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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The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder by Marla A. White

The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder by Marla A. White

Mel is a former cop, now the owner of the Babbling Brook Inn. When she finds a guest dead in front of the fireplace in her lobby, her instincts won't let her believe it was a simple heart attack. The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder is a fun, Christmassy novella. Mel is a good character, smart, tenacious. She's afraid the death will scare guests away from her inn, so decides she has to do some investigating with the help of a local restaurant owner, Jackson, and the town doctor. At the same time, she's trying to perfect her grandma's cookie recipe for the town's contest. A good cozy mystery sleuth always has to juggle real life and solving the crime. I was suspicious of the killer pretty quickly and it turned out I was right. That didn't stop me from enjoying the book though. The clues are well-placed and the story moves along quickly. We had a couple of suspects and Mel tries...
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The Twelve Deaths Of Christmas by Marian Babson

The Twelve Deaths Of Christmas by Marian Babson

It's twelve days until Christmas and all of the lodgers in Maude's rooming house are getting ready for the holiday - shopping, decorating, expecting guests. Outside of their door, there's a killer loose in London. The police are clueless, the victims seem random and a different method is used each time. The writing was clever. We have scenes from the boarding house, scenes with the police and their investigation, which are in the third person. Interspersed among them are chapters from the killer's first-person point of view, showing what they are feeling and thinking, but without giving away their identity. I didn't love The Twelve Deaths of Christmas, the senselessness of the crimes that kept the police from catching the killer was also what kept me from really enjoying it. The end tied things together alright, but I tend to enjoy traditional puzzle mysteries and cozies more than serial killers, even when it's Christmas. ...
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Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen is a fun cozy mystery set in the quirky town of Rudolph, New York. I love Rudolph, where it’s Christmas all year round. Rudolph is a tourist town and it's December, the time of year when they have the most visitors and make the most money. But then a poisoned cookie kills a journalist who was doing a feature on the town. Was the journalist the target or is someone trying to ruin Christmas? It’s up to shop owner Merry Wilkinson to figure it all out, to keep her best friend Vicky, the baker of the cookie, out of jail and save Rudolph's reputation. While Merry is smart and resourceful, she gets some help from the locals, who are all charming. And her family is fabulous, from her Santa Claus dad to her former opera singer mom. Everyone in town, except for the killer, pulls together to salvage what they can of Christmas and the tourist...
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The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes

The Man With a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes

The Man with a Load of Mischief is the first in the Richard Jury series. The only reason I picked it up was that it takes place at Christmas, but I'm glad I did. I'm not sure how I missed this series before. I will definitely read more - I might actually be listening to the 2nd as I'm typing this. The book takes place around 1981 - no cell phones, no internet, no tiny cameras. This is the type of mystery where our detective has to watch for clues, talk to people, not rely on technology. Our detective from Scotland Yard is Richard Jury, intelligent, patient, kind. Our sidekick is Melrose Plant, rich, clever, sparkling green eyes. We see the story from their alternating points of view. We only know what they know, we only hear what they hear. The writing style is descriptive and full, without being overly detailed. The book certainly has serious moments, but Plant...
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The Christmas Night Murder by Lee Harris

The Christmas Night Murder by Lee Harris

It's Christmas and Christine, a former nun, is visiting the convent she lived in until she married. A priest she studied under is coming for a visit from his new parish in Wyoming and everyone is looking forward to seeing him again. The priest never arrives and Christine is brought in to search for him. The book touches on convent life, which I found interesting. It's an insulated community where secrets can be kept. It also deals with abuse in the Catholic Church, but the way it was approached seemed surprisingly outdated. Yes, this book takes place in the early 90s but still. Christine is a good character. She's persistent and honest and loyal. Her husband, Jack, a police sergeant, gives her some help, but she does most of the investigating on her own. I'm not quite sure how she manages to get all the answers and access she does, but people always seem to talk to amateur detectives. I listened to...
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