Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah

Posted October 9, 2021 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, Darci Hannah, giveaway, mystery/suspense / 38 Comments

Beacon Bakeshop #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Kensington
RELEASE DATE: October 5, 2021
PAGES: 304

Tucked away inside an old lighthouse in Beacon Harbor, Michigan, bakeshop cafĂ© owner Lindsey Bakewell is ready to make her first Christmas in town shine bright. But her merry plans crumble fast when murder appears under the mistletoe…

With the spirit of the holidays wafting through the Beacon Bakeshop, Lindsey thinks she has the recipe for the sweetest Christmas ever–winning the town-wide cookie bake-off. Unfortunately, striving for a picture-perfect December in Beacon Harbor is a lot like biting into stale shortbread. Low on staff and bombarded by visits from family, Lindsey can barely meet demands at work, let alone summon the confidence to face fierce competition…

Self-appointed Christmas know-it-all Felicity Stewart is determined to take the top spot in the bake-off, and she’s not afraid to dump a little coal in everyone’s stocking to do it. Just as the competition heats up, everything falls apart when the judge is found dead–and covered in crumbs from Lindsey’s signature cookie!

Solving a murder was never on Lindsey’s wish list. But with her reputation on the line during the happiest time of the year, she’ll need to bring her best talents to the table in order to sift out the true Christmas Cookie culprit.


Other Books In This Series

Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off is my first read by Darci Hannah and I didn’t yet read book 1 in this series … but I couldn’t resist Christmas cookies and a small town bakeshop in an old lighthouse! I’m happy to report that it reads perfectly well as a standalone, though I definitely want to go back and read how Lindsey went from New York jilted fiance to Michigan bakeshop-in-a-lighthouse-with-a-ghost owner with a swoony new boyfriend.

Lindsey and her loyal Newfoundland dog Wellington are instantly likable, as is the Beacon Bakeshop & its staff. Of particular interest in this book is her new assistant baker Mrs. Nichols, whom I loved! I hope we get to see more of her in future books, even if it’s only seasonal. I didn’t connect as much with Lindsey’s parents or her BFF Kennedy but I didn’t not like them either. I would just rather hang out with Lindsey, Wellington, and Rory 🙂

The mystery was very well done, with plenty of layers that revealed themselves a bit at a time and drew me in with some surprising twists! I was invested in the various players, too, and realized how much when some of those twists left me disappointed in this character or that one. But the icing on the Christmas cookie for me was the magical realism that showed up in a couple of different ways in this story – y’all know how much I love magical realism and this was a delightful & unexpected surprise for me in reading Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off!

Bottom Line: Take a restored lighthouse bakeshop with a resident ghost, a bit of Christmas magic, and tons of yummy cookies… mix in some very likable characters and a whodunit that keeps you guessing… and you’ve got the recipe for a delightful cozy mystery! Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah has all of these ingredients, and I was invested in the story from start to finish. The mystery definitely had me in step with Lindsey & her crew of amateur sleuths (plus her swoony boyfriend who used to be Special Ops), rather than running ahead of them to the reveal. Not to mention all the times my mouth watered from the delicious-sounding Christmas cookies! A great read to kick off (or continue) your holiday reading!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is moderate cursing throughout this novel, as well as some implications of intimate activity outside of marriage (though nothing detailed).

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Cozy mystery author, Darci Hannah, is a native of the Midwest and currently lives in a small town in Michigan. Darci is a lifelong lover of the Great Lakes, a natural wonder that inspires many of her stories. When Darci isn’t baking for family and friends, hiking with her furry pals, Ripley and Finn, or concocting her next cozy mystery, she can be found wandering around picturesque lakeside villages with her hubby, sampling baked goods and breaking for coffee more often than she should.

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Other Books by Darci Hannah

Darci Hannah is offering a print copy of Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off plus some fun Christmas cookie themed prizes to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah?

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38 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah

  1. The cover is absolutely adorable and so enticing. I love cozies and having it set at Christmas just makes it that much more enticing. I have to read this book!

  2. Carrie, thank you so much for being a part of my Great Escapes Book Tour! Your blog is delightful, and I’m over the moon by your lovely review of my book. I can’t wait to see who the lucky winner of my giveaway is!! Good luck everyone!

  3. OH That cover is fantastic. It just calls to me read it right away. Would love to read & review in print format. Sounds like a #1 best seller to me. The excerpt s really good. Love books like this.
    Hope I Win

  4. Autumn Trapani

    I have the first book in the series and would love to have the second! Thank you for the review.

  5. Lynn Brown

    I like that its about a cookie bake off and a murder mystery. The cover is adorable. Thanks for the chance.

  6. Jeanne Schutts

    The cover and title drew me in. It looks like a great book. I can’t wait to read it.

  7. Lisa Sabatini

    Cookies are my favorite dessert, and a baking contest is an appetizing setting for a cozy mystery!

  8. John Smith

    “What makes you want to read Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah?” I love fun mysteries set in bakeshop cafes!

  9. Sharon Braswell

    It’s the second book in the Beacon Bakeshop Series by Darci Hannah! It’s a Christmas-themed cozy mystery with a cookie bake-off. Oh, how I love cookies at Christmas, or anytime for that matter! The book includes recipes! Poor Lindsey the main character in the book is having a chaos-filled holiday with family visits, low staff at the bakeshop and is trying hard to keep up just like most of us but under different circumstances during the busy holiday season. I can SO relate but I don’t have; solve a murder, on my list of holiday things to do! Love the writer, the characters, the setting, and the mystery and that’s why! Thank you!

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