Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The Orphans' Amish Christmas by Tracy Fredrychowski

 The Orphans' Amish Christmas
Book Summary


It will take an Amish miracle to save Christmas for the Willow Springs Children's Home orphans.

When presents are stolen right before the annual Christmas benefit, Lydia Troyer and Aaron Shetler join forces with Detective Lewis Powers to unravel the mystery. The town's Christmas spirit is tested by strange events that leave the community ready to cancel all holiday festivities.

When prominent Amish businessman Milo Glick goes missing, it will take special detective skills to discover the truth behind his sudden disappearance. As the closed-lipped Amish community hinders Detective Powers' efforts, he is forced to employ Lydia, Aaron, and one special Labrador named Yankee to help solve the case. Will their discovery put them at odds with the traditions of their beliefs, or will they bring a newfound hope to the true meaning of Christmas?

Christmas should be a time for joy and hope, but for fourteen orphaned children, all is lost unless Lydia can find a way to give them more than they could hope for this holiday season.

The Orphans’ Amish Christmas is an Amish mystery novella that introduces you to the Willow Springs Amish Mystery Romance Series. If you like secrets, disappearances, plot twists, and sometimes murder, then you'll adore Tracy Fredrychowski's small-town whodunnit Amish mysteries.

My Thoughts

The Orphans’ Amish Christmas by Tracy Fredrychowski is a tale that mixes a mystery alone with the true meaning of Christmas.  I thought the story was well written with realistic characters.  I enjoyed getting to spend time with Lydia, Aaron, Aaron’s sweet daughter, and Lydia’s dog, Yankee.  Thanks to the case of the missing gifts and the disappearance of their benefactor, Milo Glick, we get to know Detective Powers.  The story has a touch of romance.  I would have liked to have read Lydia and Aaron’s story (how they came to be together) before this novella.  I enjoyed following Detective Powers as well as Lydia and Aaron as they set out to find Milo and the missing gifts.  It was an interesting mystery.  I enjoyed how the true meaning of Christmas was explained.  I could understand why Aaron’s daughter wanted a Christmas tree at home.  I liked Aaron’s explanation as to why the Amish do not have Christmas trees.  The story has a heartwarming ending.

The Orphans' Amish Christmas is available from Amazon*.  If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for freeThe Amish Book Seller will be out June 4, 2024.  It is the first A Willow Springs Amish Mystery Romance. You can find Tracy Fredrychowski's other novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on December 12 with Ruth's Ginger Snap Surprise by Anne Blackburne.  I hope that you have a delightful weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos by Kelly Irvin

 The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos
Book Summary

Two sisters seek a new balance in work, family, and love when one receives a diagnosis that sets the clock ticking.

Determined to save Sherri’s life, Kristen drops everything to guide her sister on the harrowing cancer treatment journey. When she’s unable to balance the strain of caring for her patients, being a wife and mother, and her frantic efforts to save her sister, Kristen’s carefully balanced life crumbles, starting with her marriage. Desperate to regain her footing, she vows to rebuild her broken relationships . . . as soon as she’s sure Sherri will beat the odds stacked against her.

Unlike her sister, Sherri Reynolds has worked to cultivate balance in her life. Her children, her job as a teacher, and her strong faith keep her grounded—until her diagnosis sends her spiraling into the scary world of what-ifs and unknown outcomes. Sherri faces the agonizing realization that family history may be about to repeat itself. With the clock ticking, she’s determined to use whatever time she has left to heal old wounds and restore relationships.

My Thoughts

The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos by Kelly Irvin is an emotional tale.  I thought the story was well-written with realistic, developed characters.  The author captured the emotions that are experienced by an individual when they receive a cancer diagnosis as well as by those close to person (family, friends, coo-workers).  The author was able to share her knowledge and experience (with stage 4 ovarian cancer) in this story.  I can tell that Kelly Irvin did her research.  I had no idea that insurance would not cover all the costs.  You can go severely into debt trying to get cured. I liked reading about the caring oncologists and how they are there for their patients.   The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos is told from Kristen (the sister who is the oncologist), Sherri (the sister who is diagnosed with cancer), and Daniel’s (Kristen’s husband) point-of-view.  

The story deals with a variety of topics.  Kristen and Daniel are empty nesters who are drifting apart.  Kristen is a dedicated doctor.  We get to see what happened in Kristen’s childhood that drew the sisters closer and led her to become an oncologist.  Sherri is divorced, but she still cares for her ex-husband.  Forgiveness, job dynamics, family troubles, grief, new beginnings, and faith are other topics addressed in this touching story.  We get to see the ups and downs of a family affected by a cancer diagnosis.  Faith was beautifully woven into the story.  Faith and Sherri’s church family are an important part of her life.  You will want to have a box of tissues nearby while reading The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos.  The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos is an expressive story with close sisters, a scary diagnosis, a dedicated doctor, thoughtful friends, costly chemo, a frustrated husband, a devoted family, and a firm faith.

The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos is available from Amazon*.  To read the first four chapters of The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos plus learn about Kelly's cancer journey and subscribe to her newsletter, click here. Kelly Irvin has Matters of the Heart coming out July 16, 2024.  It is the second An Amish Calling Novel.  You can find Kelly Irvin's other novels here.  If you follow Kelly Irvin on Amazon, they will send you an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for stopping by today.  A couple of the other new books out today are Death by Demo by Callie Carpenter, The Orphans' Amish Christmas by Tracy Fredrychowski, Sniffing Out Murder by Kallie E. Benjamin, and Murder of an Amish Bridegroom by Patricia Johns.  I hope that you have a hopeful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

Kris 

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Christmas in the Crosshairs by Deena Alexander

 Christmas in the Crosshairs

 

About Christmas in the Crosshairs

Christmas in the Crosshairs (Love Inspired Suspense) 

Inspirational Romantic Suspense 

Setting – Seaport, Long Island, New York 

Love Inspired Suspense (November 28, 2023) 

Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages

A baby in need of protection— and a hitman in pursuit.

After evading an attack, defense attorney Adam Spencer is on the run from a dangerous hitman. The killer’s wife is Adam’s only hope at apprehending the criminal—until she lands in the hospital. Now he must depend on her twin sister, Jaelyn Reed, to find the answers they need…all while protecting the baby niece Jaelyn didn’t know she had. But with threats at every turn, trust may be the deadliest trap…

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

About Deena Alexander

Deena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, where she met and married her high school sweetheart. She recently relocated to Florida with her husband, three kids, a son-in-law, and four dogs. Now she enjoys long walks in nature all year long, despite the occasional alligator or snake she sometimes encounters. Deena's love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn't sleep through the night, and she now works full-time as a writer and a freelance editor.

Author Links

Webpage: http://deenaalexander.com/index.html

Blog: http://deenaalexander.com/blog.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeenaAlexanderAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeenaAlexanderA

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20382104.Deena_Alexander

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/deena-alexander

Newsletter: https://gmail.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=d7e6e9ecdc0888d7324788ffc&id=42d52965df

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Deena-Alexander/author/B08C1VKZFZ

My Thoughts

Christmas in the Crosshairs by Deena Alexander is a novel that grabs your attention right away.  I thought the story was well written with developed characters.  There was plenty of suspense and action that kept things lively (and kept me turning the pages).  I enjoyed the various twists and turns.  It is an emotional novel.  I felt for Jaelyn.  Her whole life is upended.  Unfortunately, her life has become a roller coaster and there are plenty of loop de loops ahead for her.  Adam is trying to keep Jaelyn safe.  He is unsure how much information to share with Jaelyn.  He is afraid that Jaelyn will reach her breaking point.  Of course, being in such close contact brings out feelings between Jaelyn and Adam.  But each of them has trust issues that could mean they are not ready to have a relationship.  The story will keep you guessing until the end.  This was my first book by Deena Alexander.  I am looking forward to reading more by this author.  Christmas in the Crosshairs is a captivating tale with an unknown twin, resolute killers, a secreted infant, trust troubles, unexpected explosion, and a surprising revelation.

Excerpt

“We’re losing her!” Chaos erupted as two paramedics shoved a gurney through the emergency department doors at a dead run. One of them called out, “It’s Jaelyn Reed. She was attacked.”

Jaelyn’s heart stuttered. She recognized the voice of her friend and fellow firefighter Pat Ryan. But what was he talking about? She was fine, just finishing up her Christmas Eve shift at the hospital, where she worked as a nurse when she wasn’t volunteering as a firefighter for Seaport Fire and Rescue. Since she had no family to go home to, she often worked the holidays.

Footsteps pounded as doctors, nurses, and technicians rushed toward a commotion in one of the nearby cubicles.

She followed the sound of Pat’s voice rattling off vitals down the corridor. Why had he said it was Jaelyn? That she’d been attacked? She’d known Pat Ryan since she was a kid, was friends with both him and his fiancĂ©e, Rachel, and she’d never heard the slightest edge of panic in his voice. Until now.

She stepped into the cubicle. “What’s going on?”

Pat glanced at her then snapped his head back in a double take. “Jaelyn?”

“Pat, what happened?”

His gaze shot to the gurney, where a young woman lay unconscious as the nurses assessed and began treatment.

When Jaelyn followed his stare, her breath caught in her throat. Looking down at the woman’s face was like looking into a mirror. The stranger shared the same long, nearly black hair as Jaelyn, though hers was tangled and matted with blood; the same delicate features, at least it appeared so beneath the contusions and swelling; and even the same slim, athletic build.

“I don’t understand.” Pat frowned and grabbed the woman’s purse from the bottom of the gurney. “She looks enough like you to be your—”

“Sister.” The one word escaped on a shallow huff of breath. Could this woman be her sister? The sister she hadn’t even known existed until a month ago? It’d been almost a year since she’d taken the DNA test—just for fun, something she’d let her fellow firefighters convince her to do to pass the time amid a blizzard that had gripped the area last winter.

Jaelyn had grown up in Seaport, New York, a small town on the east end of Long Island’s south shore, daughter of a prominent couple in the community, Dr. and Mrs. Elijah Reed. And she was an only child. The last thing she’d ever expected was to shake loose any deep, dark secrets from the Reed family tree. And then her results had come in…and last month the friends and family app had connected her to her twin. “Maya Barlowe.”

“Yeah.” Pat held out a slim photo holder with the woman’s driver’s license. The picture of the woman staring back at her could have been, well, her twin. “That’s the name on her ID. Is she your sister?”

Apparently. Since Jaelyn’s parents had been killed in a car accident five years ago, she hadn’t been able to ask them about her. She had no other family—no one to lean on after her fiancĂ© had left her for another woman while she was grieving—and she hadn’t wanted to go to any of her parents’ friends. At least, not yet. She’d needed time to process the information first. Jaelyn had yet to decide whether or not to reach out to the woman, try to ascertain how they shared not only the same DNA but the same birthdate as well. Even as she’d debated her options, she hadn’t fully accepted the fact it could actually be true, that she could have a long-lost twin sister she’d never known about.

“Out of the way, guys.” One of the other nurses shoved past her.

Coming to her senses, Jaelyn stepped aside, careful not to upset the delicate choreography as the doctors and nurses worked together in a desperate effort to save the woman’s life.

Pat gripped her elbow and led her out into the hallway. “Hey, you okay?”

Was she? She honestly didn’t know. While she hated the thought of seeing anyone suffer, what was she supposed to feel for this woman who might be her twin but whom she’d never met? Confusion was the overwhelming emotion. She shoved a few stray strands of hair out of her face. “Yeah, I guess, but I don’t understand what’s going on. Where did you find her? And what happened to her?”

“A call came in.” With a glance over his shoulder, Pat ushered her farther across the hall so they’d be out of the way. “A couple of kids riding dirt bikes came across her just before dusk in the woods behind the Seaport Bed and Breakfast. She’d been attacked, badly beaten. I’m sorry, Jaelyn, I didn’t even know you’d reached out to her. I guess with the holidays and all…”

“No. That’s the thing…” Only a handful of people knew about the secret Jaelyn’s DNA test had revealed, Pat being one of them. Could someone she’d trusted have contacted Maya? No, not possible. The few close friends she’d told knew that Jaelyn wasn’t sure how she wanted to handle the situation yet. None of them would have betrayed her confidence… Besides, she hadn’t shared Maya’s name with anyone. “I didn’t reach out, nor did she contact me. I have no idea what she was doing here. I didn’t even realize she knew about me.”

“Assuming she’s here because of you,” Pat pointed out.

“I guess, but according to the information I have, she lives in New York City. What are the chances she just happened to show up a few miles from where I live and work?” Even though plenty of people from New York City visited the south shore of Eastern Long Island, especially around the holidays, most of them flocked to the Hamptons or Montauk. Seaport wasn’t exactly a thriving tourist destination.

Pat frowned. “Slim to none, I’d say.”

So, her sister must have been trying to find her, which begged the question, why hadn’t she tried to contact her? Or had she? Jaelyn had been on duty for the past twelve hours and hadn’t bothered to check her messages. “My phone is in the locker room. I’ll have to see if she tried to reach out.”

“The police officers were questioning the kids who found her, but they’ll be here any minute.” He gestured in the direction of the locker room. “You should probably see if she tried to make contact before they get here. I’m sure they’ll want to know if that’s why she was in Seaport.”

Dazed, Jaelyn paused and glanced into the cubicle where her coworkers and friends worked to save Maya. Should she go in? Try to help? Technically, she was off duty now, but still…

“There’s nothing you can do for her in there, Jaelyn. She’s being taken care of. It would probably help her more right now to find out if she tried to call you, if she left any kind of message, maybe indicated she was in trouble, anything that would help the police find who did this to her.”

She nodded. He was right. “Yeah, okay.”

“And Jaelyn…” He turned to face her, rubbed his hands up and down her arms. “I’m really sorry about your sister, but I’m glad you’re okay. I’m not gonna lie, when we first arrived on scene and thought it was you, it gave both Jack and me a jolt.”

She covered one of his hands with hers. “Thank you, Pat.”

“Sure thing.” Releasing her, he stuffed his hands into his pockets and started down the hall with her.

“You didn’t check her ID there?” Jaelyn asked.

He only hesitated a fraction of a second, but it was a telling pause. “She’s in bad shape, Jaelyn. We stabilized her and transported her. Plus, like I said, we thought it was you, both recognized you immediately.”

She nodded, understanding the urgency of the situation in that moment. Nothing but saving the patient would have mattered to the paramedics.

“I’ll tell you what, I’ll wait here and keep an eye on her while you go ahead and get your phone. You may as well get changed while you’re in the locker room, so you can sit with your sister afterward.”

She smiled at him, grateful he understood her need to know how Maya was doing. “Thank you.”

“Of course.” He squeezed her arm once more, as if needing to reassure himself she was fine. “I’ll let the guys know you’re okay.”

She nodded and started toward the locker room at a brisk pace. Since she was not only a nurse in the emergency room, but also a volunteer firefighter and a member of a well-known family in the community, news of her being attacked would have spread quickly. Especially in the small town of Seaport. It would be good to squash the rumors before they could gain any real traction.

Thankfully, with Pat taking care of that, it was one less thing she had to worry about, and she could turn her attention to her sister. Sister. She still couldn’t quite wrap her head around the idea. Being an only child was all she’d ever known. She shook off the confusion and increased her pace. None of that mattered now. The sooner she gathered her things, the sooner she could return to Maya and hopefully get some answers.

As she passed the nurses’ station, a man’s voice brought her up short. “I’m looking for Maya Barlowe?”

Jaelyn turned at the mention of her sister’s name.

“Can you tell me if she was brought in—” A bulky man who had to be better than six feet tall shifted his attention from the nurses’ station even as he asked the question. As he glanced in her direction, his gaze clashed with Jaelyn’s. His expression showed confusion at first, but then it hardened and he straightened.

Jaelyn hesitated, caught off guard by the hostility marring his features.

His focus narrowed on her as he reached inside his jacket and pulled out a handgun.

Her breath caught in her lungs. A dull ache spread through her chest. Fear paralyzed her.

Eyes hard, hand dead steady, the man lifted the weapon toward her.

The chaos of the emergency department receded, and blackness tunneled her vision. It seemed nothing existed but the two of them caught in some deadly stare down. She desperately wanted to believe she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but her mind wouldn’t allow her to accept that. The gunman’s glare was too intense, his attention too pinpointed on her, and he’d just asked about her sister.

“Get down!” another man yelled.

Jaelyn couldn’t react. All of her training as a nurse, as a firefighter, had her remaining calm in the face of the weapon. It was the look in his eyes that had her blood running cold. She’d never seen such emptiness, such coldness, such…darkness.

And then someone tackled her from the side, even as the first bullets flew. Sheer terror swamped her.

More gunshots erupted. Screams, crashes, sobs tore through the emergency department as patients and staff ran or dove for cover, trying to protect those who were unable to flee.

Jaelyn landed hard on her elbow. Pain shot to her shoulder and her wrist, and her fingers went numb.

“Go, go, go!” The stranger half-dragged, half-shoved her toward an examination room door, knocking over the Christmas tree in an out-of-the-way corner.

Jaelyn scrambled in the direction she was led, hit the door at a crouch, and tumbled through.

Another round of gunshots pierced the air, too many for just the handgun she’d seen. Had the attacker had another weapon beneath his jacket, or was there a second gunman? Two shots shattered the window in the door.

Jaelyn covered her head and ducked against a row of cabinets.

Christmas in the Crosshairs is available from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Harlequin, Apple, and Google Play.  You can follow Deena Alexander on Amazon and receive an email when she has a new book release.  As part of the tour, the author is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card.  You can enter using the Rafflecopter form below or by clicking here.  Leave a comment for an extra entry!  Good Luck!  Would you like to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card?  All you need to do is leave a comment (such as what you would do with the Amazon gift card) and please remember to provide your email address (so I can contact you if you win).  The contest for the $10 Amazon gift card ends at 11:59 p.m. on December 10, 2023.  That gives you two chances to win two different yet wonderful prizes.  Good Luck!  I will return on December 5 with The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos by Kelly Irvin (you will need to have a box of tissues handy when you read this one).  I hope that you have a joyful day. Take care and Happy Reading!

Kris Anderson

The Avid Reader

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Tour Participants


November 28 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW

November 28 – Just Another Teen Reading Books - REVIEW, AUTHOR GUEST POST

November 29 – Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense – SPOTLIGHT

November 30 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

November 30 – Diane’s Book Journal – SPOTLIGHT

December 1 – Christy's Cozy Corners - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

December 2 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

December 5 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
December 6 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW

December 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 7 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
December 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST

December 8 – Angel's Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving!

I will be enjoying a quiet day with my mother. We will be having an untraditional meal of fried chicken with biscuits (I am not a fan of turkey). We will finally be getting the Christmas tree up. In other words, my mother will supervise from her recliner while I do the heavy lifting. Tomorrow I will begin decorating the front yard.  I have all the pieces (various inflatables and lights), now I need to put them together to form one cohesive display.  I hope that you, your family, and friends have a heartwarming day. Take care and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader 





Thursday, November 9, 2023

Her Secret Hope by Shelley Shepard Gray

Her Secret Hope
Book Summary

Almost two years after Lilly Kurtz first traveled to Pinecraft, Florida, with friends, she's decided to make a fresh start there. She's ready to be new-and-improved Lilly, a Lilly without a past, a Lilly with no secrets. At first, everything goes well. She gets a job, her coworkers feel like family, and she enjoys reconnecting with her friends. But it turns out the past is reluctant to be left behind.

When Lilly meets hardworking farmer Eddie Byler, she can't get him off of her mind. But then she discovers that Eddie actually lives just a few miles from her hometown in Ohio. Lilly knows that he's not going to like it when he finds out what secrets she's been running from. And she knows she could never follow the man she's falling in love with back to a place where she's never felt accepted.

Will Lilly have to give up on love in order to find peace? Or could it be that love is actually the solution to all of her problems?
Siesta Key is a beach that Lilly visits (it is my favorite beach)
My Thoughts

Her Secret Hope by Shelley Shepard Gray has Lilly Kurtz returning to Pinecraft for a fresh start. It has been two years since her first visit to the unique Amish and Mennonite town.  Lilly was adopted as a baby and her family never kept it a secret.  Actually, it seems one of the first things Mrs. Kurtz’s tells people (heavens knows why).  Lilly also did not feel accepted by the children at school.  Mary Margaret, Betsy, and Esther are the first true friends Lilly had had in her life.  I know what it is like to feel that you do not fit in and to have people judge you.  Lilly may be in a new city, but she has still has to learn to let people get to know her.  It seems that Lilly keeps a protective a shield around her.  The characters are realistic and developed.  I like that we get to catch up with Mary Margaret, Betsy, Esther, and their husbands.  

Lilly gets a job at bed and breakfast that is run by Nancy (the place the young women stayed on their first visit to Pinecraft).  I like that we get to catch up with Nancy and her friendly chef.  Lilly may believe that she is destined to remain single, but it seems God has other plans for her.  Of course, Lilly needs to be willing to let down her barriers and be happy with who she is.  I just love November Byler.  She is a spirited character.  I hope I am as lively and quick witted at that age.  I did feel that the story moved a little slow in places and there was a repetition of details.  The author captured Pinecraft and Siesta Key.  I understood why Lilly liked going to Siesta Key beach, it is a beautiful beach (it is my favorite beach).  Her Secret Hope is the third and final book in A Season in Pinecraft series.  It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the series in order.  It will allow you to get to know the characters and their stories.  There are good life lessons in Her Secret Hope including that God is in control.  Her Secret Hope is a touching tale with a returning friend, a spirited grandmother, a bored farmer, a flirtatious chef, an alarming allegation, and a gracious God.

Her Secret Hope can be ordered through Amazon*.  The first two books in A Season in Pinecraft series are Her Heart's Desire and Her Only Wish.  Shelley Shepard Gray will have A is for Amish out on May 21, 2024.  It is the debut of the Amish ABCs series.  You can follow Shelley Shepard Gray on Amazon and they will send you an email when she has  new book release.  I appreciate you joining me today.  Due to health issues, I am taking some time off.  I will return on November 30 as a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for Christmas in the Crosshairs by Deena Alexander.  I am taking a little extra time off for health reasons.  I hope that you have a relaxing weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Murder Under the Mistletoe by Sherry Lynn

 Murder Under the Mistletoe
Book Summary

In a fresh new Maine-set holiday cozy, landscaper Kinsley Clark must root out a killer before she becomes the prime suspect.

Landscape artist and owner of SeaScapes, Kinsley Clark has been re-hired to decorate the town of Harborside for the upcoming holiday season and boat parade. Using the local elements found in Maine, Kinsley creates kissing balls—the town’s official mistletoe—to hang downtown and along the wharf. Kinsley is also responsible for Harborside’s official “lobster-stacked” Christmas tree, located beside the local marina, where the annual Harborside Boat Parade & Fireworks Display takes place.
When local alderman Chris Chesterfield—dressed up as the Grinch, right down to the green face paint—falls off the pier and into the icy Atlanticthe night of the annual kickoff event, the town is in shock. But all eyes turn to Kinsley and her beautiful decorations when it becomes evident that Chris didn't fall after all—and that he was looking to replace SeaScapes with a different decorating team. Kinsley, along with bestie, Becca, and Pete, the owner of the Blue Lobstah, must unearth the truth before Kinsley takes the fall.
My Thoughts

Murder Under the Mistletoe by Sherry Lynn has Kinsley Clark’s business Seascapes decorating Harborside, Maine for the holidays.  Kinsley gets help from volunteers to make the numerous kissing balls she needs to bedeck the town.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the town decorated for the holidays as well as the homes Kinsley and her crew adorned.  A boat parade is something that I am familiar with living in Florida.  At least I do not shiver (not most years) while watching it.  The author captured the chilly temperatures of Maine.  I could imagine the cold wind coming in off the water (brr).  The town alderman dressed appropriately as the Grinch gets murdered during the boat parade. 

The suspect list is longer than a five-year-olds Christmas list for Santa.  Kinsley accompanied by bestie, Becca set out to solve the murder.  I wish the guilty party had not been so obvious (there might as well have been a neon arrow pointing at the person). The mystery is neatly wrapped up at the end of the book in time for the holidays.  Kinsley’s brother is home for a month, but some unexpected news gets his visit off to a rough start.  There is a secondary mystery that is not resolved in this book.  I could have done with less romance.  There are numerous mentions of Pete and how Kinsley feels about him.  I like the gift Kinsley receives from her brother for Christmas.  I had a feeling she would receive this particular gift from the references throughout the story, but I still enjoyed her reaction to it.  Murder Under the Mistletoe is the second A Mainely Murder Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those who have not read Digging Up DaisyMurder Under the Mistletoe is a Christmas cozy with a chilly climate, a petty politician, a bar bruhaha, a slew of suspects, a surprising secret, scrumptious cocoa, and a Happy Holiday!

Murder Under the Mistletoe is available from Amazon*.  The first book in A Mainely Murder Mysteries is Digging Up Daisy.  If you follow Sherry Lynn on Amazon, they will send you an email when she has a new book release.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I will be featuring Her Secret Hope by Shelley Shepard Gray.  It is the final book in A Season in Pinecraft series.  We have been having delightful weather in Florida.  I have had the air conditioning off for almost a week (it is in the mid 70s during the day--still shorts and t-shirt weather).  I would like this lovely weather to continue.  I hope that you have a happy day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader 

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.