The Worst Noel By Amy M. Reade: Review/Giveaway

Dec 8, 2018 | 2018 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of The Worst Noel, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

The Worst Noel earns 5/5 Black Friday Receipts…Engaging and Fun!

Lilly’s Very Bad, No Good, Terrible, “Worst” Day!

Thanksgiving is over, and Black Friday is looming. The busiest shopping day of the year is often a boost for anyone’s bottom line. Lilly Carlsen, owner of Juniper Junction Jewels, is anticipating a successful day, but reticent of the crowds and chaos, but that will be the least of her worries. She discovers the back door of her shop unlocked, the vault ajar, and a dead body behind the counter…Eden Barkley murdered by pearls! After learning her shop is a crime scene and will be closed down all day costing Lilly her best-of-the-year sales, she blurts out “one more reason to hate Eden Barkley.” Oops, did she really say that out loud? The investigating officer along with her also-a-cop brother add motive to means and opportunity. Off to the station she goes…mystery

Lilly Carlsen is a single mother of two teens along with an ex-husband and mother who offer their own challenges to her sanity. She is also the president of the Chamber of Commerce giving her a front row seat to Eden’s barrage of complaints from parking spots to flower choices. But, she’s lost a lot. Ok, not as much as the victim, but the murder, for some reason, was perpetrated in her shop and greatly effected her livelihood, so investigating to resolve this is important. But things are not what they seem, so this mystery takes a few murderous turns.

A very entertaining first-in-the-series from Amy M. Reade (Ok, what an apropos name, right?). She has penned a clever mystery with wonderful characters and a satisfying conclusion making me a fan and eager to join in as a regular for her Juniper Junction Holiday Mysteries. The mystery gives “karma” a good name…bad character meets bad end, but perp is handed justice, too. She leads readers through a variety of entertaining suspects all with motive, but the final “you’re it” is one that challenged my inner Sherlock. And along with an enjoyable cozy mystery, she provides a engaging look into Lilly’s family dramas, interactions with her BFF, and efforts to have a Black Friday do-over. Amy is not a new author, penning the Malice series, so the well-developed characters in a first-in-the-series book are a given. I admire Lilly, the teens are an enjoyable support duo, and she paints with realism her mother’s possible early-onset dementia and ex-husband’s antics. Stories and characters that all made for a great read!

The story has sixty-two chapters. Whoa! I thought I’d be reading for days. However, I was so pleasantly surprised, and really liked the manner in which Amy organized her story. Each chapter is a scene or part of the day easily enjoyed…but still a real page-turner. However, I prefer a first-person narrative that allows me to feel I’m part of the story with the “I” perspective. In Amy’s story readers are put on the periphery with a third-person narrative. But, she did include intriguing descriptions, engaging banter, and illustrations of tone and personality which kept me totally engaged. I highly recommend this book, and am a big fan!

My two favorite words…No, not “It’s Murder!,” but Recipes Included! Amy Reade has added three delicious easy-to-follow recipes as a bonus. Enjoy what BFF Noley brought for breakfast whose job as a recipe developer for a national cooking magazine has made being her “taste tester” a delicious position: Christmas Jam (Cranberries, and raspberries, and pears…oh, my!), Orange-Kissed Biscuits (Topped with Christmas Jam, of course!), and Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing (A tropical delight!).

Be a Big Amy Reade Fan!
Along with this entertaining new cozy mystery series Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery (2018), USA Today best-selling mystery author Amy M. Reade pens Gothic and traditional mysteries. In her three standalone books (2014-2016) readers are taken from New York to Charleston to Hawaii engaged with dark secrets, family struggles, and a few dead bodies. In her three-book Malice series (2017-2018), readers are transported to the streets of Edinburgh to the Scottish highlands to the Welch countryside engaged in kidnapping, theft, and maybe some murders. Check out all her books on Goodreads and links to Amazon.

Facebook – Amy M. Reade, Author
Website – Amy M. Reade

Blog – Reade and Write: Words and Wine by Amy M. Reade
Twitter @readeandwrite
Pinterest – Amy M. Reade

To enter to win an ebook copy of The Worst Noel, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “noel,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 15, 2018. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also check our our new mystery podcast! The latest episode is set at Christmas time!

You can use this link to purchase this book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This review makes my day! Thanks very much for the spotlight, KRL!

  2. Thanks for the review and the chance to win this book!Sounds very good.

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  3. Sounds like an interesting read.

    • Thank you! I certainly enjoyed writing it.

  4. Sounds amazing I can’t wait to read it!!!

    • Thank you, Christina! Good luck in the giveaway.

  5. This would be a great December read.
    Donah42 at aol dot com

    • Thanks, Amy! Good luck in the giveaway.

  6. I love mysteries set around holidays. Thanks for this chance!

    • Hi, Pam–I think this is the perfect holiday read, but I may be a little biased! 😉

  7. This sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance.


  8. New to me author. Thanks for the review.

    Kckendler at gmail dot com

    • Hi, Kathleen, I think you were the winner of the Christmas gift tags I made last year. Good luck in the giveaway!

  9. The Worst Noel sounds great. Thank you for this chance.
    peggyhyndman (AT) att (DOT) net

  10. you sure are making my TBR list grow rapidly – thanks for the contest – trwilliams 69 at msn dot com

    • Good luck, Taylor! Thanks for stopping in!

  11. The worst Noel sounds interesting and has recipes! Yay! Great review can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance.

  12. The worst Noel sounds interesting and has recipes! Yay! Great review can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance. Merry Christmas

    • Thank you! I love books with recipes, and I finally got around to writing my own!

  13. Your blog is such a blessing to those of us who enjoy cozy mysteries. It is great to learn about Amy Reade and her book prior to buying it. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. I love this blog, too, Robin. I learn about lots of new-to-me authors and new releases through KRL. Good luck in the giveaway!

  15. This sounds wonderful and I find the cover charming. I have a friend that loves Amy Reade and has been trying to get me to read her for a long time. Please enter me.

    • Hi, Marilyn,

      No time like the present to start reading! I love the cover, too–my cover artist is very talented and full of great ideas. Thank you for your kind words.

  16. I really enjoyed the description of the book. Another great holiday read.

    • Thanks, Dianne! Good luck in the giveaway. 🙂

  17. I go in for mysteries most of
    of the time, but at Christmas
    I’m looking for feel-good books.
    This one combines both.

    • Thank you for the kind words. Good luck in the giveaway!

  18. Yes please, I’d love to win this book.. I can understand her blowing up about losing a day of sales (twenty years in retail). My son in law is a cop and my #2 son has connections to Homeland and is a frequent speaker at gatherings.

    They’ve both reminded me on many occasions that I should keep my complaints to a “mumble”.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Nora-Adrienne. Good luck in the giveaway!

  19. This looks so great! Legallyblonde1961

  20. The review makes the book sound amazing. I can’t wait to read it. Bonus, recipes!

    • Thank you, Margaret! Good luck in the giveaway!

  21. We have a winner!


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