Murder at an Irish Christmas by Carlene O’Connor

Murder at an Irish Christmas by Carlene O’Connor

Murder at an Irish Christmas is the 6th installment in the Irish Village Mystery series, but the first I've read. It worked fine as a stand alone. I felt like I got to know the characters well and was given enough of the backstory but not too much. Siobhán and her family are spening Christmas with the family of James’ fiancé, Elise. Siobhán is a bit apprehensive about her brother’s engagement, but is still looking forward to a peaceful Christmas with all of them together. Of course, that's before the murder is discovered. Elise's grandfather, Enda Elliott, renowned conductor is found dead. His body is on the floor of the old mill, the very place where the village is panning on hosting a Christmas concert that Enda was to conduct. There are suspects galore, although for some reason the local garda is just focussed on one, Theodore Baskins, the village's bad boy. Siobhán thinks there's more to it and Enda's...
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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 Christmas Train by David Baldacci

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

The Christmas Train has just about everything: romance, adventure, mystery and holiday cheer. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a great seasonal read, maybe a little cheesy in parts, but that's okay for a Christmas read. Our main character is Tom Langdon. Tom used to be a war correspondent but he had had enough of war. He now was doing fluff pieces but is still always on the move, going her and there to research stories. Tom has been dating a Hollywood voice over actress for about 3 years off and on in a long distance sort of relationship. So, it was almost Christmas and he needed to get from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles to spend the Holiday with his girlfriend. He wasn’t allowed to fly due to a slight “misunderstanding” with airport security. Tom was distantly related to Mark Twain and it was Tom’s father’s dying wish for Tom to write a piece about train travel, something Mark Twain had attempted...
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The Hour of Death by Jane Willan

The Hour of Death by Jane Willan

I picked up The Hour of Death because of its Christmas-time setting. It's the second in the series, but the first I've read and it worked fine. I felt like I got to know the characters well. I got enough background but not too much. I enjoyed Sister Agatha for the most part. She's smart and tenacious, if a bit overly suspicious. Amateur sleuths pretty much have to be though. I could have done without her constant reference to other fictional detectives. Don't get me wrong, I adore Gamache and Jessica Fletcher, but she referred to them way too often. She stands on her own well, she doesn't constantly need to refer to other detectives. The nuns are an interesting group of women. While they do pray and sing and worship, they also make cheese and text each other and have an artist as a tenant. I think the Advent touches were some of my favorites: the hymns, the idea...
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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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Dying in a Winter Wonderland by Vicki Delany

Dying in a Winter Wonderland by Vicki Delany

We were at Barnes & Noble a couple weeks ago and they had a display table out of Christmas cozy mysteries. David should be pleased that I only picked Up Dying in a Winter Wonderland and not all of them. Maybe I should go back? This is the first in the Year-Round Christmas series that I've read, but I felt like I was able to jump right in. I adored Merry and her family and kind of wished I lived in a town like Rudolph. The other characters, friends, employees, boyfriend, are a quirky group, in a fun way. Merry is ready to celebrate another magical Christmas in her hometown and business at her store is booming. However, Luanne arrives to throw everything into chaos. For some unknown reason, Merry had agreed to style Luanne's July wedding, but Luanne's just informed her that she's moved the wedding up- to February! But when the fiance turns up dead and Merry's brother is the...
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