Christmas in July – Book Review – Murder Before Christmas by Michele Pariza Wacek 

Free Kindle Book (Free when I downloaded it)

Genre: Christmas Cosy Mystery

Number of Pages: 203


If you’ve got a problem, Charlie Kingsley probably has a tea that’ll help make it right.

EXCEPT when it comes to love. She does NOT do love potions.

Not even for Courtney, her pregnant new client who showed up three weeks before Christmas seeking a love potion because her husband was cheating on her.

So, Courtney asked about poison, instead.

She said she was joking. That’s what happens between wives and husbands. They get angry and talk about killing each other. They don’t really mean it.

It seems to make sense … until Courtney’s husband turns up dead on Christmas Eve.

He was poisoned, of course.

And who is the number one suspect? Courtney. Of course.

But did she actually do it? Or is she being set up?

It’s up to Charlie to sort through all the twists and turns in a case that gets more complicated the deeper she digs.

Meet Charlie. Better known as “Aunt Charlie” from the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. She’s back, making teas and solving cases in this funny, twisty, cozy mystery series set in the 1990s in Redemption, Wisconsin.


As you know this month’s goals include Christmas and Cosy Mystery, and this free Kindle book (free when I purchased it) ticked both these boxes. Whilst there wasn’t a lot of Christmas mentioned, it was set over Christmas and there was talk of cold weather and decorations being up which was enough for me! 

The writing was light and entertaining. It was also full of twists and turns. So many times I thought I had the answer, then something else was thrown into the mix. It was very cleverly orchestrated in that it could have been a number of different people, but there was always something that let them off the hook. 

The book was mainly conversations between characters rather than being narrated, so you felt like you were actively there trying to work it out alongside the character rather than being specifically told what was going through the characters mind. It made for an interesting read. 

The chapters were fairly short so the story had a good pace to it. So many times I thought that the puzzle was solved until something else came to light. 

I loved the characters, especially the main character and how she was able to get all the information out of people. She seemed a very easy sort of character that you would end up telling everything. I enjoyed the way that everyone seemed suspicious and at one point I thought that the main character was going to be blamed! 

Lastly the settings. They were only very lightly described. There was a slight Christmas theme to it, but as I mentioned earlier the story was heavily conversation based. 

Overall I loved this story and highly recommend it for a short Christmas read that isn’t your usual romance. 

⭐Rated 4.5/5⭐

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8 thoughts on “Christmas in July – Book Review – Murder Before Christmas by Michele Pariza Wacek 

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