Monday, November 30, 2020
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Avery Baker was a big city textile designer, until she inherited her aunt’s old Maine cottage and found her true calling—home renovation. But she never expected her latest job would come to such a bone-rattling dead end...
For Avery and her husband Derek, renovating the Craftsman Bungalow was like stepping back in time. The quaint old home was just as its original owners had left it—from the beautiful butler’s pantry to the surprisingly exquisite ribbon tile. But it’s the attic that yields the most heart-stopping surprise.
In a discreetly hidden antique crate, Avery finds a clue to a decades-old missing persons case. As Avery works on the house and delves deeper into the sinister story, it becomes clear that someone very crafty wants the Craftsman home’s secrets to stay that way!
There’s nothing lovelier than Christmas in Connecticut, but Melanie Travis can scarcely find a moment to enjoy the festivities. With her youngest son approaching toddlerhood, she’s decided to return to her old job at Howard Academy, a posh private school attended by the children of Greenwich’s well-heeled gentry. Balancing work, motherhood, and the hectic dog show circuit takes some fancy footwork, especially when the headmaster taps her to be the chairman of the school’s Christmas Bazaar.
The Christmas Bazaar is Howard Academy’s biggest and most important fundraiser, so Melanie feels the pressure to make it a huge success. But everything goes awry when a prize show dog goes missing and Santa turns up dead. The dog’s owner is one of the school’s most perfectly pedigreed alums, and she enlists Melanie to help find the purloined pooch. But just as Melanie starts pawing at the truth, she digs up a sleighful of sinister secrets that leaves everyone feeling less than merry…
Kay uncovers sinister plots of fraud, revenge, and corruption at the Home. During this season of peace on earth, good will to men, additional murders occur. Despite multiple attempts on her life, and with the support once again of her best friends, Elizabeth and Deirdre, Kay continues her quest for bringing justice for the victims. Kay's first Christmas in Sudbury Falls is an unforgettable one, with equal amounts of celebration and danger. 'Tis the season to be sleuthing!
As owner of Coffee, Books, and More in South Cove, California, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liaison for a new work program, ’tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing's worse than Ted Hendricks—the jerk who runs the program.
After a few run-ins, Jill's ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car—dead as a doornail. Detective Greg King assumes it's a suicide. Jill thinks it's murder. And if the holidays weren't stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess—before the other shoe drops…
Lee and Joe were the last people spotted near the crime scene. In a seriously sticky situation, it's up to them to find the real killer before someone else comes to a bitter end...
Even during the holidays, Shannon is more spackle than sparkle, which is why she leaps at the chance to transform a grand old Victorian mansion into ten charming apartments for homeless families. Filled with the spirit of the season, all of Lighthouse Cove turns out to help—including her best friends, a troupe of far-from-angelic Santa Claus impersonators, and her father, Jack.
But their merriment is soon dashed by a heated scuffle between Jack and the miserly president of the bank who’s backing the project. When the man is murdered, all eyes are on Jack, and visions of prison time dance in Shannon's head. Now, she needs to pull off a crime-solving miracle, before her father’s Christmas goose is cooked...
Instead of spending a nice, relaxing Christmas with her fiancé, Tori Sinclair has been drafted into Sweet Briar’s holiday Decorating Committee. And the season has brought sad tidings as well: Charlotte Devereaux, a sewing circle founding member who unraveled after her storybook marriage fell apart, has passed away.
Charlotte’s last days were foggy, distressed, and feverish… except for the sketches she produced. One detail in particular jumps out at Tori and leads to a shocking revelation: Charlotte’s husband didn’t leave her—he was murdered! And as she gets closer to the truth, Tori will discover that just about everyone in town has got notches on the naughty list this year.
The Christmas season at the Cackleberry Club café is marred by murder in the latest book in the New York Times bestselling series, now in paperback.
Some say that casting crusty attorney Allan Sharp as Scrooge in the Kindred Players production of A Christmas Carol is just playing to type. He's not the most beloved man in town. In fact, you'd have a dickens of a time finding someone who liked him. Still, it's a shock when the Ghost of Christmas Past stabs him during the first rehearsal. Suzanne, co-owner of the Cackleberry Club café, Kindred's favorite combination diner, craft store, and bookshop, chases the murderer out of the building but loses him in the alley.
As the days pass, the list of suspects grows longer. Is it the disgruntled law partner? The former secretary, whom Sharpe sexually harrassed? Or is it fellow owner of the Cackleberry Club Toni's almost ex-husband, Junior? The women of the Cackleberry Club are determined to find the killer before he can add another victim to his Christmas list.
Christmas lights twinkle throughout the cozy coastal town of Rocky Point, New Hampshire, and Prescott's Antiques auction venue has been transformed into a winter wonderland for Josie Prescott's annual holiday party. Josie is especially excited this year-Ian Bennington, a recently discovered distant relative, will be joining the fun. Both Ian and Josie are, it seems, descended from Arabella Churchill, a 17th century royal mistress. The party is a success and Ian is a hit. It gives Josie an unexpected thrill to have family-and unexpected dread when he vanishes.
Ian doesn't keep his dinner date with Josie's good friend, Lavinia, or his lunch date with her. Surely, he would have done so-if he could. Ian has given his daughter two priceless 17th century watercolor miniature portraits, one of Arabella and one of her lover, King James II, and they've gone missing, too. Knowing that after her nasty divorce, Lavinia is facing financial ruin, Josie can't help wondering if her friend is behind the theft-and Ian's disappearance.
Determined to find Ian, Josie uses her knowledge of antiques to track the miniatures. In doing so, she learns the true meaning of Christmas-and the true meaning of family. Jane Cleland's Ornaments of Death is another masterful addition to the Josie Prescott series.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Angie’s parents are visiting Rolling Brook for Christmas—but unfortunately, her ex is joining them. Luckily, Angie has no time to dwell on her romantic troubles as she prepares her store, Running Stitch, for the town’s traditional progressive dinner, featuring a sleigh ride stopping at each shop for a different course of the meal.
The meal ends with an Amish-themed Christmas play at the Swiss Valley Hotel and Barn. But the performance is cut short when an actress falls from the scaffolding to her death. After the sheriff suspects foul play, tensions between the Amish and Englisch heat up, as do rivalries among the acting troupe. Now Angie and her quilting circle must stitch together clues before they’re the ones running for cover...
INCLUDES QUILTING TIPS!
It’s Christmastime and everyone is heading to Torte, the most cheerful bakery in town. There’s no place like home for the homicide…
Ashland, Oregon, looks as pretty as a postcard this holiday season. The halls are decked, stockings hung, and eyes are all aglow—mostly thanks to the buttered rum. Jules Capshaw and her staff at Torte are busier than ever. . . still, even the town’s most in-demand bakers need to take a break. So Jules invites everyone to celebrate at the local Winchester Inn’s Dickens Feast, a six-course extravaganza with Yorkshire Pudding, Christmas goose, and all the trimmings. But as the weather outside becomes frightful, things inside turn less delightful when one of the guests ends up as dead as Scrooge’s doornail. Now it’s up to Jules and her helpers to make a list of suspects—and check it twice—to try to find out who’s naughty, who’s nice, and who’s guilty of murder…
The Christmas rush is on as Brandy Borne and her quaintly quirky mother, Vivian, sniff out plum collectibles for resale, only to find the owner of a Santa's workshop worth of treasures has received some deadly tidings. It's beginning to look a lot like murder. . .but who wanted the deceased closed for the holidays—permanently? Maybe a rival antiques dealer, a Grinch who collects Christmas? Or the victim's suspiciously frosty stepchildren? Brandy and Vivian check their list of who's been naughty or nice, but it may take a Christmas miracle—and some help from Sushi, their elfin shih tzu—to tie a bow around the season's most wanted killer.
Includes Brandy Borne’s tips on antiques!
'Tis the season to be jolly - and for Meg Langslow to round up stray animals of all sorts as well as a killer. Duck the Halls!
The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers boughs of holly and barrels of laughs with Meg's latest adventure in her award-winning, New York Times bestselling series. A few nights before Christmas, Meg is awakened when volunteer fireman Michael is summoned to the New Life Baptist Church, where someone has rigged a cage full of skunks in the choir loft. The lengthy process of de-skunking the church requires its annual pre-Christmas concert to relocate to Trinity Episcopal, where Mother insists the show must go on, despite the budget-related protests of Mr. Vess, an elderly vestryman. Meanwhile, when Meg helps her grandfather take the skunks to the zoo, they discover that his boa has been stolen - only to turn up later during the concert, slithering out from the ribbon-bedecked evergreens. The next morning is Sunday, and the congregation of St. Byblig's, the local Catholic church, arrive to find it completely filled with several hundred ducks.
It's clear that some serious holiday pranksters are on the loose, and Meg is determined to find them. But before she can, a fire breaks out at Trinity, and Mr. Vess is discovered dead. Who would have murdered such a harmless - if slightly cranky - old man? Who has the time during the busy holiday season to herd all of these animals into the town's churches? And will Meg ever be able to finish all of her shopping, wrapping, cooking, caroling, and decorating in time for Christmas Eve? A Yuletide treasure for the ages, Duck the Halls is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into readers' holidays.
Jessica Fletcher is planning to spend a cozy holiday in Cabot Cove. But when Rory Brent—the man who played St. Nick at the small town’s yearly Christmas Eve celebration—is found shot to death on his farm, there will be no peace on earth until his killer is found. Snooping into Cabot Cove’s past for a motive, Jessica is determined to deliver the killer before Christmas. The trouble is, the next sound she hears this silent night may be a scream—her own...
It's Christmastime in Charm, North Carolina, and while Everly Swan would prefer to focus on decorating her iced tea shop and café for its first holiday season, Great-Aunt Fran has decided to run for mayor against her long-time nemesis. But when the other candidate turns up dead just before the first scheduled debate, all eyes turn to Fran as the suspect with the most obvious motive.
As a rare blizzard threatens to bury all evidence, small-town holiday cheer turns to suspicion. and the tension between Everly and the handsome Detective Grady Hays builds. Everly knows her sweet, elderly Aunt Fran couldn't have murdered anyone, but as she struggles to find the real killer, it begins to seem like this may be the last happy holiday her family will ever have. Can she tie this Christmas mystery up in a bow before it's too late? This next book in Bree Baker's cozy mysteries will keep you guessing right up to the end!
INCLUDES DELICIOUS FOOD AND DRINK RECIPES
It's Christmastime, but not everyone is jolly--especially not Vonne Barnett. Her dead body has been found in Victoria Square. Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan's Alley, happens to be at the tea shop Vonne's mother, Francine, owns when the news is delivered.
Vonne left a trail of men behind her so the suspects are many--but the clues are few. A broken teacup leads Katie to one of the suspects, but before she can investigate, she's attacked. Katie may be closing in on a murderer, but time is ticking because the murderer is definitely closing in on her.
Maggie Gerber and those discount divas, the Good Buy Girls, are gearing up for their first big holiday thrift shop sale. But one of the Girls—Joanne Claramotta, pregnant with her first child—is acting less than festive. It could be hormones. Or it could be Diane Jenkins, the young knockout her husband, Michael, hired as his new deli assistant.
Calming Joanne’s nerves proves impossible when Maggie finds Michael unconscious on his deli floor—and with Diane next to him, strangled to death with her apron strings. Then Maggie discovers something even more disturbing.
There’s no record of Diane having been hired. In fact, she has no history at all. It’s as if she never even existed. Now Maggie fears that unwrapping Michael’s secrets could really kill her holiday spirit.
INCLUDES BARGAIN-HUNTING TIPS!
With a demanding teaching job and five poodles scampering around the house, Melanie Travis barely has energy for the upcoming Christmas rush. But she unwraps an unexpected challenge when her brother and ex-husband make a spontaneous bid on a dilapidated pine tree farm. Although the ten-acre lot had been a popular seasonal destination while the original owner was still alive, it’ll take a small miracle or two before the neglected place is in shape for December.
But the business venture goes cold when the group discovers a purebred Maltese whimpering in the snow-covered grove—right beside a dead body. Pete, a squatter who camped out on the land, apparently met his end after a fallen fir tree branch fell on his head. But as Melanie and Aunt Peg investigate Pete’s complicated history, it’s clear his death was no accident. Now, Melanie must run through a flurry of likely suspects and muzzle a dogged murderer in time—or she’ll be next on someone’s deadly list.
Professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton loves the holidays in Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. And nothing gets her into the spirit more than the town’s annual Bark the Halls Ball. The whole community will be there to wag their tails, especially this year’s special guest—Celeste “CeeCee” French, founder of a national chain of pet care franchises, who’s returning home to announce plans for a bright new flagship store.
But not everyone’s celebrating CeeCee’s homecoming. Daphne’s friend Moxie Bloom, owner of Spa and Paw, a unique salon for people and their pets, has plenty to growl about. So when CeeCee is found face down under Sylvan Creek's town Christmas tree, stabbed with a distinctive pair of professional-grade pet shears, suspicion lands squarely on Moxie. Despite Daphne’s promises to Detective Jonathan Black, she quickly reprises her role as amateur sleuth. Ably assisted by her basset hound sidekick, Socrates, she must hurry to prove her friend’s innocence before a killer barks again . . .
As the owner of Heavenly Treasures, the local gift shop, Claire is busier than ever helping her English customers (and even a few of her Amish friends, like Esther and Ben) find the perfect gift for the special people on their shopping list.
Claire makes sure she has time for her boyfriend, Detective Jakob Fisher. But the man, who was raised and then shunned by the Amish over his choice of career, has been unusually secretive lately. She tries not to worry, to trust their relationship, but trying and doing aren't exactly matching up.
Before she can figure out what's going on with Jakob, word comes that Ruth and Samuel Yoder are being questioned in the death of an elderly Amish couple, found murdered not long after the newlyweds were seen leaving the victims' farm. Ruth, in turn, seeks Claire's help in convincing the police that she and Samuel had nothing to do with what happened. But when Claire comes across a cryptic note tucked inside the wedding gift the victims had given the newlyweds no more than an hour before their murder, she finds herself in dire need of a little convincing as well.
Can Claire get to the bottom of things in time to ensure a merry Christmas for all?
Agatha Award Nominee: A cache of missing gems brings Carrie Singleton’s larcenous dad back into her life—and only she can clear his name
A devoted dad is as precious as diamonds, but Carrie Singleton wouldn’t know since her dad Jim’s been on the lam most of her life. In an unusual family reunion, she finds Jim breaking into her cottage in the middle of the night. The fun really starts when he begs her to help him recover his half of a twenty-million-dollar gem heist he pulled off with the local jeweler, Benton Parr. When she refuses, Jim takes off again.
Carrie finds her father again behind bars for the recent murder of Benton Parr. Who made the connection? Unbeknownst to her, Carrie’s boyfriend Dylan, an insurance investigator, has been searching for the gems. Determined to find the jewels herself, she starts examining every facet of Parr’s life. She turns up a treasure trove of suspects, one of whom bashes her on the head as she’s searching the victim’s country cabin.
Retreating to the quiet confines of the library where she works, Carrie watches as Smokey Joe, the resident cat, paws at a hole in the wall. Is he after the library’s ghost Evelyn, or something shinier?
Christmas is a time for new beginnings, so after her big breakup, Brynn MacAlister takes the gouda with the bad. With her three Red Devon cows, she settles in bucolic Shenandoah Springs, eager for a new life as an organic micro-dairy farmer and cheese-maker. Then her dear cow Petunia’s bellows set the whole town on edge. But it isn’t until Brynn’s neighbor, Nancy, dies in a mysterious fire that her feelings about small town life begin to curdle . . .
It seems some folks were not happy with Nancy’s plan to renovate the Old Glebe Church. But is a fear of change a motivation for murder? As a newcomer, Brynn can’t ignore the strange events happening just on the other side of her frosty pasture—and soon on her very own farm. Suddenly Christmas doesn’t feel so festive as everyone demands she muzzle sweet Petunia, and Brynn is wondering if someone wants to silence her—for good . . .
The Christmas holidays are one of Lilah’s favorite times of the year, filled with friends, family, and, of course, tons of food orders for her covered dish clients. But Lilah’s Yuletide cheer ends when she sees a most Grinch-like crime: the murder of a Santa in a school parking lot.
It turns out the deceased Kris Kringle was a complicated tangle of naughty and nice, with a long list of people who might have wanted him dead. And whoever did the deed wants to make sure that Lilah keeps quiet. Now, Lilah will have to team up with her former fling, Detective Jay Parker, to unwrap the mysteries of a deadly Christmas killer and stay alive long enough to ring in the New Year...
It may be Christmastime, but thoughts of peace on earth, good will toward men, don’t seem to extend to the restaurant biz. Hayley has been assigned to interview Edel Waugh, chef/owner of Key West’s hottest new restaurant. But off the record, Edel reveals someone’s sabotaging her kitchen and asks Hayley to investigate.
Things heat up fast when the restaurant is set on fire—and a body is discovered in the charred wreckage. Is someone out to destroy the chef’s business—or actually kill her? Amid holiday festivities like the lighted boat parade and visiting relatives who stir up mixed emotions, Hayley needs to smoke out an arsonist and a killer who may turn up the heat on her next…
Almost a year later, they're planning to get married. There's less than a month to go before Georgie and Jack's Christmas wedding when the star of Marvelous Marley World's newest feature film, The Lonely Swan Prince, disappears. With Georgie's boss "Mad Max" Marley involved, the whole affair becomes much more complicated.
Determined to keep the wedding plans from being derailed, Georgie pays Max a visit on the set. At Max's insistence, she and Jack plunge into the mystery of the missing diva. If the beautiful starlet didn't vanish on her own accord, who abducted her and why?
Grab your copy, join the investigation, and find out if Georgie and Jack solve the mystery and get married. Book 4 in the award-winning Georgie Shaw Series by USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Anna Celeste Burke, is a fun holiday romp sure to please fans of cozy mystery and sweet romance.
Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.
The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.
The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.
Friday, November 27, 2020
1 box white cake mix
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 2/3 cup ricotta cheese (I used the whole milk kind)
1 cup cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ to ½ cup mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Spray bottom of pan with Pam or grease with butter. Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box for a 9 by 13 inch pan.
Remove cake from the oven and poke holes all over the top of the cake with a straw. Pour about 2/3 cup of the sweetened condensed milk over the cake. Place cake in the refrigerator for about an hour.
In the meantime, combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to mixture until combined. If the icing seems runny, you can add up to another cup of powdered sugar.
Spread mixture over the cake. Top with chocolate chips and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Note: 1 ½ cup of mascarpone cheese can be substituted for the cream cheese and sour cream if preferred)