Welcome! Murder in the First Edition by Lauren Elliott releases on September 24 along with New Beginning at Christmas Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard. Valleys, Vehicles and Victims by Tonya Kappes is out on September 27. It is the latest A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery. The MacInnes Affair by Blair McDowell is available on September 30.
Here Comes Santa Paws by Laurien Berenson takes us back to North Stamford, Connecticut in December. Melanie Travis is at Aunt Peg’s playing with three puppies that were left in a decorative stocking at the end the driveway when she gets a call from Claire Travis. Claire, an event planner and personal shopper, was dropping off packages for a client and found her dead in the living room. Melanie rushes over at Claire’s request and is there when she is questioned by Detective Hronis. Claire’s client, Lila Moran lived in the gatehouse on a vast estate with a reclusive owner. It seems that Lila was tight-lipped about her private life and her past is elusive. With Claire at the top of the suspect list, Melanie and Aunt Peg turn in their Santa hats for deerstalker caps. Will they be able to clear Claire’s name before Christmas or will she end up with a jailhouse stocking full of coal?
Here Comes Santa Paws by Laurien Berenson is the 24th A Melanie Travis Mystery. I always look forward each year to the latest Melanie Travis Christmas story. They are always cute and humorous. Here Comes Santa Paws did not disappoint. I picked up this book around 8 p.m. and did not put it down until I finished it. It is a well-written and features Laurien Berenson’s engaging writing. It starts with Aunt Peg calling Melanie to announce she found three puppies in a decorative stocking at the end of her driveway (the poor little things). Whoever left them at Aunt Peg’s, though, knew they she would take good care of them. I had to laugh at the names Aunt Peg bestowed on these cuties (No, I am not going to tell you and spoil it for you). When Melanie gets a frantic call from Claire Travis (married to Melanie’s ex-husband), she reluctantly stops playing with the puppies. Claire has ventured into personal shopping and she stumbled upon her dead client while dropping off packages. Aunt Peg is eager to delve into the mystery and she happens to know the reclusive owner of the estate where the victim lived in the gatekeeper’s cottage. Melanie Travis has little time for investigating with Christmas approaching, but she is not going to let down Claire. I like that Melanie is a realistic character. Melanie is a special needs teacher, wife, mother of two active boys, and owns six dogs (five poodles and Bud). Sam is the perfect husband for Melanie. I thought it was funny when Sam asked if he should gather bail money when Melanie departed the house on a dubious mission. Aunt Peg is her indomitable self as well as intelligent with good connections. Melanie and Aunt Peg are perfect sleuthing partners. I enjoy how Melanie converses with Faith and Faith’s responses to her queries. The mystery suited the length of the book. There are a couple of suspects with good clues to aid readers in solving the whodunit before the reveal. You do not want to miss out on Melanie’s latest adventure in Here Comes Santa Paws. I am not sure how Melanie will get everything accomplished before Christmas—she should engage Claire’s services. Here Comes Santa Paws is a delightful Christmas cozy mystery with precious puppies, pushy Aunt Peg, a concerned Claire, saintly Sam, a motivated Melanie and Christmas cheer.
Here Comes Santa Paws will be out on September 24 and is available at Amazon (Amazon UK) and other major booksellers. You can find the complete list of A Melanie Travis Mystery novels here. Thank you for joining me today. I will return tomorrow to showcase Christmas at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble. It is the third book in the Pennington's series. May you have a jolly day. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader