Friday, June 8, 2018

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles: A Food Lover's Village Mystery

Welcome!  Leslie Budewitz is the author of A Food Lover's Village Mystery series and A Spice Shop Mystery series.  She is the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. Leslie lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician, and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model, and avid bird-watcher.  You can connect with her on her website,, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles by Leslie Budewitz is the fifth novel in A Food Lover’s Village Mystery series.  Erin Murphy is the manager of Murphy’s Glacier Mercantile (aka The Merc) in Jewel Bay, Montana.  The town is getting ready for Christmas with Decorating Day.  While switching out a tub of lights, Erin witnesses (along with the rest of the town) an unpleasant scene between Taya Thornton and her daughter, Merrily.  Erin is shocked at the bitterness expressed by Taya towards Merrily after eighteen years.  Erin invites Merrily over to The Merc and to the cookie swap at her house on Sunday.  Merrily does not show up for the cookie exchange, and she is AWOL from Building Supply where she works on Monday.  Not only is Merrily missing, but cash from the business is as well.  Many say that Merrily failed to change her ways.  Then Merrily is found dead with a string of Christmas lights around her neck.  With Greg Taylor as a prime suspect, Erin starts snooping (not that she needed a reason).  Who would risk going on Santa’s naughty list by killing Merrily? Can Erin wrap up the case before her wedding?
As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles is well-written and has a steady pace.  I found the authors conversational writing style to be pleasing.  I was drawn into the story and my attention was held throughout.  Jewel Bay is a charming, small town that goes all out for Christmas.  I loved the descriptions of the shops and the decorations (I wanted to visit and do some shopping).  I like how everyone pitches in to help with various activities.  The characters are nicely developed and, for the most part, are friendly and relatable.  Detective Bello is the grinch of the story (I could imagine him saying Bah Humbug).  I enjoy Erin’s approach to sleuthing with her Spreadsheet of Suspicion.  The mystery was well-crafted and multi-faceted.  There are many gratifying cozy moments in As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles.   Erin is preparing for her wedding, buying Christmas presents, cooking, cookie exchange, Erin and Adam with their new home, baking, Adam worrying about his brothers coming to town, and spending time with family and friends.  While there is a lot going on in the story, it is not overwhelming.  I agreed with Erin about the cuteness of the Property Brothers.  I recommend reading the books in A Food Lover’s Village Mystery in order.  I am grateful for the list of characters at the front of the book (helpful).  It was a pleasure to visit Jewel Bay in As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles and I look forward to returning in the next A Food Lover’s Village Mystery.  As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BookBub, GooglePlay, and Kobo.

The author is giving away to print copies of As the Christmas Cookies Crumbles (Rafflecopter form below or click here). Make sure to leave a comment on my blog to get an extra entry.  Thank you for stopping by today. Please take the time to visit the other stops on the tour.  I hope you have a very merry day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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