Christmas Cocoa Murder
'Tis the season for hot chocolate and mouthwatering treats. But sometimes too much of a good thing can be downright deadly . . .
CHRISTMAS COCOA MURDER by CARLENE O’CONNOR
Siobhán O’Sullivan’s hopes for a quiet Irish Christmas are dashed when the local Santa turns up dead in a carnival dunk tank of hot cocoa. Now instead of hunting down holiday gifts, she’s pursuing a heartless killer. Seems the dead Santa was no angel either, stealing neighborhood dogs to guide his sleigh. But was it his holiday antics—or worse—that led to his death by chocolate?
CHRISTMAS COCOA AND A CORPSE by MADDIE DAY
When local businessman Jed Greenberg is found dead with a Chocolate lab whimpering over his body, the police start sniffing around Robbie Jordan’s country restaurant for answers. Was it something in Robbie’s hot cocoa that killed Jed, or was it Cocoa the dog? As the suspects pile as high as her holiday tree, Robbie attempts to get to the bottom of the sickly-sweet murder . . .
DEATH BY HOT COCOA by Alex Erickson
A Christmas-themed escape game seems like the perfect pre-holiday treat for bookstore café owner Krissy Hancock and her best friend. But when the host is found dead in a pool of hot cocoa, it’s up to Krissy and her team to catch the killer—or escape before getting killed.
There’s nothing like a hot cup of murder to warm up the holiday season!
Hot cocoa, that favorite holiday beverage, links the three long stories in this welcome Christmas-themed anthology. In the title tale, an Irish Santa is found floating in a carnival dunk tank of hot chocolate in Kilbane, County Cork. O'Connor's feisty series heroine, newly minted police officer Siobh n O'Sullivan, joins the effort to solve Santa's murder. In "Christmas Coco and a Corpse," set in South Lick, Ind., Day's series heroine, Robbie Jordan, becomes the prime suspects when an all-around bad guy is found dead with his shirt covered in her special blend of Mexican cocoa. An escape room provides the setting for "Death by Hot Cocoa." When Krissy Hancock, the lead of Erickson's Bookstore Caf mysteries, and seven strangers escape from the first challenge, they're happy to find mugs of steaming cocoa, until they see their host dead on the floor next to a spilled mug of the still steaming brew. The three selections each offer relatable characters and an unexpected killer. This volume is the perfect companion for a cold winter's night.
Three charming cozy mystery novellas
Christmas Cocoa Murder by Carlene O'Connor, Maddie Day, and Alex Erickson contains three cozy novellas that are a part of the following series: An Irish Village Mystery series, A Country Store Mystery series and A Bookstore Café Mystery series. I thought they were three entertaining Christmas cozies. They are all well-written and full of Christmas spirit. The three mysteries were interesting with various levels of complexity. The escape room mystery was my favorite, and I particularly enjoyed the description of the escape room puzzles. I have read books from all three series, so it was not a problem for me to read each story. I already knew the characters plus the settings. Maddie Day has my favorite writing style. It is like conversing with old friends. I like how hot cocoa played a part in each story with Christmas Cocoa Murder featuring it in a unique way (a dunk tank). We get to enjoy Christmas festivities in three different towns from two countries. I especially appreciated that all three stories featured intelligent female protagonists who are resourceful and do not break down at the sight of a dead body. I am glad that Kensington puts out these holiday novella collections and I hope that they continue to do so. It is a chance to catch up with our favorite series and solve a mystery (a definite bonus in my book). Christmas Cocoa Murder has three cocoa connected conundrums, a swarm of suspects, many missing mutts, sharp sleuths and copious Christmas cheer.