Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tortie Shorties: Christmas Edition

Meows from Mudpie!

There's still time to make yourself a mug of cocoa, stick a candy cane in it, and indulge in a festive Christmas read with a kitty (or three!) on your lap. We've been doing a lot of that lately and wanted to tell you about some of our favorites!

From the publisher: To the townspeople’s delight, the annual lighting of the tree is a spectacular success. Unfortunately, Santa pulled up in his sleigh, DOA. At first Stan is sure it’s Seamus, her boyfriend’s uncle, inside the red suit. But the victim turns out to be an employee from the town’s Christmas tree farm. Rumor has it the deceased was a mean drunk with a soft spot for feral cats. Stan has no idea why he was dressed as St. Nick—or why he’s dead.

Meanwhile, Seamus, a jolly Irishman who comes to America every December to visit his pub-owner nephew, is nowhere to be found. Could he just be off on a Boston bar crawl? Or is something more sinister under the tree? Seamus was supposed to be dressing up and posing for pet pictures with Santa at the shop, but the dogs and cats might have to find another lap to curl up in if Stan doesn’t solve two mysteries soon. Or murder might be the only thing under the mistletoe this holiday . . .

Tortie Shorties Review: This is a book I've been looking forward to since the end of the previous book in the series as readers are invited to the unofficial opening of Stan's Pawsitively Organic Pet Patisserie on the same night as the town's Christmas tree lighting ceremony. What could go wrong? Turns out quite a bit, as Santa is DOA in his sleigh. Stan is horrified because her boyfriend Jake's Uncle Seamus is supposed to be playing Santa, but that's not who has been murdered. The victim is Harold, another resident of Frog's Ledge -  and he has been poisoned by the apple cider made specifically for Santa - cider that was made by Stan's good friend Izzy. Seamus's whereabouts are unknown, and it's nearly impossible to even know who the intended victim was because both men had their enemies. Stan has her hands full trying to get her new business off the ground, entertaining a houseful of Jake's family members, and getting to the bottom of a very complicated set of circumstances. By the cliffhanger on the final page there's lots of excitement still to come for Stan too! Another great story in one of my favorite cozy series.

From the publisher: Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.

Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

Tortie Shorties Review: Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a love letter to the greatest Christmas story ever told. (Well, other than *the* Christmas story, of course.) This book is written so vividly that I felt as though I were walking alongside Dickens through the streets of London on a dark, wintry night, meeting the characters that would inspire his classic tale. While a work of fiction the background on Dickens' life at the time (which I was completely unaware of) provided a sense of historical accuracy and the Victorian atmosphere is spot on. I think Mr. Dickens would be proud to see his work still relevant today, and that his characters continue to inspire our imaginations. Mr. Dickens and His Carol will always have a special spot on my shelf of A Christmas Carol memorabilia.

Purrfect Santa by Nic Saint: Chase’s grandfather is missing, and he asks Odelia to help find him. And since Odelia’s editor has told her to find out who the new Hampton Cove Santa is, she gladly agrees. After traipsing all over New York City in search of Grandpa Kingsley, and the new Santa, they have to declare defeat. Lucky for them, there’s still Max and Dooley, Odelia’s feline sleuths. Will they find out what happened to Grandpa Kingsley? And will they figure out who the new Santa is? Get into the holiday spirit with Max and Odelia and find out in Purrfect Santa.

Purrfect Christmas Mystery by Nic Saint: When Odelia’s mailwoman doesn’t show up one morning, Max and Dooley are worried something might have happened to her. Bambi Wiggins is their favorite letter carrier, after all, as she always comes bearing treats and cuddles. So the fearsome feline duo set out through the snow and sleet of pre-Christmas Hampton Cove, in search of Bambi. When they finally find her, they’re in for a big surprise, and a genuine Christmas miracle.

Purrfect Christmas Miracle by Nic Saint: It is the night before Christmas, and not a creature in the house is stirring… except for Max and Dooley, wondering if Santa Claus is human or feline! To decide the point, Max convinces Dooley to go up on the roof and prove once and for all that Santa is a cat. Heavy snowfall soon thwarts the brave feline sleuths’ plans, and they’re forced to return indoors, where it’s warm and dry. Their efforts are soon rewarded, however, as they unexpectedly discover Santa’s true identity, and it’s definitely not what they expected!

Tortie Shorties Review: The Mysteries of Max series is one of my favorite finds of the year, and this trio of Christmas stories is nothing short of magical. The three are connected, but only Purrfect Santa is available on AmazonPurrfect Christmas Mystery and Purrfect Christmas Miracle, written from the viewpoint of Max, are available exclusively to mailing list subscribers: nicsaint.com/newsletter. Odeilia is searching for the town's new Santa, Chase is looking for his grandfather, and precious Max and Dooley are desperate to find their beloved mail carrier. Everything is solved on a Christmas Eve no one will ever forget.

From the publisher: Matthew has a very special gift for new girlfriend Beatrice Young this holiday season. Except his plans are foiled when a mugger tackles him on a dark street and steals the surprise present! He can't exactly involve Beatrice is his recovery plans—but thankfully her four crime-solving cats are more than up to the task, not to mention Sheriff Roy and the rest of the Ashbrook, New Hampshire community.

When other big ticket gifts are stolen in broad daylight, the crew knows that someone truly desperate is on the loose. Can Matthew recover his secret gift in time? And how the heck is Beatrice going to find time to plan her annual Christmas Day party with all this nonsense going on?!

Tortie Shorties Review :Prefer your Christmas cozies without the bloodshed? Then this is the book for you! Beatrice and her four cats are hot on the trail of a Yuletide mugger who is stealing high end Christmas gifts...including her own that she's not even supposed to know about! Never a dull moment in Beatrice's little world...

From the publisher: Trouble, the Sherlock of black cat detective, finds himself in Turnout, MS on Christmas Eve. Teddy Adamson, that heart breaker, has just walked back into Billie Dean Bailey’s life. But more dire happenings are going on under the mistletoe. Who ends up dead and why? Was it the maraschino cherries in the Tizzington sisters’ fruit compote? Or was it something more sinister? 

Tortie Shorties Review: Trouble is left in the care of Billie Dean Bailey over the holidays where he accompanies her to work each day to the used car dealership her father owns. The small business is in serious financial trouble, but that's not Billie Dean's only worry. Teddy, her former love is back in town visiting his mother for the holidays and their feelings for each other are still strong. When murder strikes at a Christmas party Teddy, Billie Dean and Trouble team up to uncover the criminal element that has taken hold right under their noses at the car dealership. Short but satisfying seasonal story.

From the publisher: How do you find a killer when everyone in town has a motive? That's the question pie-baker extraordinaire Cinnamon Peters and the rest of the cozy little mountain town of Christmas River are asking this December.
After Moira Stewart -- the town's worst gossip -- is found dead of unnatural causes one snowy morning, rumors begin swirling like snowflakes in a blizzard about her unexpected demise.
But not everything is as it seems in Christmas River this holiday season. And in a town where everyone stands to gain from Moira's death, Cinnamon and her husband Sheriff Brightman find themselves stumbling into dangerous and deadly territory.
Because this December, the weather outside is frightful...
And so is the murder.

Tortie Shorties Review: Although I've collected each book in this series thanks to the adorable gingerbread man covers alone, this is surprisingly the first one I've read, and I ended up finding myself lost in the coziest little Christmas world imaginable. From the very first scene I caught myself smiling at the antics of the intended victim - crotchety, conniving octogenarian Moira Stewart - right up until the moment she got whacked upside the head with a snow shovel. There's no shortage of suspects as Moira had a nasty blackmail hobby and protagonist pie shop owner Cinnamon and her sheriff hubby have their hands full weeding through the suspects. I loved the Christmas atmosphere throughout the entire book, especially in the antics of Cinnamon's feisty grandfather Walter. Festive fun!

We received some of these titles for free in exchange for our fair and honest review. This post contains affiliate links.


Rene said...

Oh boy, oh boy, more cozy cat mysteries! I had no idea there were so many--I keep finding more!

The Menagerie Mom said...

I cannot express how happy this post makes me! I love to read Christmas stories all the way throughout the Christmas season, including the 12 Days of Christmas that only just start on Christmas Day. Now I have plenty of festive reads!

Patricia T said...

Thanks, Melissa (and Mudpie)!

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

So many great options! I'm especially intrigued by the book about Dickens. I love historical fiction.

Unknown said...

Wow, you have been doing some reading! These all sound like perfect seasonal reading. I love that gingerbread man cover!

Eastside Cats said...

Wow, so many good reviews!

pilch92 said...

This post is overwhelming me, there are so many I want to read.

Nancy said...

Oh! These all sound wonderful! Thanks for the tips, Mudpie!

MegMuldoon said...

Thank you for the great review, Melissa & Mudpie!!