Sunday, October 1, 2017

Purring Around the Christmas Tree: A Pawsitively Organic Mystery

Happy October!  Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport and A Place to Call Home by Tania Crosse are out today. Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander will be released on Tuesday, October 3.  It is the first book in A Sloan Krause Mystery series.  Ellie Alexander is the author A Bakeshop Mystery series.

Purring Around the Christmas Tree by Liz Mugavero is the sixth installment in A Pawsitively Organic Mystery series.  Stan Connor is watching the annual Christmas parade in Frog Ledge, Connecticut.  Just before the tree lighting, Santa pulls up in his sleigh and then quickly takes off again.  When Stan goes to investigate, she discovers that the Santa has done his last ho-ho-ho.  People are shocked when they pull off Santa’s beard and it is not Seamus McGee (who always plays Santa).  The victim is Harold Dewey, a drunk who spent his winters in Frog Ledge working at a local Christmas tree farm.  Who was the intended victim—Harold or Seamus?  Matters are further complicated when Seamus and Ray Mackey cannot be located or reached (Char takes to her bed).  The McGee family figures that Seamus is involved in another scheme and he dragged Ray into it with him.  Stan works to identify Harold’s killer and locate Seamus and Ray.  Will Stan succeed in time for everyone to have a merry Christmas?

Purring Around the Christmas Tree is easy to read and has engaging characters.  The mystery has several aspects to it, but the murderer is easily identified early in the story (insert disappointed sigh).  Most of the investigation consists of Stan running around town asking questions (I just want something more).  It is a good thing that Stan has good help (Brenna) or her business would have tanked opening night (since she failed to show up to open the bakery).  The cozy aspects are entertaining.  Stan is opening Pawsitively Organic Pet Patisserie, picking out and decorating Stan’s Christmas tree, Jake’s extended family is visiting for Christmas, Patricia and Tony are planning their wedding, Caitlyn is adjusting to life in Frog Ledge, and so much more.  My rating for Purring Around the Christmas Tree is 3.5 out of 5 stars (I just wish the mystery had been more complex).  Jake got on my nerves in Purring Around the Christmas Tree.  He became defensive and rude to Stan regarding his uncle, Seamus (Jake does not want to face facts).  The zany factor seemed to be amplified in this A Pawsitively Organic Mystery novel.  There is always some whacky antics, but the author really turned up the volume on it this time.  Purring Around the Christmas Tree (I inserted the title into Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree and now the song is stuck in my head) is not a standalone novel.  You do need to read the previous books in order to understand the town and the relationships (or you will be lost).  Purring Around the Christmas Tree is an entertaining cozy mystery that will leave you singing Christmas carols and wanting to put up your tree early!

May each of you have a very special day.  I will return on Monday with my review of Away with the Fairies by Kerry Greenwood.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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