tree that lands on and destroys a summer house in the back yard that lands on his Edward, killing him. Locals believe the death to be the result of a tragic accident, but Giuseppe thinks his friend was lured to the summer house, leading to his death. Giuseppe and Christina, a reporter, talk to Edward's tenants and look into their backgrounds. look into the backgrounds of Edward’s house guests. The mystery itself was fine, but the characters carried the book. We also get...
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Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

Retired detective Guiseppe Bianchi is visiting with family on the Southern coast of England, when a local child is found dead, probably not an accident. Guiseppe can't stop himself from thinking about the case. He teams up with his niece, reporter Christina Rossi, to do their own investigating, sharing information with the police as they go. It's the 1960s, at a time when ‘stranger danger’ was becoming part of the national consciousness, and that fear is woven into the story. Guiseppe is charming, but sad. This open-ended vacation may be good for him. Christina is smart, but has a lot on her plate and lacks confidence in her own skills. They make a good team. I listened to the audio and thought the narrator did a fine job. The characters were well-distinguished and his tone fit the seriousness of the crime. The plot was put together well. It's not a quick moving mystery, but I enjoyed the pace. The characters...
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Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency by Daisy James

Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency by Daisy James

Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency, was a sweet, fun book to read with a cup of hot chocolate or my favorite coffee, cinnamon sugar cookie, which just returned to store shelves for the season. I love a good holiday romance and this one hit all the right notes. We have a lovely, snowy setting, happy couples, Christmas trees, cookies, and mulled wine. This is the third in the series and starts right in with the lead-up to Phoebe and Sam’s Christmas wedding. This is first I've read and it did take me a little while to feel comfortable with who the characters are and their relationships to each other. Once I got to know them, though, it's a fabulous group, fun to spend time with. Lexie is, temporarily, a wedding planner, and she wants this wedding to be perfect. I loved all of the activities leading up to the wedding party, like decorating Christmas trees and making gingerbread creations....
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