Believe it or not December is here and with it the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. What better way to help get in the spirit than to read a holiday mystery!
Many years ago my cousin in California introduced me to the Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries by Kate Kingsbury. This fabulous series takes place in Edwardian England. Cecily Sinclair is a widow who runs the Pennyfoot Hotel with the help of her hotel manager, Baxter. What drew me in, even more than the mysteries themselves, was the relationship between Cecily and Baxter. There is an undeniable attraction, yet class barriers, among other things stand in their way. I loved how the series progressed and was sad to see it end. Then a Christmas miracle occurred. Cecily, Baxter, and the Pennyfoot crew return each year at Christmastime. Unfortunately for them, fortunately for us, murders keep interrupting their holiday festivities. While the first 12 books in the original series are tighter and more compelling, the following holiday mysteries are an enjoyable Christmas treat! Room with a Clue (1993) is the first in the series, No Clue at the Inn (2003) starts the yearly Christmas mysteries with The Clue is in the Pudding as the most recent, published just last month!
What's Christmas without cookies? Hannah Swensen bakes up cookies for her shop, The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota in the series penned by Joanne Fluke. A few of these take place at Christmastime, including Plum Pudding Murder and the novellas included in Gingerbread Cookie Murder and Candy Cane Murder. The books also include recipes!
You might like a cup of coffee with that Christmas cookie. If so you might like to read Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle or her upcoming Coffeehouse Mystery, Holiday Buzz, which will be released Tuesday. Of course, one lucky reader of this blog has won an autographed copy of that very book.
I used random.org to determine the winner, and the winner is Kimberlee, with comment #1. Congratulations. Thanks to everyone who entered.