Holiday Reading Wish List

Less than a week and I just may be the excited owner of an e-reader.   I can hardly wait!!  I’m already making a list of books I want to read in print as I gear up for a partial transition to digital–and books to immediately download should Santa come through.

My favorite books are mysteries.  I’m sharing my holiday reading wish list with you.  Which would you recommend to zip up my holiday spirit this week, and to carry it on to the new year? (I’m holding a giveaway, too!  Read about it at the bottom of this post!)

There’s nothing cozier than a winter evening in Greenwich Village. Streetlights shimmer through icy flakes, cafés glow with welcoming warmth, and a layer of snow dusts historic townhouses like powdered sugar on holiday confections. Murder has no place in such a pretty picture, until now…

Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi has grown very fond of Alfred Glockner, the part-time comic and genuinely jolly charity Santa who’s been using her Village Blend as a place to warm his mittens. When she finds him brutally gunned down in a nearby alley, a few subtle clues convince her that Alfred’s death was something more than the tragic result of a random mugging–the conclusion of the police. With Clare’s boyfriend, NYPD Detective Mike Quinn, distracted by a cold case of his own, and ex-husband Matt investigating this year’s holiday lingerie catalogs (an annual event), Clare charges ahead solo to solve her beloved Santa’s slaying. Then someone tries to ice Clare, and she really gets steamed. But she’d better watch out, because if she fails to stop this stone cold killer, she may just get the biggest chill of her life.

This very special holiday entry in Cleo Coyle’s nationally bestselling mystery series includes a bonus section of delicious holiday recipes as well as a glossary of coffeehouse terms, instructions on making espressos and lattes without an expensive machine, and tips for creating tasty coffeehouse syrups at home.

Upper Edmonton Gardens looks forward to a jolly Christmas, until one humbug sings of murder-in Mrs. Jeffries’s 26th mystery.

‘Tis the week before Christmas, and all through the house, every creature is stirring…

But just as Inspector Witherspoon’s staff prepares for the long-awaited wedding of Betsy and Smythe, a Yuletide murder falls in the Inspector’s lap.

A middle-aged spinster has been killed in what her murderer hoped would look like a random crime. But the Inspector’s investigation reveals a web of lies, intrigue, and long-buried secrets. With uncooperative witnesses, sulking relatives, and a second Christmas wedding, a simple investigation seems unlikely. And the household will have to put aside its holiday spirit to save the Inspector’s reputation.

The third volume of the Brianna Sullivan Mysteries finds psychic Brianna still in over her head in Lottawatah, Oklahoma and maybe head over heels with the town’s deputy.

‘Tis the season to be jolly and the ghosts of Lottawatah are determined to horn in on the holiday revelry. In “Giving Thanks in Lottawatah,” Brianna Sullivan must find an engagement ring that has been missing for 35 years, deal with the mother of her boyfriend who is holding a grudge because Brianna almost killed her with crab dip, and wrangle family ghosts to give up old secrets and enjoy the holiday. For a story to die for and some laughs that will leave you gasping for breath, check out “Giving Thanks in Lottawatah.”

There won’t be much to celebrate at Christmas for 14-year-old Tim Cramer unless Brianna can find the killer who framed his father for murder. Her best witness? The dead man himself. But getting a ghost to spit out the information she needs is never easy. Instead, Brianna must use old-fashioned detective skills to find the real killer and bring holiday joy to Tim and his family. For a heartwarming, but mysterious holiday story, with Brianna’s signature humor, enjoy “Bah Humbug in Lottawatah.”


“Gingerbread Cookie Murder” is written by Joanne Fluke. When Hannah Swensen finds her neighbour Ernie Kusak with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo next to an upended box of Hannah’s Gingerbread Cookies, she discovers a flurry of murder suspects that’s as long as her holiday shopping list. “The Dangers Of Gingerbread Cookies” is written by Laura Levine. Jaine Austen has been enlisted to help with her parents’ retirement community’s play The Gingerbread Cookie That Saved Christmas. Playboy Dr. Preston McCay is playing the role of the gingerbread cookie when he ‘accidentally’ falls to his death during the final act. Now Jaine must figure out if one of the doctor’s jealous lovers was capable of murder. “Gingerbread Cookies And Gunshots” is written by Leslie Meier. When Lucy Stone discovers the body of Rick Juergens, whose five-year-old son Nemo disappeared, she senses foul play. Crumbs from a gingerbread cookie Lucy gave to Nemo are found in the back seat of Rick’s car. With the hours quickly ticking till Christmas, Lucy races against the clock to find a killer before he strikes again.


A humbug of a Shopping mystery…

From The Anthony and Agatha Award-Winning Author of  Accessory to Murder

Includes insider shopping tips!

Mystery shopper Josie Marcus doesn't get the appeal of the year-round Christmas shop. But when three such holiday houses pop up within two blocks, she's assigned to rate them anonymously.

Easy enough, Josie thinks, until she realizes that shoppers at one store are finding a strange ”even deadly ”secret ingredient in their holiday cake. And Josie must get to the bottom of it all before someone else becomes a Christmas spirit.

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Murder is combined with a timeless Christmas story in this enchanting installment of the popular mystery series by award-winning author Katherine Hall Page

The Body in the Sleigh

It’s Christmastime, and the Fairchild family is spending the holidays on idyllic Sanpere Island in Maine while the Reverend Thomas Fairchild recuperates from surgery. His caterer wife, Faith, is rejoicing in the rare, holiday family-time together ”watching ice boaters, snowshoeing, and doing plenty of reading in front of the fire.

But Faith’s high spirits are dampened when she discovers the body of a young woman in an antique sleigh in front of the Sanpere Historical Society. The victim, Norah, was a teenage drug addict who apparently died by her own hand. Beloved by many, her untimely death rocks the isolated, tight-knit island community.

Meanwhile, Mary Bethany, a local spinster who raises goats, happens upon a newborn baby boy lying in the manger of her barn on Christmas Eve. The only clues to his identity are a note in the basket asking her to take care of him, as well as an alarming amount of cash. As Faith helps Mary locate the baby’s mother, she soon finds that the truth behind the abandonment is connected to Norah’s last days ”and that, just as death and life are intertwined on Sanpere, so are evil and redemptive goodness.


Make room for murder with all the trimmings in the latest of the Pennyfoot Hotel Christmas mystery series.

It’s the holiday season and the Pennyfoot staff is brimming with anticipation. The scents of the season overflow from the kitchen and the country club’s halls are decorated with festive displays thanks to Cecily’s dear friend Madeline. But when one of Cecily’s candlesticks disappears, she realizes someone is lacking in Christmas spirit.

Petty thievery seems the least of Cecily’s problems after she learns a former employee has been found dead in her duck pond. He hasn’t worked at the Pennyfoot in years, but his ex-wife is still their head maid-and now she heads the list of suspects. And when Madeline has a vision of more misfortune to come, Cecily starts feeling more jinxed than jolly. Now a killer and a thief must be taken off the guest list in order to put the merry back into Christmas.


It's Christmastime in sleepy Snowcap, Colorado, and the town is up in arms. The venerable Goodwin Estate has been sold to enterprising out of towners and is getting a major makeover just in time for the holidays. Interior designers Erin Gilbert and Steve Sullivan walked smack into a storm of chaos: the estate's new owners, including one whose idea of holiday decor involves inflatable elves and a gingerbread facade, are battling among themselves. Erin's big-talking ex-boyfriend shows up just in time to make Sullivan crazy jealous, and when a local building inspector is found strangled with a strand of Christmas lights, Gilbert and Sullivan begin to suspect it might be time to leave this psychodrama of a project behind.

But after an incompetent sheriff accuses Erin of murder and there's another gruesome killing, the only way out is to turn detective. Her new job: solve a mystery with too many clues ¦and far too many guilty parties ¦.

FEATURING DOMESTIC BLISS HOME DECORATING TIPS!

Being dead can’t put a damper on spirited, holiday-loving Bailey Ruth Raeburn.

Christmas is a time for family and giving, and a wealthy woman in Adelaide, Oklahoma, is about to embrace both. Discovering that she has a young grandson, the dowager decides to change her will to leave the bulk of her fortune to the young boy ”an alteration that stuns the rest of her family. But a scrooge of a determined heir makes sure she never signs the new document. When she is found dead, it’s up to that irrepressible spirit Bailey Ruth, on assignment from Wiggins and Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions, to protect a little boy, foil a murderer, and save Christmas.

There’s only one teeny hitch: how can Bailey Ruth figure out which family member was desperate enough to kill when everyone has a motive?

A special holiday knitting mystery from the national bestselling author of  Dyer Consequences ”with delicious recipes and knitting patterns!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the knitters of Fort Connor, Colorado, who are furiously working on their holiday projects. Juliet, the town's little brown wren  librarian, is known for her beautiful handmade Christmas capes, and she has extra reason to be joyful this year ”she's in love. But as soon as she finds happiness, death finds her.

Suspicion falls on a newcomer to the knitting group, but Kelly Flynn and the rest of the crew aren't convinced of this person's guilt. It's up to them to separate the true lion from the lambs ” before someone else gets fleeced ¦

The Cookie Jar’s busiest time of the year also happens to be the most wonderful time…for Christmas cookies, Hannah’s own special plum pudding – and romance! Holiday orders are high, and Hannah’s slated to provide dessert at the Reverend Knudsen’s upcoming nuptials. She’s busy as can be and loving it. She also gets a kick out of ‘Lunatic Larry Jaeger’s Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot’, a kitschy carnival taking place smack-dab in the middle of the village green. Larry thinks he’s crazy like a fox with his wild business schemes, but this time, the entrepreneur may have bitten off more than he can chew. Rumour has it that Larry’s in the red – an idea that takes a sinister turn when Hannah discovers the man himself dead as a doornail in his own office…It seems quite a few people would have liked to fill Larry’s stocking with coal and then bash him with it – including his bitter ex-wife, his ex-partner’s daughter, a woman he was wooing, and the Crazy Elf Tree lot’s extremely exasperated investors…Now, with so many suspects to investigate and the twelve days of Christmas ticking away, Hannah’s running out of time to nab a murderous Scrooge who doesn’t want her to see the New Year.

Who poisoned British executive Dylan Owen during a Christmas getaway? Dylan knows whoever tried to kill him is also staying at The Scottish Captain in Glory, North Carolina. But to trap the culprit, he’ll have to recover first. Which means letting lovely nurse Sharon Picard closer than he’d like. The more they search the decked halls for clues, the more they realize they are falling for each other. But if they’re to share a lifetime of love and holiday meals, they’d better unmask the murderer ”fast.

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Christmas comes to Weatherford, Texas, in this delicious new entry in the national bestselling series.

Yuletide is here ”and retired teacher cum amateur sleuth Phyllis Newsom looks forward to finishing up this unlucky year. But she won't be hanging up her apron just yet ”because this year's Christmas bake-off is going to be cutthroat.

Phyllis would like to think she's entering the Christmas cookie contest for the fun of it ”but that's not exactly true. She can't imagine anyone beating her snowflake-shaped lime sugar cookies. Then, during her annual Christmas cookie exchange, Phyllis heads over to the elderly Mrs. Simmons's home and finds her dead, in a pile of lime sugar cookies. But with a number of names on Santa's naughty list, this case may be a hard cookie to crumble.

A special event in the national bestselling mystery series! Craft away the holiday season with the Seaside Knitters.

With the Seaside Knitters’ help, Mary Pisano converts her charming inherited home into a B&B. Her first week is booked by her very own family, in town to discuss their grandfather’s will. She’s hoping the tranquility of the setting will smooth over ill feelings among family members. But when her cousin Pam-a Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, native-is found murdered, she realizes she was dead wrong…

With the holiday cheer severely disrupted, Mary relies on the Seaside Knitters to set things right. They gladly offer their skill for unraveling crime, but it’ll take all their crafty know-how to unravel this deadly tangle.

Do you have a favorite Christmas or holiday read?

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The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a fun giveaway!  I’m giving away  either (winner’s choice!):

  • a bag of books
  • signed copies of Living the Vida Lola and Hasta la Vista, Lola!
  • or  a $20 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble

All you have to do is  download  a copy of  ONE  of the three  e-books/stories I have available,  then leave a comment here that you did!  (The Lola Cruz Mysteries are also available digitally, FYI)

E-book covers

CURSED (Kindle) – only $2.99!

CURSED (NOOK) – only $2.99!

THE CHAIN TREE (KINDLE) – only $2.99!

THE CHAIN TREE (NOOK) – only $2.99!

THE LOLA CRUZ CHRISTMAS STORY (KINDLE) – only $. 99!

THE LOLA CRUZ CHRISTMAS STORY (SMASHWORDS–for any platform!)only $. 99!

That’s all it takes to be entered into the drawing!

You don’t need an e-reader, remember!  Downloads can also be read right on your computer in PDF form, or you can download the Kindle or Nook app for your computer.

For extra entries, help spread the word!:

  • tweet this post  (and let me know you tweeted)
  • Become a Facebook fan @ facebook.com/Author-Melissa-BourbonMisa-Ramirez/
  • Facebook the post  (and tag me @misa.ramirez and/or @Author-Melissa-BourbonMisa-Ramirez/)
  • download more than one of the books ~  one entry per book/story!

As always, thanks for loving books and reading!!

Winner will be announced January 1st!!

HaPpY HoLiDaYs!!

* note: prices for Cursed ant The Chain Tree have not yet been reduced to $2.99 at B&N, but soon!

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