Monday, November 30, 2020

Review: Mistletoe and Murder: A Christmas Suspense Collection

About the Book
Silent Night, Deadly Night. Welcome to a Killer Christmas!

Danger and suspense await you this Christmas season in Mistletoe and Murder: A Christmas Suspense Collection featuring 10 individual novellas of suspense from some of today’s most talented Christian Suspense authors.

Come with us on a heart-racing journey through the holidays as USA Today, Christian Booksellers Association, and ECPA Bestselling authors Mary Alford, Adam Blumer, Liz Bradford, Vicki Hinze, Shaen Layle, Loree Lough, Nancy Mehl, Cara Putman, Lynn Shannon, and Virginia Vaughan, weave tales of suspense that will have you flipping pages well into the new year.

My Thoughts

Mistletoe and Murder was a nice collection of suspense and mystery novellas that's perfect for the Christmas season. Like with most box sets, this was a mixed bag of stories that I enjoyed to varying degrees. There were stories I loved, stories that were okay, and some that just weren't my cup of tea. There were authors I was familiar with and others that were new to me, several that I'm eager to check out more stuff from. If you're a fan of suspense, give this collection a try. 

Dead of Winter by Mary Alford 
Deputy Ava Harper's brother goes missing in the middle of a blizzard and it's a race against time to find him.

I really need to read more from this author. I've read a couple of her novellas and liked them. This one was compelling and held my full attention. Though the main mystery was solved, there was a secondary one that wasn't, so I'll be looking for the next book to see how that turns out.

Death the Halls by Adam Blumer 
A family Christmas getaway to their cabin in the Michigan countryside turns deadly.

The first chapter pulled me right in, but my interest kinda waned for a bit after that. It did pull me back in after a little while, but the unrealistic and, at times, convoluted plot hindered my enjoyment.

Revenge Ignited (Knoxville FBI Prequel) by Liz Bradford
Newly appointed guardian to her nieces and nephew, Aliza Blake wants to make this Christmas special despite the tragedy of the past year. But a thief starts breaking into houses in her neighborhood and stealing Christmas gifts. Can Aliza solve the mystery and catch the bad guy before Christmas is ruined?

This story was okay. It was a bit slow paced and dragged in places, but I ended up enjoying it. I really liked how the characters leaned on God during their hardships.

The Marked Witness (A Shadow Watchers Story) by Vicki Hinze
A mother and daughter in witness protection find themselves in danger and call on an old friend for help.

This was a part of a series, one I haven't read, so I was worried I'd be lost, but that wasn't the case. There was a lot of good and interesting background information and I felt myself just fall right into the story. I was so invested. I definitely want to check out more of this author's work.

Ghost of Christmas Past by Shaen Layle
Mind games, a twisted trip down memory lane, and a kidnapped son made this suspense-filled novella hard to put down. It was one of my favorites of the collection. I'm definitely gonna be looking for more from this author.

The Confession of John Doe by Loree Lough
A man with no fingerprints is found on the side of the road. Nobody knows who he is and he'll play along, feigning amnesia for as long as he can, while hiding at an Amish community from the guys who roughed him up.

I don't read Amish fiction, so this story wasn't really my cup of tea. But it was well written and I'm sure people who enjoy Amish stories will love it.

Killing Christmas (A Pastor Pembroke Mystery) by Nancy Mehl
The Arkansas River Strangler is back after almost thirty years and is demanding that Pastor Pembroke tell his story or there will be dire consequences.

I enjoyed this story. It was kinda dark, but I really appreciated the little bits of humor sprinkled throughout. It helped to lighten the mood. The characters were great and I'd love to read more about them.

Deadly Drive by Cara Putman
After receiving a call informing her that her twin brother was murdered, Joci goes to D.C to identify his body. What follows next is a mad dash rush to find answers.

This story just reiterated the fact that I need to read more from this author. It was fast paced and intriguing. I was very invested in the outcome. And while somethings were a little confusing and unbelievable, I still really enjoyed it and found myself rushing to find out what was really going on.

Dangerous Christmas by Lynn Shannon
Holly Miller suspects she has a stalker and after narrowly escaping an attack, she's convinced. Can she find out who's stalking her and why before things turn deadly?

This was action-packed right from the get-go. It did slow down a bit in places, but that didn't make it any less engaging. The mystery was solid and had a shocking twist I didn't see coming. I thought the romance was very sweet, if a tad rushed. All in all, I liked it a lot and am excited to check out this author's other stuff. 

Yuletide Protector by Virginia Vaughan
When a woman with her name is murdered, Jenna Sloan knows she was the intended victim. She's been stalked and harassed by an ex and has to stop this before anyone else gets hurt.

A shocking opening chapter led to a fast-paced and danger-filled read. The plot was really good and held my interest, though there were a few times I felt like screaming at Jenna for some of her poor decisions. 

3.5 Stars


  1. Oooh, like that cover! Although I avoid novellas, I like the idea of getting a taste of different authors. Glad you enjoyed this and shared!

    1. It was great discovering some new authors. That's one of my favorite things about these kinds of collections. More books to add to my TBR mountain, lol. :D

  2. The nice thing about novellas is that they read fast, so if you're not enjoying one, at least you don't end up spending a lot of time on it. Some of these novellas do sound like a lot of fun. :)

    1. That's so true! It's nice to have a quick read every once in awhile, even if they sometimes end up not being a favorite. :)