The Twelve Books of Christmas by Kate Carlisle

The Twelve Books of Christmas by Kate Carlisle

I've read a couple of the previous Bibliophile Mysteries and enjoyed them well enough, so since I'm a sucker for Christmas cozy, I picked up The Twelve Books of Christmas. This time around Brooklyn gets a call on Christmas Eve from her good friend Claire, who is in Scotland. Claire is preparing to marry Cameron, a castle laird, on New Year's Day and wants Brooklyn and Derek to be there. So the couple, along with Brooklyn's parents, fly to Scotland. Claire also hopes that while she's there Brooklyn will help solve a mystery- a dozen Christmas-related books, some quite valuable, have gone missing from the castle library. Of course, there's trouble. Most of the women in town, including the castle's new librarian, seem to be anti-Claire. Then, Brooklyn and Derek find a dead body in one of the castle's closets. They, of course, have to investigate the murder in addition to the missing books - which may or may not be...
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The Curse of Penryth Hall by Jess Armstrong

The Curse of Penryth Hall by Jess Armstrong

The Curse of Penryth Hall is engrossing. Ruby, our protagonist, is a disgraced heiress living in exile in Exter. There she works for her landlord, Mr. Owen, who sells rare books. Ruby is jaded, drinks too much, and is rather reckless. She's also generous and stubborn. As the book opens, Mr. Owen sends her with a box of books to a small village in Cornwall. The books, it turns out, are for Ruan Kivell, the town's Pellar, a wise man/witch/folk healer character. After making her delivery she stops a Penryth Hall to visit Tamsyn, an old friend with whom she has a complicated history. It's clear at dinner that Tamsyn's husband is not a good man. The reader is not surprised when he ends up dead the next morning, a victim of "the curse" according to the locals. Ruby doesn't believe in curses, but she does believe in protecting her friend and uncovering the truth. Cornwall is a superstitious, suspicious place still...
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Turkeys and Thanksgiving by Leena Clover

Turkeys and Thanksgiving by Leena Clover

Turkeys and Thanksgiving was my first visit to Pelican Cove, but it was a cute story. Mr. Harrison's prize turkey is missing and he asks Jenny, our amateur sleuth, to find it after the police don't take him seriously. Jenny and her friends, the Magnolias, seem fun and like the type to get into predicaments. I like how the town seems to pull together, like for a Thanksgiving potluck. The mystery itself wasn't terribly complicated, but this is a novella so I wouldn't expect it to be. It was a good holiday read and a nice introduction to the series for me. ...
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Enchanted Hill by Emily Bain Murphy

Enchanted Hill by Emily Bain Murphy

Brimming with Old Hollywood glitz and mystery, Enchanted Hill follows two outsiders, an aspiring private investigator and an alleged thief/murderer, as they infiltrate the estate of Truman Byrd, newspaper owner and Hollywood producer. The story takes place during a week-long house party with a group of movie stars, political figures, and powerful "friends" all vying for fortune, prestige, and power. The estate is lovely and exotic and filled with hidden spaces and secret doors. The atmosphere is both sparkling and privileged and claustrophobic. Cora, our PI, is runing out of time to gather the evidence she needs when the last person she ever imagined seeing again shows up with a new name and dyed hair - Jack. Their history is complicated and the author does a good job dealing with the tensions and attractions between them. I went into the book expecting a historical mystery, which it is, but for me it felt more like a romance or romantic suspense....
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The Twelve Days of Murder by Andreina Cordani

The Twelve Days of Murder by Andreina Cordani

A group of friends who met at university were members of The Masquerade Murder Society where they played immersive murder mystery games. The last Christmas Masquerade ended on badly when Karl, the "victim," disappeared from a locked room and was never seen again. The police were called in but never found any solid leads. The group disbanded but twelve years later, Karl's sister, Ani, has invited them all on a Christmas getaway to a remote Scottish hunting lodge, for one more Christmas murder mystery. When the guests arrive, Ani hasn't shown up yet, but everything has been planned and the murder mystery starts as scheduled. The theme this time around is The Twelve Days of Christmas with characters like Lady Partridge, Lord Leapworth, and Mr. Gold. The group, along with the caterer, is snowed in and, of course, tensions rise and secrets are revealed. Then one of them is found dead and it becomes clear that one of the group...
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Murder at Everham Hall by Benedict Brown

Murder at Everham Hall by Benedict Brown

Murder at Everham Hall had everything I adore in a mystery, but it somehow fell a little short for me. Marius Quin, our amateur sleuth, is invited by an ex-girlfriend, Bella, to a New Year's house party at the home of her friend, actor Cecil Sinclair. As is to be expected, Sinclair ends up murdered and the house is snowed in, so the police can't get to them. Marius, deemed the most likely to be able to solve a crime by virtue of being a (struggling) mystery writer, starts questioning people and hunting for clues. All of the guests are suspects, of course, except Bella who is Marius' sidekick, but some have better motives than others. I never really warmed up to Marius and had trouble buying into the situation. Marius is struggling with his second book and his childhood sweetheart/friend just happens to invite him to a swanky house party where there just happens to be a murder. It...
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