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Christmas With Kathi Daley

IN THE December 10 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andKathleen Costa,
andMysteryrat's Maze,

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.

bookZoe 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!

bookAlong 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.

bookThe 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.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use these links to purchase these books from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the links:

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 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 year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

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.

{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynn December 10, 2016 at 10:12am

They all sound like wonderful reads — the eggnog latte sounds just heavenly to read them by. Thanks!


2 Kathleen Costa December 10, 2016 at 11:42am

Yeah…this is such a wonderful author. Kathi Daley provides enjoyable ‘cozy’ mysteries perfect for the holiday season. I hope you find your way to the ‘Daley Universes.’


3 Brian Frauenknecht
Twitter: @BFrauenb
December 10, 2016 at 1:55pm

Thank you for the chance to win these books. I love Kathi’s books. And would love to win print copies of these.


4 Kathleen Costa December 10, 2016 at 8:47pm

Kathi’s books are delightful easy reads, but do not skimp on the mystery.


5 Pam
Twitter: @PA_Morse
December 10, 2016 at 2:00pm

When my boys were real little we would go upstate Pa to spend Christmas eve with friends. I would drop them off at daycare and they would think I was going to work. I would then head home and put out their presents. When it was time to pick them up we would head straight upstate. Then we would go home after breakfast Christmas morning and they would see that Santa had been to our house. They believed for a very long time…


6 Kathleen Costa December 10, 2016 at 8:48pm

Tricky…your boys must have enjoyed Christmas growing up.


7 Pam Morse
Twitter: @PA_Morse
December 11, 2016 at 9:56am

I forgot to say I’d love books. mommatoodle at msn dot com and yes my boys loved Christmas. I loved seeing the look on their faces as we got in the door and Santa had really been there.


8 sally December 10, 2016 at 2:04pm

I sent an email. Thanks for the chance to win! All three books sound great. I’ve only read a few of Kathi’s books and have tons more to go.


9 Kathleen Costa December 10, 2016 at 8:49pm

These Christmas books were fun, and although Kathi’s writing style is the same, each story has unique differences. They are are enjoyable entertainment.


10 Laura Milburn
Twitter: @Laurab21409
December 10, 2016 at 2:11pm

I can remember way back when we had bubble lights on our tree and I would lay under it just to watch them bubble up. This was back in the 80s/90s before we could no longer use them. I would like print copies of the books please.


11 Kathleen Costa December 10, 2016 at 8:59pm

Oh, I loved those ‘bubble’ lights! You’ll love these books.


12 Kathleen Kendler
Twitter: @Kathleen
December 10, 2016 at 3:09pm

Would love to win these three. kckendler at gmail dot com


13 Jill Broussard December 10, 2016 at 3:41pm

Thankyou for sharing these 3 books by Kathi. Every book she writes is a winner! I would love to own these books in paperback. Thankyou for the opportunity! Jill Broussard; minishoes@msn.com


14 Jill Broussard December 10, 2016 at 3:47pm

Forgot to share a memory… Every year my boys, adults, ask to open 1 gift at midnight. Somehow, it always turns into an all nighter. They get me every year! Jill Broussard, minishoes@msn.com


15 Donamae Kutska
Twitter: @donamaekutska
December 10, 2016 at 4:09pm

My kids sleeping under the tree! I’d love those books! Thanks


16 Judy Tucker December 10, 2016 at 4:42pm

Dog chewed corner of wrapped present. It was a box of chocolate covered cherries.


17 Marlene Ezell December 10, 2016 at 5:01pm

What a great giveaway. I would love print copies please if I win. Kathi Daley writes great books.


18 Marie Roberts December 10, 2016 at 5:34pm

Enjoyed your review and the question/answer by Kathi. 🙂


19 Kathleen Costa December 10, 2016 at 8:30pm

It was fun reading and writing the review, but also connecting with Kathi. She is a delightful and caring person. She loves her fans…


20 Jeanine Carlson December 10, 2016 at 6:03pm

Ha ha, I think I was one of those bodies under the tree one year!


21 Kathleen Costa December 10, 2016 at 8:31pm

It was a funny story. Thanks you. The three Christmas have the same humor and delight. You’ll enjoy it.


22 Brittany Abbott
Twitter: @ilovefinnegan
December 10, 2016 at 8:13pm

I can’t believe that I haven’t read all of these books already.


23 Kathleen Costa December 10, 2016 at 8:33pm

Kathi has so many books…get to know her through her Facebook pages keeps you in the know…


24 Jess D December 10, 2016 at 8:44pm

Love all her Christmas theme stories! Zeta(at)iwon(dot)com


25 Amanda B. December 10, 2016 at 8:56pm

Great reviews! I would love to win copies of these. 🙂


26 Wanda Downs December 10, 2016 at 9:45pm

I love these book series


27 Barbara December 11, 2016 at 8:55am

A good holiday offer I would love to win these


28 Kristi Gilbert December 11, 2016 at 9:09am

I’d love to read these! I adore the cover of The Cat of Christmas Present. hannah03@bellsouth.net


29 Debbie December 11, 2016 at 9:37am

They all sound wonderful, but I have to say, I love cats, so Clarence sounds adorable! If I won, I would love the e-book versions. DElholm@prodigy.net


30 Carol Nemeth December 11, 2016 at 9:40am

These books are wonderful and I love reading them all.


31 Deanna S December 11, 2016 at 9:45am

I would love to read these Christmas stories.. Love to have print copies please…


32 amy guillaume linderman December 11, 2016 at 9:50am

i would love print copies! they all look great! love her books


33 Diane Robinson December 11, 2016 at 9:52am

Would love win


34 Jamie Gillespie
Twitter: @Sportsgirl10
December 11, 2016 at 9:58am

Oh, how I love the Zoe books! I love everything you write…thanks for the awesome giveaway!!


35 Sharon Baker December 11, 2016 at 10:06am

These are the best books to read. Not only are they good but they have some of the best recipes I have ever tried.


36 Cheryl Harding Smith December 11, 2016 at 10:09am

love this series..chocolate anything…would love to win…


37 Tracy Shafer December 11, 2016 at 10:13am

I love all of Kathi’s books! I would love print copies please 🙂 Thank you!


38 Nina December 11, 2016 at 10:14am

I love the covers of these books.


39 Joanie Hinton December 11, 2016 at 10:15am

Love the few books by Kathi I have read so
far….looking forward to reading many more


40 Kelly Braun
Twitter: @69steelers2
December 11, 2016 at 10:16am

I just ADORE Kathi Daley’s books! Great article and Q&A- Thank You. Print books are da Bomb Diggity 🙂
Kelly Braun


41 Robyn K December 11, 2016 at 10:29am

I love Kathi Daley’s books. Thank you for the wonderful interview, and this fantastic chance to win! areewekidding@yahoo.com


42 Kathleen Costa December 13, 2016 at 3:03pm

You’re welcome. I was inspired to write these reviews by three wonderful and engaging books. Good luck!


43 Linda December 11, 2016 at 10:32am

Wonderful giveaway! I would enjoy print copies and they sound wonderful!


44 Mary Jane H.
Twitter: @CarvingLady
December 11, 2016 at 11:01am

Love all of Kathi’s books. Send mine in mobi format for my Kindle if I win to: mjhopper (at) cox (dot) net


45 Linda May December 11, 2016 at 11:23am

Love your books & I would be ecstatic to win these 3 mysteries, I would want it in print & Thanks as always for your generosity. Linda May lindamay4852@yahoo.com


46 Jeanni D. December 11, 2016 at 11:39am

Great post! I love Kathi’s books, and love the recipes. Thanks for the chance!


47 Sue Leis December 11, 2016 at 11:44am

Kathy, I have yet to read one of your mysteries but I am impressed with your friendliness and connection with your fans on FB. i would be thrilled to win 3 of your books. I’m old-fashioned and prefer reading printed books if I should be so fortunate as to win. Merry Christmas!


48 Wanda Downs December 11, 2016 at 11:53am

Love her books


49 debbiesherwood
Twitter: @debbiesherwood8
December 11, 2016 at 12:06pm

no never found a body under the tree but I really miss when my kids were little opening presents an seeing how happy they were now tgey have lives of their own an probably won’t be here so I’ll just be reading I would live to be reading these books they sound wonderful love you kathi an your books


50 Kathleen Costa December 12, 2016 at 12:53pm

It was fun watching my nieces at 3 and 2 seeing Santa at the Mall, opening their gifts, and playing with their gifts while we had dinner…
You’ll love these books.Kathi gives her readers a marvelous journey.


51 Susan Brauner December 11, 2016 at 1:09pm

I am just getting started with Kathi’s books, and love them so far. Thanks for the wonderful contest.


52 Cynthia Balevre December 11, 2016 at 1:42pm

Wow, how exciting!! Love your books!! Cbalevre(at)ptd(dot)net


53 Cathy Inboden
Twitter: @clinboden1
December 11, 2016 at 2:14pm

Sent a email but not sure I sent it right. But I would love a print copy of Kathi Daley’s books. I have the e-book copies of her books. Thank you for a chance to win.


54 Donamae Kutska
Twitter: @donamaekutska
December 11, 2016 at 2:46pm

Print please


55 Risa December 11, 2016 at 3:33pm

They all sound wonderful to read. and the Egg Nog Latte. yum


56 Paula Staton December 11, 2016 at 3:45pm

Great giveaway for good books. Iff to have some eggnog here!


57 Sue C December 11, 2016 at 3:49pm

Love her books. slclickner at juno dot com


58 Patricia Reed December 11, 2016 at 4:58pm

Wonderful books to get someone into the Christmas spirit!!!


59 Geraldine Pierson December 11, 2016 at 5:40pm

My husband and I love Kathi Daley’s books. I already own Candy Cape on E-Book but I would love to win the other two books.


60 Judy Pflueger December 11, 2016 at 6:09pm

Thank you for the chance. Would be happy if I won.


61 Jennifer Hansen December 11, 2016 at 6:34pm

Would love to read these holiday books! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com


62 Rhonda
Twitter: @farmgirl4747
December 11, 2016 at 8:16pm

Would love to win. Love print books! Thanks


63 Karin A December 11, 2016 at 9:26pm

My grandma had bubble lights on her tree….Sooo cool.
Would love to read Kathi’s Christmas books.
**print books
karin56381 (at) gmail.com


64 Kathleen Costa December 12, 2016 at 2:56pm

We had the bubbling lights, too, and the huge Christmas lights on a single circuit. Every year Dad sat trying to figure out which light was bad…testing each one individually. I’m surprised we ever had a tree with all the work to make it beautiful. Good Luck!


65 Linda Herold
Twitter: @Linda
December 11, 2016 at 9:52pm

I am happy that through Facebook, I discovered Kathi! She is so generous with giveaways!! She rights god books too!


66 Donamae
Twitter: @donamaekutska
December 12, 2016 at 1:30am

Awesome reviews, would behappyto read them.


67 Kathleen Costa December 12, 2016 at 2:52pm

Thanks. I really enjoyed read this trio of books. It inspires me to do them justice with a nice review. Good Luck!


68 TeresaLaGesse
Twitter: @tl161yahoocom
December 12, 2016 at 3:11am

Thank you for the opportunity to win


69 Cynthia Blain December 12, 2016 at 5:43am

What a wonderful article describing three books that I unfortunately have not had a chance to read yet. I love print copy books as I can take them with me to my many doctor visits and hospital trips, so would love paperbacks if I were ever lucky enough to win. Kathy is such a wonderful and prolific writer and I was delighted to read about her life as a child at Christmas, something I had not heard before. Thank you so much.


70 Kathleen Costa December 12, 2016 at 12:24pm

Thank you. I greatly enjoyed the books which inspired my reviews. Kathi has so many wonderful reads that take fans and newbies on a great ride…Good luck!


71 Sharon Braswell
Twitter: @SharonBraswell1
December 13, 2016 at 11:25pm

Kathi has SO many wonderful series of books to choose from and they are all a cozy mystery lover’s delight! I love that she lets the story tell itself and that sometimes the endings surprise even her! I so enjoyed the interview with Kathi’s beautiful Christmas morning memory of her parents, siblings, and children and thanks so much for asking about that “body” under the tree. What a cute story for a mystery writer to be able to tell!! *LOL* oh_bother88@hotmail.com


72 Anne December 14, 2016 at 8:12am

I’d love to be spending the holidays in Hawaii. I’ll guess I’ll only have to be there in spirit by reading a story set there.



73 Lynn December 14, 2016 at 8:55am

What lovely Christmas reads – thanks for chance to win!


74 peggy clayton December 14, 2016 at 8:15pm

Lovely Christmas reads and love the way Kathi writes stories are always so good. I would love to read all 3 and post reviews on several sites. ptclayton2@aol.com


75 Diane T Wickles
Twitter: @ddominikwickles
December 15, 2016 at 7:02am

They all sound good. I would love to win copies of them to read and share. Thanks


76 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
December 19, 2016 at 10:17am

We have a winner!


77 Cathy Inboden
Twitter: @clinboden1
December 19, 2016 at 12:36pm

Who is the winner?


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