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Gingerbread and Ghosts

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Christmas falls on Peridale, but that does not mean café-owner and part-time sleuth, Julia South, can sit back and enjoy the festivities. When the opening night of the annual Christmas play ends with Julia's elderly gran, Dot, fatally shooting a man in front of the whole village, Julia's world is turned upside down. Did Dot plan to murder the man she has a secret past with Christmas falls on Peridale, but that does not mean café-owner and part-time sleuth, Julia South, can sit back and enjoy the festivities. When the opening night of the annual Christmas play ends with Julia's elderly gran, Dot, fatally shooting a man in front of the whole village, Julia's world is turned upside down. Did Dot plan to murder the man she has a secret past with or was she framed? While juggling the slow process of adopting her foster daughter, her heavily pregnant sister's looming delivery date, and her Detective Inspector boyfriend seemingly keeping secrets, Julia must wade through the tangled history of the Peridale Amateur Dramatics Society if she wants to free Dot from prison before Christmas Day. With the walls of Julia's personal life closing in around her, and the cast and crew of the play not being all they seem, can she figure out the truth in time, or is it one case too many? The only thing guaranteed is that it promises to be a holiday season to remember...


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Christmas falls on Peridale, but that does not mean café-owner and part-time sleuth, Julia South, can sit back and enjoy the festivities. When the opening night of the annual Christmas play ends with Julia's elderly gran, Dot, fatally shooting a man in front of the whole village, Julia's world is turned upside down. Did Dot plan to murder the man she has a secret past with Christmas falls on Peridale, but that does not mean café-owner and part-time sleuth, Julia South, can sit back and enjoy the festivities. When the opening night of the annual Christmas play ends with Julia's elderly gran, Dot, fatally shooting a man in front of the whole village, Julia's world is turned upside down. Did Dot plan to murder the man she has a secret past with or was she framed? While juggling the slow process of adopting her foster daughter, her heavily pregnant sister's looming delivery date, and her Detective Inspector boyfriend seemingly keeping secrets, Julia must wade through the tangled history of the Peridale Amateur Dramatics Society if she wants to free Dot from prison before Christmas Day. With the walls of Julia's personal life closing in around her, and the cast and crew of the play not being all they seem, can she figure out the truth in time, or is it one case too many? The only thing guaranteed is that it promises to be a holiday season to remember...

30 review for Gingerbread and Ghosts

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sabine

    I love how much Julia and her family have developed during the series. All the characters have come a long way. Seeing Grandma Dot getting arrested for accidentially shooting a man was quite the shock. I was glued to my chair turning the pages to find out who set poor Dot up to this. There were several suspects which all worked out to be innocent and the reveal was a big surprise. It was a very intriguing mystery. And if you didn't already suspect it, Gingerbread and Ghosts is not a paranormal my I love how much Julia and her family have developed during the series. All the characters have come a long way. Seeing Grandma Dot getting arrested for accidentially shooting a man was quite the shock. I was glued to my chair turning the pages to find out who set poor Dot up to this. There were several suspects which all worked out to be innocent and the reveal was a big surprise. It was a very intriguing mystery. And if you didn't already suspect it, Gingerbread and Ghosts is not a paranormal mystery. There are no actual ghosts involved. Each and every mystery in this series is very unique and I am already looking forward to the next one... *Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nola Arganbright

    Family is always first A Christmas Season mystery. When Julia's Grandmother's is accused of murdering a fellow thespian during their performance, Julia jumps into action to prove her Grandmother innocent.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Helen Oakes

    *arc received in exchange for an honest review* Usually with cosy mysteries, I can read three or four in a series before finding myself getting bored and pretty much fed up with the characters. However, here we are with book 10 of Agatha Frost’s Peridale series following Julia south and I can honestly say it was my favourite one yet! Dot is one of my favourite background characters ever written and I absolutely love what Frost did with this novel. Making Dot accidentally shoot the victim during a *arc received in exchange for an honest review* Usually with cosy mysteries, I can read three or four in a series before finding myself getting bored and pretty much fed up with the characters. However, here we are with book 10 of Agatha Frost’s Peridale series following Julia south and I can honestly say it was my favourite one yet! Dot is one of my favourite background characters ever written and I absolutely love what Frost did with this novel. Making Dot accidentally shoot the victim during a play was fantastic as well as providing our heroine, Julia, with a reason to start her sleuthing once more so that her Gran isn’t behind bars for Christmas. Every time I thought I had the killer worked out they had a strong alibi and yet when the killer was revealed it wasn’t a case of Frost had plucked them out of thin air - seriously, I asked myself how did I never guess it was them in the first place! Brilliant writing. I read the entire thing in under two hours (work, what work?) and now sit waiting for book number 11!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Hodson

    Enjoyed this book immensely. Full of drama and mystery. Poor Julia's family is in disarray this time but there is lots of love and trust cementing them together. Can't wait for the next instalment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I might say this with every book in this series, but I believe this is my favorite!! The entire series has been wonderful, fun to read, mysterious and amazing!! It’s the holiday time and all is well in Peridale. Dot is going to be a star in the local play and everyone is excited. Barker is still writing and Julia is still baking, Jessie is still being a typical teenager. Julia is trying to adopt Jessie, a lot of stress dealing with the social workers. Then on opening night of the Christmas play, I might say this with every book in this series, but I believe this is my favorite!! The entire series has been wonderful, fun to read, mysterious and amazing!! It’s the holiday time and all is well in Peridale. Dot is going to be a star in the local play and everyone is excited. Barker is still writing and Julia is still baking, Jessie is still being a typical teenager. Julia is trying to adopt Jessie, a lot of stress dealing with the social workers. Then on opening night of the Christmas play, murder comes calling. Julia will need to work extra hard to find the murderer as this I personal and Julia needs this to be solved by Christmas!! Lots of surprises during this story, the murder, who, what, where and how. Then there’s the family, presents and fun and maybe a couple new members of the family!! Make sure you grab this one, you will definitely not be disappointed!!! I loved it. I would give it 20 stars!!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cadiva

    Best one yet, these just keep improving book by book and Gingerbread and Ghosts really is the festive icing on the Christmas mystery. I just love everything about this setting, its Englishness, the humour that sits strangely comfortable alongside the murder element and a brilliant sense of family which underpins the lot. I'm still seriously glad I don't live in Peridale, which is now beginning to rival Midsommer as the place to avoid in middle England, although I'd love to pop into Julia's cafe fo Best one yet, these just keep improving book by book and Gingerbread and Ghosts really is the festive icing on the Christmas mystery. I just love everything about this setting, its Englishness, the humour that sits strangely comfortable alongside the murder element and a brilliant sense of family which underpins the lot. I'm still seriously glad I don't live in Peridale, which is now beginning to rival Midsommer as the place to avoid in middle England, although I'd love to pop into Julia's cafe for a cup of peppermint and liquorice tea and a cheese scone. As always, I only got a sense of the plot and the twist of the true villain again came from left field with the big reveal and then it all becomes obvious and you wonder how you missed it. Plus there's some lovely family surprises for Julia at the end which made me very happy. #ARC received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Just when I think this series cannot get any better, I'm delighted to say this book is even better than expected. I love the characters and their development over the series. The whodunit was top notch and intriguing. This return to Peridale is one of the best yet and I cannot wait to read the next one! I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    So freaking good Gingerbread and Ghosts was amazing. Another wonderful book where Julia tries to figure out whose done it. I think book has now become my favorite from the Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series. Read these books you will not be disappointed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Louise Ryan

    Another great addition to this series. Julia is back and in fine detecting form yet again. This one was a real rollercoaster, full of more surprises and twists and turns than usual(which is saying something). I’ll never get tired of these characters and find myself wanting to pack up and move to Peridale after reading each book. The very end may have been my favorite part in this one though!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The Christmas season is in full swing in Peridale. Julia South runs the Peridale Cafe plus acts as a part time amateur sleuth. She is busy make gingerbread treats for the upcoming Christmas play. Plus there is Christmas shopping to be done and getting ready for the social service workers visit to see about her officially adopting the young woman who has been living and working for her. Julia’s grandmother, Dot has gotten a role in the Christmas play and is very excited as this had always been her chi The Christmas season is in full swing in Peridale. Julia South runs the Peridale Cafe plus acts as a part time amateur sleuth. She is busy make gingerbread treats for the upcoming Christmas play. Plus there is Christmas shopping to be done and getting ready for the social service workers visit to see about her officially adopting the young woman who has been living and working for her. Julia’s grandmother, Dot has gotten a role in the Christmas play and is very excited as this had always been her childhood dream. On the first night of the play, the gun in the scene where Dot shoots her husband backfires when a real loaded gun takes the place of the prop gun. Dot is taken to prison as the man In the play she shot have a past history. Now Julia needs to fights ghosts of the past to free her grandmother. Meanwhile Julia’s sister is due to delivery twins any second. This story will keep the reader on their toes with mystery, drama and suspense. Combine some quirky, colorful, vivid characters who all seem to be keeping secrets with a small town village atmosphere of Christmas with the taste of gingerbread treats for a good read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nadishka Aloysius

    I think I'm going off cozies! Some of the details in this one were particularly bad. We all know that there is some strong motivation to nudge the sleuth into action. In this book it is that her (Julia) grandmother is arrested for shooting a colleague. OK. On the surface that is fine. But, the problem is that it was obviously accidental (she and the victim were both in the process of acting in a play and she shot what was supposed to be a stage prop) so why was she immediately taken away in hand I think I'm going off cozies! Some of the details in this one were particularly bad. We all know that there is some strong motivation to nudge the sleuth into action. In this book it is that her (Julia) grandmother is arrested for shooting a colleague. OK. On the surface that is fine. But, the problem is that it was obviously accidental (she and the victim were both in the process of acting in a play and she shot what was supposed to be a stage prop) so why was she immediately taken away in handcuffs and locked up? And the prison was so much like a hotel it was more a holiday for her! The protagonist is dating a DI but she is the one who does all the detecting and even the big reveal is conducted by Julia while he just calls in the cavalry at her nod! And, Julia is in the process of adopting a teeneager and Barker wants to adopt her too, but they are not even engaged. Then why is she so surprised when he proposes to her at the end? How do you expect to adopt together otherwise? And that social worker was so silly and a weird caricature I was revolted. I think I'll stop complaining now!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karen Wright

    i received an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. With that being said, tbis was the best in the series! This is a lovely series set in an English countryside village of Peridale. The characters are wonderful and the story is always fresh and full of excitement. This one is no different except for the fact that Julia is out to free her gran who is in prison for a murder that she didn't committ, sort of. It also seems like everything seems to also be going on at the same time as well i received an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. With that being said, tbis was the best in the series! This is a lovely series set in an English countryside village of Peridale. The characters are wonderful and the story is always fresh and full of excitement. This one is no different except for the fact that Julia is out to free her gran who is in prison for a murder that she didn't committ, sort of. It also seems like everything seems to also be going on at the same time as well. It's overwhelming but Julia seems to handle it all with ease and grace. There are quite a few surprises as well as things that you just knew were coming but it all comes together in the way everything seems to happen in Peridale. The excitement never stops. I can't wait for the next book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Galina Chankova

    Best one so far of the series!!! Being with a Christmas theme so close to Christmas itself it put me right in a mood! All is missing is snow now (living near London, UK though, I would only dream of it though). With Christmas around the corner, the local drama club has put on a Christmas show (yet not really Christmas related). Well, with the show's name being 'Festive Murder' it is not hard to guess where it all went wrong. Dot finds herself in the middle of it all so with just days remaining to Best one so far of the series!!! Being with a Christmas theme so close to Christmas itself it put me right in a mood! All is missing is snow now (living near London, UK though, I would only dream of it though). With Christmas around the corner, the local drama club has put on a Christmas show (yet not really Christmas related). Well, with the show's name being 'Festive Murder' it is not hard to guess where it all went wrong. Dot finds herself in the middle of it all so with just days remaining to Christmas, Julia need to work her hardest to clear Dot's name in time for the celebrations, all at the same time running the cafe, trying to 'please' the social worker to approve her adoption application, running around for Christmas presents and worrying around Barker as he is trying to tell her something important and not finding the right time to do it. Won't spoil anyone's reading, but the end is epically good - it left me all in tears (of joy), living it all with them through the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Butts

    *** Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review *** Well, Agatha Frost has delivered yet another fantastic book. I love how she can transport you right there with the characters, they all feel like people I could meet in everyday life. This book had me guessing until the very end with twists and turns along the way. Gingerbread and Ghosts had a little bit of everything you could possibly want from a cozy mystery. The titles and covers of these books just draw you in and once in, you won't b *** Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review *** Well, Agatha Frost has delivered yet another fantastic book. I love how she can transport you right there with the characters, they all feel like people I could meet in everyday life. This book had me guessing until the very end with twists and turns along the way. Gingerbread and Ghosts had a little bit of everything you could possibly want from a cozy mystery. The titles and covers of these books just draw you in and once in, you won't be disappointed. This 10th book is right up there as one of my top favorites of the series (come back for #11 and I am sure I will say the same)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Perry

    Amazing! I loved it! The series just gets better & better, but now, amazing. Again, you get sucked right in from first page & read in one sitting. I don't think I cried reading this series yet, but I cried twice reading this one. Once in an "omg" moment & the other,happy tears . I so can't wait for next book. This Series Is A Must Read! Amazing! I loved it! The series just gets better & better, but now, amazing. Again, you get sucked right in from first page & read in one sitting. I don't think I cried reading this series yet, but I cried twice reading this one. Once in an "omg" moment & the other,happy tears . I so can't wait for next book. This Series Is A Must Read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Cadwell

    Like all the Peridale Cafe Mysteries, this latest cozy was even better than the previous. Agatha Frost knows how to write a good story that will hold your interest all the way thru. I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary Herrick

    I have loved this series from the first. Well written, good character development, great love/romance as part of the ongoing Peridale life. I have to wait for the 11th volume and I do so with both impatience and anticipation! Agatha Frost is a keeper!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mae Belle

    Agatha Frost has hit another one out of the park......couldn't stop reading until I finished....looking forward to Julia's next adventure. One of these days I will have to try her peppermint and liquorice tea!!!!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Isabella ~Mikku-chan~

    *~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~* After nine books I’ve read and reviewed I really can say I am a big fan of Agatha Frost and her charming character from Peridale. Although the books are claimed as to be read as stand alone – which I agree with – I really recommend to read them when you’ve already know the other books in the series otherwise you have a few difficulties to catch everything. The events of the earlier books are mentioned and it’s combine *~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~* After nine books I’ve read and reviewed I really can say I am a big fan of Agatha Frost and her charming character from Peridale. Although the books are claimed as to be read as stand alone – which I agree with – I really recommend to read them when you’ve already know the other books in the series otherwise you have a few difficulties to catch everything. The events of the earlier books are mentioned and it’s combined with the crime case in this book, this time it’s Dot, Julia’s grandmother, who is under investigation, accused of being the murderer of a co-star in a stage play. With the well-known zeal, Julia South is ready to defend her grandmother and prove she is innocent. Secrets are revealed and not only Julia sees a new side of the older lady. The way how the book shows another layers of the characters is what I loved most about the series and with every new book we get more and more background information, as well as we see the characters creating their own new history and fond memories. Of course even the romantic parts between Barker and Julia, which are rare, are overshadowed by the crazy events in the book, and it goes without saying that’s a thing you equally love but be a tiny bit annoyed by it. 🙂 It’s really not easy for Barker to have such a witty, ambitious partner. As much as I enjoyed the whole crime case and the new information about Dot, I couldn’t help myself and was a bit disappointed in the way Barker was displayed. He seemed more a side-kick than a reliable Inspector and I really hope he isn’t overshadowed by Julia in the next books. The end was not totally unexpected but of course the sweet moments couldn’t last long or were, how should it be different – disrupted by other – not necessary unpleasant – events. I’m really looking forward to read the next book in this series, and because I am so fond of the character I can’t give other than 5 out of 5 stars. 🙂 Review originally posted on my blog with added content Mikku-chan / A world full of words

  20. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    4.5 stars This is the tenth book in the Peridale Cafe mystery series by Agatha Frost. This book features Dot, Julia’s grandmother. She is in a play and the gun is switched out for a real one causing Dot to shoot a man on stage. Dot even gets sent to jail where she seems to find a lot of interesting things to do: classes, yoga, card making. She seemed to have a great time. Julia, however, spent her time trying to find the true killer and get Dot out of jail. A secondary storyline is the one where Ju 4.5 stars This is the tenth book in the Peridale Cafe mystery series by Agatha Frost. This book features Dot, Julia’s grandmother. She is in a play and the gun is switched out for a real one causing Dot to shoot a man on stage. Dot even gets sent to jail where she seems to find a lot of interesting things to do: classes, yoga, card making. She seemed to have a great time. Julia, however, spent her time trying to find the true killer and get Dot out of jail. A secondary storyline is the one where Julia is trying to adopt Jessie. We meet Jessie’s case worker, who is a bit of a bumbler, tripping over everything. This book has an Agatha Christie like wrap up that I found wonderful. Just a great book in the series! It truly does just keep getting better. If you love a good cozy mystery, check this one out. What a fun read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Loved it loved it loved it. These books just get better and better. The mysteries are getting better and are harder to solve now as the writer has progressed. I just love how Julia is just so many steps in front of the police all the time. The interaction between all the secondary characters is a great part of the books and they wouldn't be the same without Dot, Jessie and Barker. I'm so looking forward to the next instalment of this series. I was provided with an ARC of this book for an honest re Loved it loved it loved it. These books just get better and better. The mysteries are getting better and are harder to solve now as the writer has progressed. I just love how Julia is just so many steps in front of the police all the time. The interaction between all the secondary characters is a great part of the books and they wouldn't be the same without Dot, Jessie and Barker. I'm so looking forward to the next instalment of this series. I was provided with an ARC of this book for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Intrigue for the holidays Julia's grandma is in a play...and she is very good. Nevertheless, opening night does not go as planned and Julia must solve a mystery to save her gran in time for Christmas. Just the right mix of mystery and continuation of the ongoing story. I was glad to see it end in a happy note.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Meredith

    Dramatic I enjoyed reading this latest installment in this series. I thought I had figured out who had done it I was not completely right. The progression of the characters has been great. While some of the books haven’t been as strong as others I would definitely recommend this series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sandie

    “Abandon all logic, ye who enter here”. GINGERBREAD AND GHOSTS has a plot that spurns any semblance of rationality. The characters, are like cardboard cutouts or just plain crazy. For openers, the social worker, Kim, who is reviewing our protagonist Julia’s petition to adopt 17 year old Jessie is a looney toon and although I will be the first to admit that A FEW “government employees” are one brick short of a load…..how this woman has managed to stayed employed for 20 years is beyond comprehensi “Abandon all logic, ye who enter here”. GINGERBREAD AND GHOSTS has a plot that spurns any semblance of rationality. The characters, are like cardboard cutouts or just plain crazy. For openers, the social worker, Kim, who is reviewing our protagonist Julia’s petition to adopt 17 year old Jessie is a looney toon and although I will be the first to admit that A FEW “government employees” are one brick short of a load…..how this woman has managed to stayed employed for 20 years is beyond comprehension. Perhaps we are to forgive her because this 40 something year old case worker has just returned from maternity leave and I suppose we are to view her actions and responses, particularly toward Julia’s beau Detective Barker Brown and her vindictiveness toward Jessie as some sort of aberration. Added to the mix are a slew of residents who interface with Julia. There is her sister who is pregnant with twins, her friend Shilpa whose son Jayesh is part of the mixed bag of folks involved in this year’s local play, and of course 83 year old grandma Dot who gets hauled off to a country club sort of jail for killing someone with a prop gun while performing in this year’s production. Looks like Julia’s plate is full, to say the least. The rest of the story is standard cozy material………we all know the drill. Although Julie has a boyfriend who is a detective, it is she…not he who takes control by overcoming several obstacles, putting all the pieces together and solving the crime. I won’t continue with my litany of observations about this book lest I ruin it (even more) for potential readers. Suffice to say this book is not the worst book in this genre that I have ever read but somehow I wish I had spent my afternoon more productively. My lack of enthusiasm could account for why it took a couple of months after finishing this book to write a review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Courtagonist

    This is the 10th installment of Agatha Frost’s Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series! I have fallen in love with the ladies in Peridale. They make me laugh. They make me cry. They make me crave ALL of the sweets! HA! My waist line sure does not appreciate them as much. But that is besides the point. I am here to spread the delightfulness I felt while reading Gingerbread and Ghosts. This book/e-book came out on December 12th. And is available at this link! If you have Kindle Unlimited it is FREE and i This is the 10th installment of Agatha Frost’s Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series! I have fallen in love with the ladies in Peridale. They make me laugh. They make me cry. They make me crave ALL of the sweets! HA! My waist line sure does not appreciate them as much. But that is besides the point. I am here to spread the delightfulness I felt while reading Gingerbread and Ghosts. This book/e-book came out on December 12th. And is available at this link! If you have Kindle Unlimited it is FREE and if not you can get it at a STEAL of 0.99 cents! I mean, how amazing is that? As I stated before this is the 10th book in the Peridale Cafe Mystery series. We follow Julia through the tough process of adopting Jess, wondering where her relationship is at with Barker, and of course trying to keep up with her wonderfully eclectic grandmother Dot. Of course this is all happening during the Christmas season! Dot has decided that she is going to perform in the Christmas play that is being put on with the local drama club. She is a natural. Julia can’t believe how much of a natural she is. What else doesn’t she know about her grandmother? While sitting in the audience watching Dot put on her best performance yet, Barker, Jess, Julia, and most of Peridale witness Dot pick up a gun, shoot, and murder her leading man. Julia has made it her responsibility to find out who switch the prop gun with a real one and get Dot home in time for Christmas! Will she make it? Or will this be the first time that the killer gets away?! This was such a fun and quick book to read! I loved that it was Christmas themed as well! It was perfect for this time of the year. I curled up in a little burrrrito and drank Peppermint Hot Cocoa while reading it and it was amazing! I gave Gingerbread and Ghosts 5 STARS on Goodreads!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I absolutely freaking adore this series! Every time I finish a book, I think it's my new favorite and then I read the next one and think it's my favorite, well I'm pretty sure this one is my favorite! I loved it! I really feel like I know this group, like I'm invested in them and this one really got me, it felt more personal. It's Dot that finds herself in some serious trouble now and Julia will stop at nothing to get to the truth. Agatha Frost once again spins a twisty tale that will keep you g I absolutely freaking adore this series! Every time I finish a book, I think it's my new favorite and then I read the next one and think it's my favorite, well I'm pretty sure this one is my favorite! I loved it! I really feel like I know this group, like I'm invested in them and this one really got me, it felt more personal. It's Dot that finds herself in some serious trouble now and Julia will stop at nothing to get to the truth. Agatha Frost once again spins a twisty tale that will keep you guessing and adjusting your who-dun-it theories. I really enjoyed learning more about the Peridale history and about Dot, that really added to this whole journey for me. Barker and Julia and just everything, they make my heart so happy! Jessie, oh the feels this girl delivers, and what an amazing woman she is becoming. I could gush and gush about every little bit but I'll just say this book and this series is an absolute must read! I get excited as soon as a new book is released and am already looking forward to whatever is next for this gang! Bring on the baked goods! *I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linniegayl

    Julia, the owner of a bakery/cafe is back again in the 10th mystery in this series set in a small English village. The series takes place over a relatively short period of time, so it takes some suspension of disbelief to accept that there have now been a string of murders in this small village (and seriously, why aren't people leaving the town). In this entry my least favorite character -- Dot -- the grandmother of the lead Julia, gets in trouble. I found myself enjoying this entry more than som Julia, the owner of a bakery/cafe is back again in the 10th mystery in this series set in a small English village. The series takes place over a relatively short period of time, so it takes some suspension of disbelief to accept that there have now been a string of murders in this small village (and seriously, why aren't people leaving the town). In this entry my least favorite character -- Dot -- the grandmother of the lead Julia, gets in trouble. I found myself enjoying this entry more than some recent ones in the series, perhaps because Dot is mostly off-page and didn't have too much time to be over-the-top. Once again it's up to Julia to solve the mystery, and she once again outsmarts the local police (including her lover Barker). It's an interesting series in some ways, because while the murders are all a bit improbable, and are being solved by a local baker, there are also a lot of dark sides to the various plots. Overall, I enjoyed this entry, and would give it a B-.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Brown

    I read this in 1 sitting, I couldn't put it down! Set a week or so before Christmas, Dot is involved in the local village am dram production; Julia and Jessie are busy in the cafe and Sue is about to drop. Julia and Jessie meet Jessie's social worker in the hours Jessie's adoption by Julia is going to go smoothly - but when does anything go smoothly in Peridale! A murder occurs in spectacular fashion and one of the family ends up in prison. It's up to Julia to get then it in time for Christmas a I read this in 1 sitting, I couldn't put it down! Set a week or so before Christmas, Dot is involved in the local village am dram production; Julia and Jessie are busy in the cafe and Sue is about to drop. Julia and Jessie meet Jessie's social worker in the hours Jessie's adoption by Julia is going to go smoothly - but when does anything go smoothly in Peridale! A murder occurs in spectacular fashion and one of the family ends up in prison. It's up to Julia to get then it in time for Christmas and find who really did it. The story harks back to something which happened 40 odd years ago, something which Julia didn't know anything about. This has all the usual fun and mayhem all the Peridale mysteries have, set at a snowy Christmas time. Looking forward to the next instalment now. Definitely worth a read. I've read all the books so far in this series and reviewed each one, each one as good as the last.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susan Thomas

    I had been given this book to review by ARC. I had been eagerly awaiting the next book in Agatha Frost's most wonderful series, and I was certainly not disappointed. I am so enjoying seeing the characters evolve with each book and, as the plot unfolds, we have the opportunity to learn much more about Dot's earlier life - I totally adore this woman! Set against a cosy Christmas village background, we watch as Julia has to put her investigative skills to good use to free Dot from prison before The I had been given this book to review by ARC. I had been eagerly awaiting the next book in Agatha Frost's most wonderful series, and I was certainly not disappointed. I am so enjoying seeing the characters evolve with each book and, as the plot unfolds, we have the opportunity to learn much more about Dot's earlier life - I totally adore this woman! Set against a cosy Christmas village background, we watch as Julia has to put her investigative skills to good use to free Dot from prison before The Big Day. As always, Jess and Barker are close at hand to help Julia solve the case. A really excellent book for Christmas with a truly lovely ending.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rekha

    3.5/5 It is always great to see a character grow as the series proceed. Julia has a lot on her hands this time - she has to juggle between proving Grandma Dot's innocence, Jessie's adoption, Sue's twins and Barker's dilemma. The story inclines more towards Julia's family - not much importance is given to the murder mystery. The mystery behind Marcus's murder surely deserved some attention - it was interesting to see many suspects - each having a pretty solid motive to kill the man. Jessie goes ber 3.5/5 It is always great to see a character grow as the series proceed. Julia has a lot on her hands this time - she has to juggle between proving Grandma Dot's innocence, Jessie's adoption, Sue's twins and Barker's dilemma. The story inclines more towards Julia's family - not much importance is given to the murder mystery. The mystery behind Marcus's murder surely deserved some attention - it was interesting to see many suspects - each having a pretty solid motive to kill the man. Jessie goes berserk! Boy, oh boy! Someone please control the uncontrollable teenager! Things end well for Julia and her family as the story ends but at times I felt a few emotions were overly dramatized.

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