Sunday, December 13, 2015


Christmas Tree Valley Mysteries Book 1
Genre - Cozy Mystery
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: J. Lavene (December 1, 2015)
  • Publication Date: December 1, 2015
  • ASIN: B016APS2PI
Down the mountain from Sweet Pepper, Tennessee isChristmasTree Valley, a place filled with hundreds of Christmastree farms where generations of growers have made people’s lives brighter. Yet even here in this quiet, postcard-perfect corner of the world, darkness andmurder can still stalk the night.
Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle has always had a special gift with wild animals. It was one of the reasons she decided to train with the wildlife agency. She’s spent the last ten years in Alabama working, but her mother needs her home and she’s back despite all the bad parts of her life she hoped to leave behind.
Her first day home begins with a fire on the island in Sweet Pepper Lake and the death of Harvey Shelton, the wildlife agent she’s supposed to replace. Bonnie manages to rescue dozens of animals from the fire – including a wolf pup that was shot with the same bullet that killed Harvey.
Now she’s hot on the trail of Harvey’s killer and trying to reintegrate the wolf back into the wild even though he seems to want to stay with her. Yet old memories persist in the small community where she grew up, and the killer now seems to believe that she has what he killed Harvey for. All she has to do is figure out what that is before it’s too late.
Delicious Christmas Recipes included!

You do not need to read any of the other books to enjoy this story. It stands alone perfectly.

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5 glowings stars!!!!!

Blizzard and fire, ghosts and shaman, a hungry pregnant bear awakening early from hibernation, not to mention a double murder, Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle was unprepared for her first week returning home to Sweet Pepper, TN for her new assignment. Add the duties of running the family tree farm in Christmas Tree Valley and watching over her ailing mother, still this cozy, small town novel is as warm as one of Chief Eric Gamlyn's hugs.

No matter how independent one is, or how old, mothers will continue to meddle until you are settled. I laughed at Rose's not so subtle matchmaking suggestions.
Bonnie left because this was the type of place where everyone knew and gossiped about everyone else's business. It seems not much had changed in ten years. When animals seem to seek Bonnie out, and respond to her words, she hopes people won't notice.

Bodies go missing, then turn up, and others are discovered, which make this a compelling mystery. As we wonder who can be trusted and who knows more than they are telling, we are introduced to the main characters in Sweet Pepper.

I did tear up when the story read "thinking about how life could quickly change from the way it usually was to something completely different."
As loyal fans and friends know, author Joyce Lavene left us while we were waiting for this story. Bonnie ponders that " just never know when one of those moments was upon you."

I also am considering naming a future furry companion Oginali. You'll have to read the book to know more.

I did receive this book as part of a blog tour, opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Laura. Murder Fir Christmas is a very special book.


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