A Body In Seaview Grange (Kate Palmer 2) by Dee MacDonald @bookouture #BookReview

Hello lovelies! I can’t believe it’s the last day of April already!! Today I’m trying to catch up, as usual, with the second in the Kate Palmer cozy mystery series as I have the third book for a blog tour in May. First a little about the book:

Title: A Body In Seaview Grange (Kate Palmer 2) by Dee MacDonald

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 12th November 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Practice nurse Kate Palmer is ready for some peace and quiet in her little Cornish village, but there’s soon to be a murder on her doorstep…

Kate’s retirement in Cornwall hasn’t quite gone as planned – Lavender Cottage is in need of substantial repairs and her sister Angie’s fondness for gin does rather stretch the purse-strings.

So when Kate is asked to do some nursing at the luxury retirement flats in Seaview Grange, she jumps at the chance. The old Victorian house has stunning views of the sea and the retirees are a peaceful bunch. That is, until Edina Martinelli, a glamorous ex-opera singer, is found poisoned in her home.

Edina’s death is ruled an overdose by Digoxin, the same medication she had been on for years. But Kate is sure the woman she met was not suicidal, and with the reputation of her practice on the line, she decides to do some digging. Luckily she’s got the newly retired Detective Inspector Woody Forrest to help her…

It’s not long before Kate discovers evidence of foul play, and there’s no shortage of suspects. Was it the besotted vicar? The ill-tempered stepson? Or perhaps Edina’s neighbour finally had enough of her constant warbling. It seems everyone had a motive, but who amongst them had the stomach for murder? And will they kill again?

If you love murder mysteries by Agatha Christie, Faith Martin or Joy Ellis, then this page-turning novel will have you reading late into the night!

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second in the series and can easily be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading the first A Body In The Village Hall, just to get a better understanding of the characters.

A Body At Seaview Grange is a traditional British cozy mystery, not much blood, gore or violence, an idyllic village setting and some interesting suspects along the way.

Semi retired nurse Kate is pulled into the mystery surrounding Edina Martinelli, ex-opera singer and full-time diva, who annoyed almost every single one of her neighbours at the Seaview Grange. The police think Edina took too much of her prescription medication, but the woman herself was convinced that someone was out to kill her. 

Kate is still on fine form, dogged and determined even though the police think Edina’s death may have been an accident. I really enjoyed the development of the character, along with the addition of a new police inspector for her to butt heads with. There’s also still a bit of romance with ex DI Woody Forrest, who reveals a few surprising facts about himself in this book.

As with the first novel I guessed the who quite early on, but the why wasn’t clear until the killer was revealed.

A Body At Seaview Grange is a light-hearted mystery which is a perfect escape for a few hours.

About The Author:

Aged 18, Dee arrived in London from Scotland and typed her way round the West End for a couple of years before joining BOAC (forerunner of British Airways) in Passenger Services for 2 years and then as a stewardess for 8 years.

She has worked in Market Research, Sales and at the Thames TV Studios when they had the franchise.

Dee has since relocated to Cornwall, where she spent 10 years running B&Bs, and only began writing when she was over 70!

Married twice, she has one son and two grandsons.  

You can find Dee on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dee.macdonald.18659

and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DMacDonaldAuth

#DeadInTheWater #StonebridgeMysteries @cmacwritescrime @RedDogTweets

Title: Dead In The Water by Chris McDonald

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Date Published: 27th March 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

The Stonebridge Regatta is looming. The town’s annual face-off against neighbouring Meadowfield is usually a weekend filled with sunshine, laughter and camaraderie. 

This year is different.

A week before the race, the body of Stonebridge team captain Matthew Henderson is found dead in the water. The police file his passing as a tragic accident however, his grieving widow disagrees and suspects foul play is involved. She enlists the help of Adam and Colin, the town’s amateur (self-proclaimed) private detectives to unearth the truth.

Did Matthew simply slip and fall into the water, or is there more to his death below the surface?

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: mybook.to/DITW

The Red Dog Shop: https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/dead-in-the-water

Review:

I want to thank Red Dog Press for providing me with a copy of Dead In The Water in exchange for an honest review.

I’m so glad to be back with Adam and Colin for the second in the Stonebridge mysteries. If you haven’t read the first, The Curious Case of Daniel Costello, Dead In The Water can be read as a standalone, but I would personally recommend reading the first as it’s such a good novella!

If you don’t know this series, they are cozy mysteries set in the small Irish town of Stonebridge following two amateur sleuths and best friends Adam and Colin.

A grieving widow comes to Adam, convinced that her husband didn’t drown by accident. Adam is busy with his new gardening business but the lure of a mystery is too much for him to turn down, even roping poor put upon Colin to help.

As I said in my previous review, both Adam and Colin are very likeable sleuths and I enjoyed the fact Colin got a more central role in this book rather than just being a sidekick type character.

This story has a snappy pace and even though it’s only a short book, there’s still plenty of suspects, clues and red herrings to keep you guessing.

I felt the actual mystery wasn’t quite as funny as the first, but of course that’s just my opinion.

Dead in the water is a well-written whodunnit with likeable sleuths underpinned with some subtle humour. I’m looking forward to more Stonebridge mysteries in the future!

About the Author:

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs. Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, published by Red Dog Press in 2021. 

#PublicationDay Murder On The Island by Daisy White @DEWhiteAuthor #BookReview

Title: Murder On The Island by Daisy White

Date Published: 24th February 2021

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

When recently divorced Chloe Canton is gifted her grandmother’s house in Bermuda in her will, it seems a perfect time for a fresh start.

Her chance at paradise comes with a rundown business, a neighbour who is putting pressure on her to sell up for development, and another who quickly makes herself comfortable in Chloe’s house.

If that wasn’t enough, Chloe discovers a dead body on the local riding trail soon after she arrives and finds herself dragged into a murder investigation.

With tensions rising and island gossip to contend with, as well as a murder in their midst, has Chloe bitten off more than she can chew?

Will Chloe stick it out and help solve the case or will paradise turn out to be too hot to handle?

Murder on the Island is the first book in the gripping Chloe Canton Mystery Series.

Review:

Regular visitors to this blog will know I’m a big Daisy White fan, so when I saw she was releasing a new cozy mystery series I knew I’d have to give it a go!

Chloe is newly divorced and looking for a fresh start when inherits her grandmother Dre’s house and stables in Bermuda, a place she spent the first years of her life. All doesn’t go smoothly. She finds out the stables are in trouble financially and someone seems intent on driving her out of business, to add to her troubles she finds a body close to her house. 

Murder on the island is a solid start to this cozy mystery series with a wonderful tropical setting which made a change from the drab greyness of British wintertime.

I loved the setting of Bermuda, which was vividly described and really reminded me of the show Death in Paradise. It also still contained the typical cozy mystery small-town feel where gossip is currency in the tight-knit community and can spread from one side of the island to the other quickly.

I liked Chloe. She’s not your typical sleuth, I always find most amateur sleuths are a little more nosey than she is, but she has a dogged determination that I admired while reading.

I felt I would have like a few more suspects, just to muddy the waters of the mystery a bit more, but there were still a couple of shocks and surprises along the way.

Murder on the island is a great bit of escapism for these trying times!

About The Author:

Daisy White/D.E White writes crime/thrillers and cosy crime. After numerous jobs, including being a flight attendant, a 999 call handler for the ambulance service, and a healthcare assistant in A&E, Daisy started writing full time in 2017. She lives on the Sussex coast, UK and has two children and a flock of rescued chickens.

A brand new crime thriller series, starting with GLASS DOLLS: Published by Joffe Books, the series follows former Elite Police Source Handler, Detective Dove Milson, in her first case for the Major Crimes Team. Book two, THE ICE DAUGHTERS is out now.

Daisy also writes cosy crime, including the Amazon bestselling RUBY BAKER SEASIDE MYSTERIES for Joffe Books. A brand new cosy crime series, THE CHLOE CANTON MYSTERIES, will be out in Feb 24th 2021, pub’d by Bloodhound Books and starting with MURDER ON THE ISLAND.

Standalones include psychological thriller REMEMBER ME and gangland thriller THE FORGOTTEN CHILD pub’d by HarperCollins.

Series in order:

Crime Thrillers – Detective Dove Milson:

1/3 GLASS DOLLS

2/3 THE ICE DAUGHTERS *New Release*

3/3 PLAY TIME

Cosy Mysteries:

The Ruby Baker Mysteries:

1/3 BEFORE I LEFT

2/3 BEFORE I FOUND YOU

3/3 BEFORE I TRUST YOU

The Chloe Canton Mysteries:

1/3 MURDER ON THE ISLAND *New Release*

2/3 MURDER ON THE BEACH

3/3 MURDER ON VALENTINE’S DAY

website; www.daisywhiteauthor.co.uk

email; daisy@daisywhiteauthor.co.uk

Twitter @DEWhiteAuthor

A Brush With Death (Nosey Parker 2) by Fiona Leitch @rararesources @fkleitch #CozyMystery #BookReview

Title: A Brush With Death (Nosey Parker 2) by Fiona Leitch 

Date Published: 12th February 2021

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is back!

When a body turned up at her last catering gig it certainly put people off the hor d’oeuvres. So with a reputation to salvage, Jodie’s determined that her next job for the village’s festival will go without a hitch.

But when chaos breaks out, Jodie Parker somehow always finds herself in the picture.

The body of a writer from the festival is discovered at the bottom of a cliff, and the prime suspect is the guest of honour, the esteemed painter Duncan Stovall. With her background in the Met police, Jodie has got solving cases down to a fine art and she knows things are rarely as they seem.

Can she find the killer before the village faces another brush with death?

The second book in the Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brush-Death-Nosey-Parker-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08CTX44K5

US – https://www.amazon.com/Brush-Death-Nosey-Parker-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08CTX44K5 

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m so glad to be back with the second in the Nosey Parker cozy mystery series! Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first, it can easily read as a standalone.

While she’s catering the opening party of Pentowan gala, Jodie comes to the attention of artist Duncan Stovall. Unfortunately, there are a few problems standing in their way, a) he’s married and b) he gets accused of the murder of author Robert Holmes. Using her nosey ways she digs into the murder, much to the annoyance of the handsome DCI Withers, to find the culprit.

Like with the first book, Murder on the menu, A brush with death is a fantastic mystery with a great cast of characters, picturesque setting and plenty of fun along the way.

The second book features some great characters from the first, like DCI Nathan Withers and of course my favourite Germaine the dog. I really enjoy the banter between Jodie and Nathan, it made me laugh out loud throughout the novel. I love seeing their relationship grow and I wonder if there’s going to be a bit of romance on the cards for these two in future novels!

I would say I didn’t feel the mystery wasn’t quite as strong as the first, but still very enjoyable to read.

A Brush With Death is a charming and fun packed mystery that I couldn’t get enough of. I’m very much looking forward to the next book!

About The Author:

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. Her debut novel ‘Dead in Venice’ was published by Audible in 2018 as one of their Crime Grant finalists. After living in London, Hastings and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. 

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/fiona.leitch.1/

https://www.instagram.com/leitchfiona/

Murder On The Menu by Fiona Leitch @rararesources @fkleitch #BlogTour #BookReview #CozyMystery

Title: Murder On The Menu by Fiona Leitch 

Date Published: 15th January 2021

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

The first book in a NEW cosy mystery series!

Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing like having your first job back at home to be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your village is. And when the bride, Cheryl, vanishes Jodie is drawn into the investigation, realising that life in the countryside might not be as quaint as she remembers…

With a missing bride on their hands, there is murder and mayhem around every corner but surely saving the day will be a piece of cake for this not-so-amateur sleuth?

The first book in the Murder on the Menu cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.

You can buy your copy here: 

amzn.to/389aWWW  

http://mybook.to/murderonthemenureveal

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and One More Chapter providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I read and enjoyed Murder Ahoy! by Fiona Leitch last year, so I was intrigued to see what this new series had to offer.

Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker just moved back to her hometown of Penstowan in Cornwall with her twelve-year-old daughter Daisy after her disaster of a marriage broke down. She set up a new catering business and is quickly pulled into catering old friend Tony Penhaligon’s wedding. Tragedy strikes as his ex wife Mel turns up dead and his wife to be goes missing. She ends up butting heads with the handsome DCI Withers after Tony becomes the prime suspect. Jodie must use her nosey ways to crack the case.

Murder on the Menu is a cozy mystery packed with plenty of red herrings, memorable characters, and of course a good dose of humour.

I absolutely loved Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker. She’s a single mum, a former police officer, and has plenty of sarcastic wit to boot. There were some great secondary characters too, like Jodie’s mum and her daughter Daisy, but a special shout out goes to Germaine, the cute dog that Jodie ends up inheriting.

I also enjoyed the small town gossipy atmosphere that came across through the novel. Everybody seemed to have a nickname too, which was so much fun! 

There’s plenty of little twists and turns through the story that really kept me on my toes, and I really didn’t guess the entire mystery until the very end.

After reading Murder on the menu I can’t to read next in this series!

About The Author:

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. Her debut novel ‘Dead in Venice’ was published by Audible in 2018 as one of their Crime Grant finalists. After living in London, Hastings and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. 

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/fiona.leitch.1/

https://www.instagram.com/leitchfiona/

Murder In The Belltower by Helena Dixon @bookouture @NellDixon #BooksOnTour #CozyMystery

Title: Murder In The Belltower by Helena Dixon

Date Published: 1st February 2021

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Kitty Underhay’s hymn book is open… at murder.

Winter, 1933. Kitty Underhay is enjoying a restorative break from sleuthing on a visit to her family at Enderley Hall. The only thing marring her peace – aside from the uncomfortable sensation she has of being watched – is the obvious history between her beau, ex-army captain Matthew Bryant and another guest, the beautiful Juliet Vanderstafen. So, when the parish clerk is found dead on her front doorstep, Kitty leaps at the chance of distraction.

The police are happy to conclude that Miss Plenderleith met her unfortunate end on a patch of ice, but Kitty isn’t convinced this was a case of bad weather and worse luck. And when the Reverend Crabtree fails to show for tea the next day, she heads to the church to speak to him. But she arrives to find the clergyman hanging from the bell rope, dead.

With Matt seemingly wrapped up with his alluring Austrian, Kitty must solve the case on her own. But as she snoops into parish affairs, she makes some less-than-saintly discoveries. Just who has broken the sixth commandment? Meanwhile the killer is preparing a churchyard grave for Kitty, and she’ll have to use all her wits to avoid falling in…

An addictive, absorbing and completely unputdownable Golden Age cozy murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

You can buy your copy here: https://geni.us/B08LKT7HSRCover

Review: 

I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of Murder In The Bell Tower in exchange for an honest review.

It’s so fun to be back with Kitty and Matthew! I absolutely love this series and I can’t believe we’re already on book five! It can be read as a standalone but I would recommend at least reading the previous book in the series, Murder On The Dance Floor first as there’s a little of the storyline that runs over.

It’s Christmas and Kitty has decided to spend it with her cousin Lucy and the rest of her family at Enderley hall, along with of course Captain Matthew Bryant as they are now officially ‘walking out together’. She’s hoping for a nice relaxing but unfortunately for her things don’t quite go to plan as Juliet Vanderstafen, a mysterious woman from Matthew’s past, is also a guest at Enderley hall. Things get worse, Miss Plenderleith, the local Parish clerk is found dead and Kitty gets herself wrapped up in the mystery.

Murder In The Belltower is such an additive read, I always get caught up in the story, feeling like I’ve actually been taken back in time to the 1930s.

What I always love about these stories is the attention to detail that Helena Dixon always puts into them. From the fashions, to the language, to the Christmas traditions and even there’s even a mention of tensions within Europe with a bit of foreshadowing for the Second World War.

I will say it took a bit longer than I remember from the previous books for someone to actually show up dead but I didn’t mind too much as I loved watching Matthew and Kitty navigating their new relationship whilst being surrounded by the tension in the air of Enderley hall.

Murder In The Belltower is a great addition to this wonderful series and I for one can’t wait for more!

About The Author:

Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.nelldixon.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nell.dixon

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/NellDixon

#BlogTour The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald @cmacwritescrime @RedDogTweets #TheCuriousDispatchOfDanielCostello

Title: The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Date Published: 12th January 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Wedding bells are chiming in the idyllic, coastal town of Stonebridge. For Sam and Emily, it should be the happiest day of their lives. But, on the morning of the ceremony, the best man is found dead. The police quickly write his death off as a tragic accident, but something doesn’t seem right to wedding guest and groomsman, Adam Whyte.

Armed with an encyclopedic, but ultimately ridiculous knowledge of television detective shows and an unwarranted confidence in his own abilities, Adam and his best friend (and willing Watson) Colin, set out to uncover what actually happened to Daniel Costello.

Amazon Link: mybook.to/Stonebridge 

Red Dog Press: https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

Review:

I want to thank Meggy at Red Dog Press for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello in exchange for an honest review.

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello is only just over a hundred pages but let its short length fool you, there’s plenty of mystery, mayhem and a good bit of humour packed into the story!

Best friends Adam and Colin are invited to the wedding of an old school friend but when the best man, Daniel Costello, turns up dead and the police don’t take it seriously. Adam decides they should look into it, pulling a reluctant Colin along for the ride.

Both Adam and Colin are likeable characters. Adam is a bit directionless, living at home with his mum. Colin works in a retirement home, enjoys following the rules. They make an unlikely pair of detectives, especially as Adam is exceptionally squeamish, but using their love of the TV show Sherlock they manage to ferret out clues.

I will say I felt the ending l was a bit rushed, but of course that was just my opinion.

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello is a quick and fun read that I couldn’t get enough of! I will definitely be on the lookout for more adventures featuring Adam and Colin.

About The Author:

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs. Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, to be published by Red Dog Press in 2021. 

#BookReview Murder On The Dance Floor (Kitty Underhay 4) by Helena Dixon #CozyMystery

Title: Murder On The Dance Floor (Kitty Underhay 4) by Helena Dixon

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 28th October 2020

Genre: Historical Cozy Mystery

Description:

Kitty Underhay’s dance card is full… of death.

November 1933. Amateur sleuth-cum-dutiful granddaughter Kitty Underhay stifles a sigh of boredom as she attends the annual Hotelier’s Association Dinner and Dance on behalf of her grandmother, the proprietress of the Dolphin Hotel. She hopes the company of ex-army captain Matthew Bryant will enliven the otherwise dull evening. That is, until bullish and overbearing local councillor Harold Everton drops dead into his bowl of consommé.

While the local police are still scrambling for their whistles, Kitty and Matt waste no time leaping into action. Soon they find themselves caught up a dangerous search to uncover who amongst the distinguished guests used cyanide for seasoning? 

When their digging throws light on a corruption scandal brewing in the local council involving Everton’s assistant Thomas King, they are sure they’ve cracked the case. But before he can be questioned further, King’s body is found in a smouldering car wreck. Meanwhile, the murderer has made a sinister plan to avoid detection or punishment, and it will lead Kitty and Matt into a dangerous dance with death… 

A fast, fun and utterly unputdownable Golden Age cozy murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss. 

Review:

I missed this book back in October and as I know the next in the series is coming out soon, so I thought I’d better catch up!

Murder On The Dance Floor is a well written cozy mystery that just pulled me in from the very beginning.

This series is just so good, every book has a strong story line and that classic mystery feel. It’s just crying out for a TV adaptation!  

I would recommend starting at the beginning of this series rather than diving straight into this one as there is a secondary storyline, to do with Kitty’s missing mother, that runs over each of the books and is particularly important as you read this book. 

Kitty and Matthew are in fine form in this story, I’m glad they’re working together a bit more rather than Matthew trying to shield Kitty too much. Their relationship moves to the next stage through the novel, which I’m so happy for!

I felt that I forgot about the main mystery, a little distracted by Kitty’s breakthroughs when it came to her missing mother, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment that much.

I’m so happy I don’t have to wait too long for the next in the series, Murder at the Belltower, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Kitty and Matthew.

About The Author:

Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.nelldixon.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nell.dixon

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/NellDixon

#BookReview The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

Title: The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

Publisher: Avon

Date Published: 29th October 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

The first in a new series, Alex Pine has written a dark, atmospheric crime novel, set in a snowed-in Cumbrian village, for fans of Val McDermid, Ross Greenwood and LJ Ross.

Review:

I’ve seen some great reviews of The Christmas Killer and I saw it was available through my library, I really had to read it.

As I’ve said before in my reviews I don’t read a lot of Christmas themed books but having read some good short mystery/Christmas themed stories I really think I’ve been missing out!

James and his wife Annie moved back to Annie’s hometown after a threat forces them to move from London. They think the small village of Kirby Abbey is the perfect place to hide out, until threatening Christmas cards turn up and bodies start to drop…

The Christmas Killer is a police procedural which gripped me from the start and really had me turning those pages!

Both James and Annie were really likeable well drawn characters as were the rest of the supporting cast. My only issue with Annie is she was a little annoying at times.

I love the setting of the small village with the threat of a disastrous snow storm that could cut them off from the rest of the world and trap them with a killer. It reminded me of those old mysteries where you’re trapped in a manor house or such with a killer and everyone’s a suspect. 

I would say this novel verges more on the cozy side than the usually gritty hard hitting police procedural. I’m not complaining about this, I love a cozy, but as with some stories like this it takes a bit of time to get going.

The Christmas Killer is an enjoyable whodunnit and I’m very much looking forward to more from this author!

About The Author:

Alex Pine was born and raised on a council estate in South London and left school at sixteen. Before long, he embarked on a career in journalism, which took him all over the world – many of the stories he covered were crime-related. Among his favourite hobbies are hiking and water-based activities, so he and his family have spent lots of holidays in the Lake District. He now lives with his wife on a marina close to the New Forest on the South Coast – providing him with the best of both worlds!

Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology #ChristmasCookiesCozies2020 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology

Date Published: 10th November 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

2020 is going to be the coziest holiday season yet with cozy mysteries from Ava Mallory, Summer Prescott, Jenna St. James, Laina Turner, Gretchen Allen, Laina Turner, Joanna Campbell Slan, S. C. Merritt, Minnie Crockwell, Mona Marple, Rachael Stapleton and Loraine Hudson – along with their favorite holiday cookie recipe!


Gretchen Allen – Lost Claus
Charlotte Moss is one tough cookie, but her new job as Mrs. Claus isn’t what she expected. When Santa goes missing and a body is found, the most wonderful time of the year looks bleak.
Joanna Campbell Slan – How the Cookie Crumbles
Cara Mia Delgatto never met her maternal grandmother. But Nonie Josephina reaches out from the grave with a message for Cara: I left behind a treasure! Can Cara Mia find it before Santa comes to town?
S.C. Merritt – Caramelized Casualty
With the annual holiday unveiling of a giant gingerbread village quickly approaching, Kate Kennedy’s stress level is sky high. When one of the event’s diva celebrity chefs turns up dead, Kate decides she has no choice but to team up with the town’s newest detective if she’s going to pull off the big event. Can she expose the killer in time to save the event?
Minnie Crockwell – Death By Cookie
Widow Sallie Chilcoat decides to get into the holiday spirit by baking up a batch of cookies for her lakeside condominium neighbors only to have one of them turn up dead – with the remains of her cookies! Did Sallie kill her neighbor with her vegan cookies?
Ava Mallory – Christmas Cookie Catastrophe
When Consuelo “Cookie” Alvarez inherits a bakery from her aunt Birdie, she doesn’t expect to take her late aunt’s place in the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. Now she has two weeks to perfect the super-secret recipe, but there are major obstacles in her way: she can’t bake, the recipe is missing, and her competitors are a who’s who of shady characters.
Summer Prescott – Hang Out The Stalkings
Someone is stealing Nancy’s cookies…will they steal her holiday spirit too?
Jenna St. James – Christmas Cookie Caper
When Ivy O’Brien learns her mother has been injured at the annual Couples Christmas Cookie Contest, she runs to the rescue. Looks like she needs to fill in for her mother and hunky policeman Anthony Romano has to help bake the cookie and question the suspects. Between dough-making disasters, nips of peppermint Schnapps, and rolling pin thefts, the pair slowly whittle down their suspect list.
Mona Marple – The Santa Run Is Murderous Fun
Emily Monk’s run out of excuses not to take part in the annual Santa run, but the festivities are threatened when the long-running Santa Run champ is found dead the day before the race.
With a killer to be caught, and a Christmas dinner to be bought, Emily needs to think fast if she’s going to solve this case before Santa comes.
Rachael Stapleton – Christmas, Corpses & the Gingerdead Flip-Flop
When house flippers Jack Young and Juniper Palmer purchase a colorful Queen Anne home, Juniper assumes the exterior gingerbread trim will be the most outlandish thing to see. That is until a prominent wine merchant dressed as Santa is murdered, and Jack’s mother is caught on the naughty list.
Loraine Hudson – Holly, Jolly Misdeeds
First, it’s a thieving Santa. Next, it’s a prowler that threatens Jenny’s peace. It all seems to revolve around a box of cookies.  Why? And what’s next?  
Laina Turner – Cookies and Crime
What is supposed to be a joy-filled awards ceremony for the Romero Boy Scouts turns out to be anything but when Jean Sartor, Scout co-leader, drops dead on stage.
Trixie lands herself on the suspect list since she baked Christmas cookies for the ceremony. She knows she didn’t poison Jean, but who did?

You can buy your copy here:

US Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K97KLJ9

UK Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08K97KLJ9

Review:

I want to thank Emma Welton at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I love a cozy mystery, but I don’t really read many Christmas themed stories, so I was intrigued to see how it would work out. I have heard of a couple of the authors in this collection, like Summer Prescott and Laina Turner, and I’m glad I got to read a few new to me authors and I’ll be adding their books to my TBR!

Christmas Cookie Cozies is a fun packed collection of holiday stories, each one combining the holiday spirit, a mystery and a cookie in some way, each author bringing their own twist on the theme which was really enjoyable.

Of course I had a few standouts:

Hang Out The Stalkings

Not your typical murder mystery, but a mystery all the same when dog groomer Amber investigates after a dog she was grooming goes missing. This one had the most heartwarming ending, it melted my heart a little.

Christmas Cookie caper

Ivy is roped into an investigation after her mum is injured during a cookie making contest. This was a compact mystery that really kept me guessing.

Caramelized Casualty

Kate Kennedy is preparing for a gingerbread charity event when one of the chefs turns up dead. Another one that kept me guessing and the mode of death for the victim was an unusual one too!

There’s also a nice little extra for any bakers out there as each story is followed by a cookie recipe.

Christmas Cookie Cozies is a sweet fun read, perfect for those who like the holiday season but also enjoy a bit of mystery.