Halló Vinir, today we are taking a look at Better Watch Out, the new book in the Merry and Bright Handcrafted Mystery series by Christina Freeburn. Below is my review of the book. Reading through this tour has been loads of fun with some on-point reviews, great interviews with the author, and a terrific guest post by Ms. Freeburn on whether the books or the movies are better when it comes to Christmas. Don’t forget to scroll down to see which tour stops are giving away a copy of the book.
About The Book:
Better Watch Out (A Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery) by Christina Freeburn
Making a list. Merry’s life is Christmas chaos. Her divorce is still in question. She’s behind on crafting orders. Ebenezer is an escape artist. And with one day left, she hasn’t completed the line-up for the annual Christmas parade, thanks to one grinch. Once Merry knows the Christmas secret, she realizes Santa isn’t what’s coming to town.
Checking it twice. Santa’s naughty list, courtesy of Jenna Wilcox, will roll down Main Street with names of residents who deserve a lump of coal in their stocking. Saving the parade won’t be easy, but Merry is up to task. Or so she thinks until she discovers Jenna’s body stashed in Santa’s sack.
Going to find out. As facts are unwrapped, Merry finds the line blurred between who’s naughty and nice. As threats are aimed at her and those she loves, Merry dashes for the truth before the murderer puts her on the naughty list and crosses her off for good.
With a protagonist named Merry Winters, living in a town called Season’s Greetings, there can be no doubt that we are about to enter a Christmas Cozy. The book opens with a description of the downtown decorations evocative enough to make me want to put Season’s Greetings on my must-do Christmas itinerary. Unfortunately, there are also a few scrooges lurking about town.
Merry is scrambling, trying to get the last-minute details of the Christmas parade nailed down while juggling her craft business (cleverly named for herself and her business partner- ‘Merry and Bright’) and dealing with the aftermath of the murder of her probably ex-husband. Needless to say, she has a lot going on that isn’t made any easier by the town bully, Jenna, planning on turning her parade float into a town scandal. When Jenna is found dead, Merry takes it on herself to find out what happened. Merry also discovers that someone has embezzled town funds and is laying blame on her dead Ex. She believes the two incidents have to be connected and there are plenty of leads and a town full of suspects including those close to her.
The book was an enjoyable easy read with lots of twists and turns, the occasional red herring, and revealing glimpses into small-town living. I figured out who the bad guy had to be fairly quickly, but I couldn’t figure out how it made sense until Merry discovered it for herself. I do believe that this can be read as a stand-alone, but it did feel as if I had come into the middle of the story and was playing catch up for a lot of it, mostly just trying to figure how various people were related to each other and Merry.
Merry as a character is quite enjoyable. Her love of Christmas is defining, which as a person who has Christmas songs on her playlist all year long, I totally get. I love how she has channeled that into her love of crafting and made a career out of it, quite inspiring. I think I would like to read more about Merry and Season’s Greetings.
I received a copy of this book for review purposes, all opinions are my own. My thanks to Christina Freeburn for taking the time to sign my copy.
About the Author:
Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime-solving.
Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.
Tour and Giveaways:
October 15 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
October 15 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
October 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 16 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 16 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW
October 17 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
October 17 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST
October 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
October 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW*, GIVEAWAY
October 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT
October 19 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
October 20 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
October 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW – Coming Soon.
October 22 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
October 22 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
October 23 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
October 23 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT
October 24 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
October 24 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW*
October 25 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW*
October 25 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
October 25 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
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