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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Slay Bells

Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery)
by T.C. Wescott

About the Book

Slay Bells (A Christmas Village Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Brand New Series
Better Mousetrap Books (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 273 pages
Digital ASIN: B07HGG7ZFR

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the village, the night settled in over swirling-smoke chimneys; the air was alive with pine and holly, with sugar and cinnamon and cider, by golly!
Along snowy lanes and through shadows it crept, past windows behind which each villager slept, where sleeping dogs lie and cats rest a’purring—
Tonight, in Christmas Village, a killer is stirring.
Welcome to Christmas Village, a magical hamlet where even in December the roses hold their luster and bees buzz among the bluebells. You’re just in time for the week-long Christmas Festival, and nowhere is Christmas celebrated with such unrestrained merriment as the village which bears its name. Mayor Cobblestone and Sheriff Fell will be somewhere nearby, doing all they can to make sure you’re safe during your stay.
Provided you haven’t booked a room at Plum Cottage.
Nestled betwixt an opulent garden with meandering footpaths and an ancient grove of plum trees, Rose Willoughby’s boarding house is plum-full with lodgers. There are no vacancies, but just wait. Soon there will be one…and another…and another.
Presently lodging at the cottage are: the juggler, the acrobat, the magician, the psychic, the strongman, the manager, and the pretty assistant. In town as festival entertainment they’ve each brought their own bag of tricks. And a closetful of skeletons.
When the entertainers begin dying in inexplicable ways, some villagers believe a beast from old village lore is the culprit. The sheriff knows better, but he’s just as helpless to catch the invisible killer as are the town folk with their eyes to the sky in search of a flying creature. But our mysterious murderer hasn’t counted on yet another lodger coming to the cottage: Maribel Claus.
Short as a stump, round as a wheel, sweet as a candy cane, and a sharp as a whip, Maribel loves a good puzzle. But has she finally met her match at Plum Cottage?
Can you figure out whodunit before Maribel does? If you’re up to the challenge, here’s your first clue—the key to unlocking the secret of the murderer’s identity lies in figuring out how the murders were committed. Good luck!

What I Thought:

This one was a little different for than what I normally read.  While it was enjoyable, it was a bit on the whimsical side.  It is set in a very charming village, whose inhabitants are equally as charming.  The visitors to Christmas Village and Plum Cottage are all on the eccentric side as they are a group a performers in town for the annual Christmas Festival.  The leader of the troupe is killed, his body found on top of a hill with no footprints leading to or from the body.  When Rose, the owner of Plum Cottage, is injured her friend, Maribel Claus steps in to help and gets drawn in to help find the mysterious killer.  I struggled a little with this one at first, but once I got into it and got used to the authors writing style it went along better.  Like I mentioned, I enjoyed meeting the residents of Christmas Village, they were enchanting and kept me entertained with their antics.  I thought the plot of the book was a little different, but at times that can be good as it gives something new to enjoy.  I enjoy reading cozies set during Christmas time and this one, though a little different was enjoyable.  The mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing till the reveal.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author

T.C. Wescott was born in Missouri but has lived in Oklahoma most of his life. Like pretty much every author who has ever breathed, he is an avid reader. His favorites are classic mysteries from the Golden Age, as well as just before or just after that period (which is widely considered the period between the two World Wars). His first mystery novel, Running from Scissors, was published in July 2018 and will be the first of at least three books in the Running Store Mystery series.
The Christmas Village Mystery series will launch in November of the same year with the debut title Slay Bells. The formula for his books is simple - mixing the classic, traditional detective fiction standards with all the trappings of the modern cozy mystery.
Wescott is also (under another name) the author of two award-winning non-fiction books as well as a slew of essays and articles.
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  1. Thank you for your review on "Slay Bells" by T.C. Wescott and for being part of the book tour.

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read this book which is on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Thank you for your review on "Slay Bells" by T.C. Wescott and for being part of the book tour.

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read this book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net