Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah

Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah

The Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off cover is absolutely adorable and honestly may have been the reason I picked it up. It's the second in the Beacon Bakeshop series but worked fine for me as a stand-alone. Lyndsey wants a perfect Christmas, she's got tons of lights for her lighthouse bakeshop, her family is coming, and her bakery is filled with all kinds of goodies. Then, of course, things start to go awry. The town announces a Christmas cookie contest with a celebrity judge, hoping to draw more tourists and their money. Every business that wants to participate, and everyone does, must have a signature cookie set out for visitors, then there's voting and a live finale. Except, most business owners don't bake or don't have time to, so Lyndsey's phone starts ringing off the hook for "signature cookies." She is overwhelmed until Carol Nichols arrives out of the blue and takes over most of the baking. And then the...
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Reindeer Runes by Danielle Garrett

Reindeer Runes by Danielle Garrett

Reindeer Runes is the second in the Winter Witches of Holiday Haven series, but it stands alone. It's written by a different author and features different characters, but takes place in the same world. Rudolph and Jack Frost are missing! In this fun Christmas cozy mystery Lumi and Corbin, Jack Frost’s brother, must find the missing icons before Santa finds out Rudolph is missing and before Jack misses his coronation as the Frost king. Lumi and Corbin are likable and their interactions feel real. Corbin is powerful but funny and a good detecting partner for Lumi, who is smart and quiet, and laid back. Their blossoming attraction didn't feel forced or overly rushed. The mystery was well-done. We had several possibilities and the "deadline" added some urgency. The supporting cast is a colorful collection, including pixies. With mystery, magic, and a bit of romance this book is a perfect read for this time of year. ...
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Sleigh Spells by Bella Falls

Sleigh Spells by Bella Falls

Mystery, magic, and romance at Christmas - Sleigh Spells is such a fun, sugary book. Aurora has a bit of a history, but serving probation in Holiday Haven has given her a fresh start. I love Holiday Haven. It's one of the towns near the North Pole and it is all about Christmas, even more so when the holiday is just days away. Then Santa's sleigh goes missing and none other than Mrs. Claus asks Aurora to investigate. Aurora is a witch, but wary of her magic — ice and especially fire can cause plenty of damage. She makes several new friends, most of whom are a little magical. My personal favorite is Nutty, her roommate who is a talking squirrel and also on probation, for stealing nuts of course. She also has a potential love interest. It's nice to see Aurora have a group of people she can rely on for help, it's something she hasn't had before in...
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An English Murder by Cyril Hare

An English Murder by Cyril Hare

An English Murder is a typical, country house, murder mystery common in Golden Age mysteries, with a slightly different feel. Although the set-up is one of my favorites – a group of guests snowed in at a country house over the holidays – the modern world is beginning to impinge. Domestic staff is harder to get hold of and Briggs, the butler, valiantly does his best to keep up standards with far less help than he previously had. Meanwhile, the house is suffering from a lack of staff and money. It looks impressive, but maintenance is expensive and the present Lord Warbeck’s son, Robert, is unlikely to be able to afford his inheritance. Lord Warbeck is old, and ill, and wants to have his family with him at Christmas. His guests include his son, Robert, who is the President of the League of Liberty and Justice, a an antisemitic and anti-socialist organization; Sir Julius Warbeck, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Mrs. Carstairs,...
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The Diva Wraps It Up by Krista Davis

The Diva Wraps It Up by Krista Davis

It's Christmas time in Old Town, usually a wonderful time of year for Sophie and her neighbors, but this season we have a sprinkling of murder and mayhem. Horace Scroggins falls from a balcony during his office Christmas party. Baxter Babineaux, Sophie's neighbor falls off of his ladder decorating his house for the Annual Christmas lighting Contest. And then, at the annual Christmas Cookie Swap hosted by Gwen Babineaux, tempers flare when Gwen snaps unflattering pictures of Natasha, Sophie's rival domestic diva and girl friend of Sophie's ex-husband Mars. After the cookie Swap, Gwen is found murdered, wrapped up like a Christmas present complete with a bow in Natasha's garage. Obviously, Natasha comes under suspicion, but it turns out that there is more than one person who may have had a motive. Apparently Gwen has several secrets and what if the other accidents were not actually accidents. Sophie and her friends need to find out who in their neighborhood is...
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Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson

Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson

I was looking for an audiobook and Murder on Astor Place was available to "read now" through the library. I know people who really enjoy the series and since it was the first, I thought I'd give it a go. I read the blurb and it sounded right up my alley. The book takes place in the 1890s in New York City, which is a good setting. We see the tenements and the grand houses, meet good, and bad, people from all walks of life. Sarah is a intelligent, resourceful, and able to deal with people from a variety of classes. Sergeant Frank Malloy has asked for her help on this case, which seems a bit out of character, but we have to have the pair to make the book work. The story was suspenseful. The clues were well-planted. I liked both Frank and Sarah and they do make a good team. I think, maybe if I had read it at a...
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