Pandemic Reading List 2020 – Christmas Books! – Short Stories, Mini Reviews


Miz Scarlet and the Holiday Houseguests by Sarah M. Barton

I got this free on Kindle

Book Description From Goodreads:

“The time-honored Red Sox versus Yankees rivalry…bitter, divorced parents who can’t stop bickering…a challenging teenage daughter who questions everything her mother tells her….These are the least of overworked homicide investigator Laurencia Rivera’s troubles when she’s stalked during an important case.

A teenager turns up dead in the woods, brutally murdered, and it looks like it might be politically motivated….the short-handed homicide team can’t seem to get a handle on the case…things just keep going wrong….Is someone trying to intimidate Laurencia Rivera and her investigators, to protect the killer and prevent him from being caught?

Better known as Larry, the gutsy, romance-challenged Connecticut state trooper is desperate to avoid World War III when her parents announce they are both coming for the holidays. She thinks that renting a room for her father at the Four Acorns Inn will solve the problem, but it just makes everything worse. — Larry’s mother is offended that her ex-husband, a Boston Red Sox assistant coach, gets all the pampering; she’s determined to kick up a fuss. When Mama’s unhappy, everyone is going to hear about it!

Sometimes the only thing for a good friend to do at a time like this is to offer respite from a quickly unraveling family life by stepping in and taking charge of the care and feeding of the entire Rivera family. Scarlet Wilson, innkeeper at the Four Acorns Inn and amateur sleuth, is the perfect person for the task. If only she stuck to guest services….

“Miz Scarlet” may not have Larry’s professional cop training, but that doesn’t stop her from going head to head with a killer bent on revenge! Her boyfriend, Kenny Tolliver, happens to be a public safety expert and he’s got some tricks up his sleeve. But it’s Larry’s former partner, Max, who rallies the troops with an amazing effort to rescue the uncooperative damsel in distress….It’s amazing what a guy in love will do to save the woman he adores, but will it be enough? Can love save the day?

Before the Rivera visit to the Four Acorns Inn ends, not only will a killer be sent packing, everyone will learn the shocking reason for the bitter divorce of “The Spitball King” and the “Queen of Clean”, and the mystery will finally be solved as to how the granddaughter of a Red Sox assistant coach came to be named after a famous Yankee center fielder. This humor-laced short novella is rated PG — Mild violence, mild language, mild adult situations.”

I found this whilst looking for Christmas books on Kindle. Whilst the cover wasn’t particularly Christmassy, I liked the description of the book.

I actually found it to be an entertaining Christmas mystery story with likable characters and a lovely setting. I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect to it and how everything came together to make a nice ending. Whilst it is part of a series, I didn’t feel like I had missed out and if I ever have the time I will look at reading some other books in the series!

Rated 4/5

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Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I got this for Christmas, however it is available at the Library.

Book Description From Goodreads:

“Celebrate Christmas with the ultimate Shopaholic!

The brilliant laugh-out-loud festive novel from the Number One bestselling author.

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It’s always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.

And now it’s even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?”

I love the way that Sophie Kinsella writes and so when I saw that she had written a Christmas book I was there! I haven’t read the original Shopaholic book, but I know the basic outline so I didn’t feel like I was missing out. Even if I hadn’t read any of the Shopaholic books I don’t think that I would have missed out on anything.

As with all Sophie Kinsella’s books the writing style is clear, relatable and engaging. This story made me smile and I think that that is the mark of a good book, especially at Christmas time. The main character is brilliant and I really enjoyed the adventures she had in this book. Well worth a read!

Rated 5/5

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“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “mystery”, “reading slump”, “entertaining”, “what should I read next”

3 thoughts on “Pandemic Reading List 2020 – Christmas Books! – Short Stories, Mini Reviews

  1. Pingback: What Did You Read During The Pandemic? | Budget Tales Book Blog

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  3. Pingback: Six For Sunday | Budget Tales Book Blog

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