My first review of 2019, and it was a super enjoyable book! I can always enjoy a good Christmas mystery. I loved how throughout the book Callie was stressing that the mystery needed solved by Christmas so that families could be together. That and the way it ended was just really heartwarming to me! I don’t know if this author’s name is a pen name or what, but she writes like someone well-established and I am very anxious to read the next book in this series!
I just loved the little brown and white Boston terrier, Daisy! She was being cared for by Callie who worked as a tour guide. Daisy always seemed to know when someone needed a dog to comfort them. And even Daisy got a happily ever after ending! The picture is the best one licensed for free use that I thought Daisy might look like.
Disclaimer: I was provided a hardcover copy of this book from the publisher via a group I belong to, but I voluntarily read and reviewed it. Being given the book had no bearing on what type of review I would give.
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a good mystery that turned out to be a heartwarming Christmas story! I really enjoyed getting to know all the characters, and I can’t wait to read the next book! In the very back, the author said it would take place in July. This book was really well-written and plotted. I have no idea if the author is someone’s pen name who is already established, but if not, it sure seems that way, like they aren’t just a beginning writer.
Callie Aspen, who worked as a travel tour guide, was home over Christmas helping her aunt Iphy with her shop called Book Tea. Iphy made cakes with book clues in them for people. At the big tea party she’d made a large winter cake for, the body of the gardener was found in the conservatory. The whole thing had purposely been given an Agatha Christie feel, since the lady of the house, 90-something Dorothea Finster had announced her will was going to be changed. Everyone invited was hoping for a cut of it, but instead, they ended up with a murder.
I liked how Callie and Deputy Falk got along. They were just a little rocky at first, but she wasn’t like some sleuths who seem to take offense at everything the police officer says or does. They worked well together and he seemed pretty charmed and won over by her as well. There was no shortage of suspects, until they started producing alibis. I loved the web of deceit that made it seem like everyone had secrets. I had randomly named the person as the killer, but the author seemed to steer away from anyone that I had suspected. I loved the stake-out type take down at the end!
The ending was incredibly Christmasy with family being reunited–which was basically all Dorothea had wanted. Callie had to make an important decision for herself and the little dog she’d temporarily adopted. I enjoyed the side story of Falk’s sister Peggy and her two small sons. Falk naturally was very protective of her, but Callie helped him realize that maybe Peggy just wanted a little credit for trying to be a good single mom–she was widowed when her Coast Guard husband went on a rescue mission. I’m really anxious for the next book to come out!
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher, but I voluntarily chose to read and review it. My opinions are my own.