by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of all three of these Christmas mysteries by Kathi Daley, and links to purchase them from Amazon.
Jingle bells! Jingle bells! Jingle all the way! Fans of Kathi Daley are treated to three new wonderful Christmas time stories. In the Zoe Donovan Cozy Mystery series, Zoe searches for the killer of bakeshop owner Candy Kane. In the Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Clarence, another magical cat, leads Cait to a mysterious victim. In the Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mystery, Kailani finds a dead Santa in the alley. We enjoy holiday festivities, family gatherings, snow flurries, swaying palms, a little romance, and of course…mayhem.
Candy Cane Caper earns 5/5 Snowball Cookies with a Cup of Cocoa!
A Zoe Donovan Cozy Mystery
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” and everyone in Ashton Falls is looking forward to the Hometown Christmas. Zoe heads over to Candy Kane’s Bakeshop to pick up a large order of cupcakes for the end-of-term party at Zimmerman Academy. She had spoken to Candy and knew she’d be in the shop until eight o’clock. However, when she arrives the shop is closed, lights off, and going around into the alley, she discovers the back door unlocked, sugar cookies abandoned on the counter, and Candy in the pantry…dead.
Zoe and Zak are busy with the holiday celebrations and dealing with some unexpected family issues. Scooter’s dad has returned wanting to settle down and be a family. Scooter, a young boy for whom Zak has been temporary guardian, hasn’t seen his father for two years. So, with a murder investigation and Sheriff Salinger asking for Zoe’s particular assistance (she’s always thought herself a kind of ‘side kick’), the holiday season is going to be very full. But, despite Zoe’s full schedule, she always finds time to squeeze in an ‘interrogation’ or two, sneak a peek at the evidence, and uncover several suspects including a rival bakery owner and her ‘wise guy’ partner/cousin, a secret past, hidden identities, and way too many alibis.
This delightful story is Kathi Daley’s twenty-second book in the Zoe Donovan Cozy Mystery series, and the fourth book for Christmas. Long-time fans and newbies will all be thrilled as we join the Donovan/Zimmerman family at Christmas enjoying Santa’s village focusing on the wonderful relationships and family interactions, but adding suspense with a little thing called murder. As a special treat, Kathi has added to the e-book the first part of her novella originally published as “Zimmerman Academy New Beginnings” to reintroduce the series. This special novella is separated into two parts allowing you to relive previous stories and enjoy a new one. She has also included several wonderful holiday recipes including the Snowball Cookies, White Fudge, soups, and breads!
Be a Zoe ‘Christmas’ Fan!
Christmas Crazy (2013)
Christmas Cozy (2014)
Santa Sleuth (2015)
Candy Cane Caper (2016)
The Cat of Christmas Present earns 5/5 Heartwarming Holiday Memories!
Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery series
Caitlin Hart thought waiting out a winter storm in front of a roaring fire was the perfect plan. However, all this changes with a phone call from Tara O’Brian, BFF and partner in Coffee Cat Books, and the appearance of Clarence, another one of Tansy’s magical cats. Tara is really upset about a ‘due on demand’ demand for the balance of their business loan fearing the loss of their bookshop/coffee bar/cat lounge is imminent. Clarence shows up leading Cait out into the storm to discover a seriously injured man suffering from amnesia…just another day on Madrona Island!
Along with tree hunting and reflecting on the importance of memories, Cait heads off to uncover the identity of the mysterious John Doe dubbed ‘Prince Charming.’ Like participating in a scavenger hunt, each shop or restaurant or seedy bar provides another avenue of inquiry. However, having paid cash for all of his purchases, and although friendly and generous, no names were ever exchanged. Cait also struggles with the real possibility her business is in jeopardy, and although family and friends again step up to help, it seems hopeless. And when another body shows up—this one dead, the integrity of the mysterious man comes into question.
I really like Kathi Daley’s ‘magical cats’ in the eight Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery series books. In every one of the stories, a new ‘furry friend’ pops up and meows to provide the right amount of help to solve the mystery. For the second Christmas book “…Christmas Present,” ’Clarence?’ is a nice nod to It’s a Wonderful Life’s angel. It isn’t a complicated story. A couple of possible solutions and the “I hope he isn’t the bad guy” prayers make it a very fun read with a heartwarming conclusion for all. Once again, you enjoy Cait, the family, friends, and the little village in which they reside. We are also treated to a variety of recipes from Kathi and her fans perfect for any holiday gathering: Steak and Potato Soup, Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars, along with more soups, dips, salads, and fudge!
Be a Caitlin ‘Christmas’ Fan!
The Cat of Christmas Past (2015)
The Cat of Christmas Present (2016)
Murder at Christmas earns 5/5 Santa Hats and an Umbrella-ed Egg Nog!
Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mystery series
We start with warm tropical breezes, umbrella-ed drinks, festive vacationers, and…a dead Santa. Kailani Pope, the Water Safety Officer at the Dolphin Bay Resort, is filling in as a holiday elf, grass skirt and all, and on her way to the Step into Christmas party, stumbles upon Sam Riverton bludgeoned in the alley. She is not a novice to murder victims, they’ve popped up before, and most of her family are in law enforcement and she hopes one day to do the same, but Sam was a nice man. It was a disturbing sight: a red suit, a red hat, a pool of red blood.
The resort staff has been hit with bouts of the flu. Everyone is filling in where needed, and Sam Riverton agreed to be the substitute Santa Claus, the original person slated for the job also had come down with the ‘bug.’ The seniors—quirky sixty/seventy-somethings, close friends to the victim, and guests at the Step into Christmas party—decide they’d proven themselves useful in a previous case and therefore owe it to Sam to help solve his murder.
Lani, her boyfriend Luke, and the seniors join together to explore alibis for a suspect list covering squabbling neighbors, sibling rivalries, ex-wives, and lots of senior center ‘hook ups.’ Along with planning a Christmas Eve party fit for King Kamehameha, they find a rash of robberies, missing security footage, a secret the victim doesn’t want revealed, shadows on tape, and a seemingly good-natured prank.
Although this is the fourth book in the Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mystery series, it is the first for the Christmas season, and I promise, just as exciting. I loved the eccentric ‘seniors’ snipping at each other, the evolving romance between Lani and Luke, and the clever way Kathi engages all of our senses and emotions. She sends us around the island interrogating suspects and joining WSO Lani on a desperate search for a missing child. It’s not a long story, but engaging and fun, with the right amount of ‘Oh, my!’ We are also treated with more delectables to add to our personal Kathi Daley cookbook with recipes fit for a Christmas Day brunch: French Toast, Cranberry Mellow Salad, along with cookies and cakes!
Be a Kailani ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ Fan!
Murder at Christmas (2016)
Christmas Memories from Kathi Daley
KRL: What is one of your favorite Christmas memories? Have you ever found a ‘body’ under the tree?
Kathi: When my children were younger, my siblings and I, all our spouses, and kids would go to my parents’ house for three or four days over Christmas. The kids would all sled and snowmobile while the adults caught up and played games. All the bedrooms were upstairs and the living area was downstairs, and there was a staircase with an open railing between the first and second story. Every Christmas morning all eleven kids would lineup on the staircase peering through the railing until the adults told them it was okay to come down. The first stop for all the kids was to grab their stocking from the mantle of the fireplace in the seating area which was at the foot of the stairs, and then they’d all run into the family room to see what Santa brought. After the kids got married and had kids of their own, it was too hard to have everyone in one house, so the tradition faded, but I will always remember those magical mornings spent with my large and noisy family.
And, yes, I have found a body under a tree. When my son was three, he got up in the middle of the night and went into the living room to see if Santa had come. I found him sleeping under the tree later that night when I went to check on him.
Be an ‘All-Year-Round’ Kathi Daley Fan!
Kathi Daley – Amazon Profile
Facebook–Kathi Daley Books
Kathi Daley – Website
Facebook Group – Kathi Daley Books Recipe Exchange
Kathi Daley – Goodreads
To enter to win a copy of all 3 of these Christmas mysteries by Kathi Daley, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “kathi Christmas,” or comment on this article. If you live in the US, you can choose between e-book copies or print-please state your choice in your comment or email. A winner will be chosen December 17, 2016. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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