Happy Book Release Day! Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy, Here Comes Santa Paws by Laurien Berenson, New Beginnings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard, Fudge Bites by Nancy Coco, Late Checkout by Carol J. Perry, Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan, Murder in the First Edition by Lauren Elliott, The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking by Leigh Perry, A Christmas Haven by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall, A Cup of Holiday Fear by Ellie Alexander plus An Amish Second Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray, Patricia Johns & Virginia Wise are some of the books that were released today. Which book are you looking forward to reading first?
A Cup of Holiday Fear by Ellie Alexander returns readers to Ashland, Oregon where the town is looking festive thanks to the lovely holiday decorations, snow on the ground and carolers in costume. Jules Capshaw and the rest of the bakery staff are busily whipping up delectable desserts for Torte to satisfy the town’s visitors. Lance, though, is not feeling the holiday spirit and Jules is determined to turn his frown upside down. Jules and her mother, Helen have made reservations at the Winchester Inn for the staff holiday party where they will enjoy the Dickens Feast which consists of a six course meal, a bah humbug Scrooge, and Francine La Roux’s singing group—Nothing but Treble. The Torte staffers are enjoying their evening despite a troublesome guest at a nearby table. But then the power goes out and when the lights are restored, they find a woman dead on the stairs. If everyone is to have a merry holiday, then Jules, with an excited Lance as her helpful elf, set out to gather evidence so the police can wrap up the investigation before Santa slides down the chimney. Who will be enjoying their Christmas dinner in jail?
A Cup of Holiday Fear by Ellie Alexander is the tenth A Bakeshop Mystery. The author provides the necessary background information for those new to the series. We get a chance to enjoy the holidays with Jules, Helen, Professor, Lance, Thomas and the rest of the gang. Ashland is beautifully decorated for the holidays and there are festive activities, carolers, and the smell of Torte’s tempting treats wafting through the air. Lance is not feeling the spirit of the season which Jules intends to rectify. She gets Lance to join the Torte staff at the Winchester Inn for the Dickens Feast where a nasty woman ends up dead after the house is plunged into darkness. It turns out that a homicide is just what Lance needed to get him to enjoy the holiday season. There are several suspects including the owners of the Winchester Inn, an employee, and their son. Jules asks questions with Lance’s assistance and does a little snooping. Readers will have no problem solving the case before the solution is revealed. I enjoyed the descriptions of the holiday descriptions. I could envision Ashland all decked out with snow falling, carolers singing and shoppers going from shop to shop. Torte creates scrumptious goodies for the holidays which is described in detail. I like that we get to catch up with the Torte staff (Andy, Marty, Bethany, Stephanie, Sterling) and enjoy the Dickens Feast (what a unique event—when there is not a murder). I liked the focus on friends and family. Jules and Helen made sure that no one would be alone during this special time of year. I found Jules comment about Richard Lord’s ugly Christmas sweater to be amusing (all of his attire left something to be desired). It was nice to learn more about Lance in this book. We find out why the holidays are not his favorite time of year. I also enjoyed learning the history of the Winchester Inn and Jules parents. A Cup of Holiday Fear will put you in the mood for Christmas with an ending will leave you smiling. A Cup of Holiday Fear is a cheering cozy mystery with Christmas carolers, scrumptious sweets, original ornaments, horrific homicide, tree trimming and surprising secrets.
A Cup of Holiday Fear is available at Amazon (Amazon UK) plus other major booksellers. For a complete list of A Bakeshop Mystery series, click here. Ellie Alexander's next release is Beyond a Reasonable Stout which comes out on October 1. It is the third A Sloane Krause Mystery. Thank you for dropping by today. I will return tomorrow with my review of Last Pen Standing by Vivian Conroy. It is the debut of A Stationery Shop Mystery series. May you have a joyous day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader