The Case of the Disappearing Beaune by J. Lawrence Matthews

The Case of the Disappearing Beaune by J. Lawrence Matthews

How could I pass by Sherlock at Christmas? The Case of the Disappearing Beaune opens with Watson stopping by Sherlock's rooms to invite him to Christmas dinner. Sherlock, of course, refuses, but as he gives Watson his Christmas gift, a bottle of beaune, the pair realizes the wine has been replaced with sand. And Sherlock knows where that sand is from. Sherlock is sure it signifies a threat to the king, so off the two go, on a race through London to solve the case. For a short story, there were several twists and it showed off Holmes' detecting style well. We also encounter several old friends along the way. It's a sweet, light Christmas story with a rather surprising ending. It makes a perfect holiday story, but perhaps a slightly disappointing mystery. ...
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Candy Cane Conspiracy by Cate Lawley

Candy Cane Conspiracy by Cate Lawley

Candy Cane Conspiracy is fun and cute. I did read "Tea with a Demon" first, which is a short story telling about the book Trixie and her grandmother are updating, All Things Magical and Bumpy Things in the Night. It's also the first time Trixie meets Sylvester, a very handsome, very gentlemanly, very knowledgeable demon who plays a major role in the Candy Cane Conspiracy. Trixie has moved to Idaho to escape her magical creature problem, but of course, it's not that easy. The local furry fairies who look a lot like squirrels have been bothering her. And then one day close to Christmas, she comes out of her house one morning on her way to work to discover that her bushes and trees are filled with candy canes, thanks to the fairies. Turns out there's been a murder in town. A local witch is dead, stabbed with a candy cane just like the ones in her yard. Sylvester, newly arrived...
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The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz

The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz

First off, Rory Kinnear does a fabulous job as the narrator of The Twist of a Knife. The story is told in the first person by the fictionalized Anthony Horowitz, so hopefully, I'll never hear the real Horowitz speak, since I'll expect Kinnear's voice. Beyond that, though, he does all the characters' voices well, inserting their personality and feelings into their dialogue. When I first started this series, I wasn't a fan of Horowitz inserting himself into the story as the detective's sidekick, but I've changed my mind. The bits of his real-life intermingled with the fictional plot are fun. For example, he really did write a play called Mindgame that really was performed at the Vaudeville Theatre. As the blurb states, Horowitz is the main suspect this time, accused of murdering a theater critic, and the evidence is mounting. Of course, he turns to Hawthorne, who takes the case. (He has his own reasons for doing so; it's not just out...
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Frozen Detective by Amanda Flower

Frozen Detective by Amanda Flower

Frozen Detective is a fun, wintery mystery that takes place at New Year's. Darby and Tate take on a case for Tate's old friend, Cecily (CeCe) Madd. Cecily's husband has been receiving threatening notes and she's worried his life is in danger, but of course, she wants to avoid the publicity that calling in the police might bring. Darby and Tate go undercover to a New Year's party Cecily and Dr. Madd are holding at the nearby ski resort. And, of course, first thing on New Year's Day, Dr. Madd is killed, shot with a crossbow on the ski slope. The Police close the lodge and ordered the guests to remain. Darby and Tate must find the killer before the weekend ends and the guests leave. I enjoyed Darby and Tate. Darby is an experienced PI, but Tate is pretty new to the agency and it was good to see how they have to learn to trust each other and recognize...
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Murder on the Christmas Express by Alexandra Benedict

Murder on the Christmas Express by Alexandra Benedict

It's the night before Christmas Eve, and the sleeper train to Fort William leaves Euston with a number of passengers on board, including a killer, a stowaway, and former Met detective Roz Parker. The first part of the book introduces us to all the characters. In addition to Roz, we have a widely varied group, including a social media influencer and her boyfriend, a reality tv "star"; four students competing for a place in a quiz team; a couple traveling with their four children; a lawyer; an elderly woman and her son; and of course the train crew. Somewhere after Edinburgh, in heavy snow, the train is derailed, and shortly afterward, one of the passengers is found dead. I love a good closed-circle mystery, especially one set around Christmas. MurderOne of the people on the train is a killer, that's clear, especially when there's a second death. Of course, several of the passengers have secrets, worries, and, in true...
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The Enigma of Room 622 by Joël Dicker

The Enigma of Room 622 by Joël Dicker

The Enigma of Room 622 is the first of Dicker's works I've read. I think I saw it on one of those must-read mysteries of this month lists. I'm not sure if I enjoyed it or not. I feel like I missed some of it because of my unfamiliarity with the author, who has fictionalized himself as one of the characters in this story within a story (within a story). A. Joël has come to a hotel to refresh after a bad breakup and the death of his editor. The hotel does not have a room 622. He and Scarlett, a woman he meets at the hotel, decide to investigate what happened in room 622. Apparently, it has to do with the Ebezner Bank, Switzerland's largest private bank, and the banquet that had been held at the hotel years before. B. (Joël's story based on what he and Scarlett learn) Macaire Ebezner and Lev Levovitch are both poised to take over the...
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