FRUIT BASKETS AND HOLIDAY CASKETS by Gayle Leeson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
It was fun to revisit the Down South Café at Christmastime. I’d read the first couple of books in the series a few years ago, and it’s good to see the gang still as charming and quirky as ever.
This time around, café owner Amy Flowers is trying to clear a friend’s name who’s suspected of murdering an employee. She’s also busy creating an enormous cake float and hundreds of cookies for the town’s Christmas parade.
While I thought Amy was clever with her investigation, I thought the mystery itself was just ok. I think it’s because a lot of it was telling and not showing, and the ending felt abrupt. However, the whole scene at the end of catching the killer was pretty cute!
AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR by Amy Pershing
My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars
AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR is a smart and funny cozy mystery set in the small town of Fair Harbor on Cape Cod. Food writer Samantha Barnes finds the body of the man playing Santa for the town’s Christmas celebration while scoping out a new trendy local restaurant. But who would murder Saint Nick? Turns out the guy in the red suit may have been on the naughty list. With the help of her Harbormaster boyfriend Jason, Sam is determined to catch a killer.
Sam is a delightful character, clever in her investigations and so funny with her snarky comments. The mystery was puzzling with plenty of red herrings to keep me guessing. Each time I decided on a culprit, something changed my mind, and in the end I was completely wrong!
I loved meeting Sam’s parents (the ‘rents) and hearing about the family Christmas traditions. I’m not a big seafood fan, but Sam’s Feast of the Five Fishes sounded delicious!
This is the second book in the Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series, but it can easily be read standalone.
TWELVE SLAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Jacqueline Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
TWELVE SLAYS OF CHRISTMAS is a wonderful start to Jacqueline Frost’s Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series. When Holly White gets dumped by her fiancé two weeks before their wedding, she packs up her meager belongings and heads home to Mistletoe, Maine. With the holiday season in full swing, Holly offers to help out at her family’s tree farm.
Tragedy strikes when the president of the Mistletoe Historical Society is murdered on their property. Margaret Fenwick was a grump known for pressuring businesses to stick to stringent historical guidelines for the town or else, but did it make someone mad enough to kill?
This was a fast-paced and well written mystery with plenty of holiday cheer and a bit of romance. I loved the cold, snowy, cozy atmosphere of the book. Mistletoe felt like a real place. I enjoyed trying to fit all the pieces of the mystery into place. I was very shocked to discover the culprit, but it made total sense. Looking forward to continuing this series…next Christmas!
Wonderful reviews. I have read and enjoyed The Twelve Slays of Christmas, but the others sound fun as well.
Reading cozies at holiday time sounds delightful. And all of these sound especially good.
Those all look fun. Hope you and yours had a nice Christmas and aren’t we all looking forward to a great 2023!
These all sound nice especially the Twelve Slays of Christmas. Happy Holidays!
I love holiday cozies and have only read one of these (Twelve Slays of Christmas) which I absolutely loved! I’m adding the other two to my TBR.
I love the sound of that last one in particular.
Those cozies make me nostalgic for them. I am reading so many psych thrillers these days, and rom coms too. The covers of your books are very attractive.