Gold, Frankincense and Murder by Barbara EarlyGold, Frankincense and Murder by Barbara Early
Narrator: Madison Brightwell
Published by Pelican Book Group on January 3, 2013
Genres: Christian Fiction, Mystery, Christmas
Length: 2 hrs 22 mins
Format: Audiobook
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High school geometry teacher, Donna Russell likes her life well-ordered and logical, even if it is a tad solitary at times. But when a charming co-worker at the local food bank disappears just before Christmas, Donna is left with more questions than solutions. After the missing man's neighbor, muscle-bound EMT Sam Holton, volunteers as Donna's crime-fighting sidekick, sparks fly between them. Donna wonders if Sam can be trusted, or if he's trying to throw an unknown into her calculations - and her life.

This is a cute little mystery. The suspect list is short, and the clues are sprinkled throughout, but I for one didn’t put them together until the reveal. Then it all made sense.

I like Donna as a main characters. She’s not perfect, maybe a bit nerdy, but caring and smart and not too young. I don’t know why she was so suspicious of the dead guy’s friend so quickly, and of course the missing man turns up murdered not long after it’s discovered he’s missing. I understood that she at first thought he was out of her league romantically, but she jumped to maybe he was the killer pretty quickly for someone who she meets for the second time in church. Of course, it is just a novella and she had to meet him, suspect him, and start a bit of a romance with him all in a short period, so maybe that explains it. And Sam just kept trying. He’s a good guy and really sexy- well-built and a wonderful baker.

This is a Christian books, but not preachy. The religiousy bits are woven in nicely, fit well with the story and the characters.

It was a nice seasonal read, but it’s a bit too short. I would have liked to get to know the characters better, especially the supporting roles. I think it could have been fleshed out more and been a better story. It felt rushed.

About Barbara Early

Barbara Early (A.K.A. Beverly Allen) grew up buried in the snowy suburbs of Buffalo, NY, where she developed a love for all things sedentary: reading, writing, classic movies, and Facebook Scrabble. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, but her penchant for the creative caused her to run away screaming from the pocket-protector set. Barbara cooks up cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her husband and daughter


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