Not a Creature Was Stirring
(Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
by Christina Freeburn
About the Book
Not a Creature Was Stirring (Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – West Virginia
Henery Press (January 22, 2019)
Digital ASIN: B07K1MFQ7T
Empty nester Merry Winters loves three things: Christmas, crafting and her family. To regain purpose and joy, Merry hits the road to a Christmas vendor event with her furry sidekick Ebenezer in her new mobile crafting sleigh, aka an RV.
But it soon turns into the nightmare before Christmas when Merry unwraps her Scrooge of an ex-husband’s body in one of the RV’s compartments. Add to that his missing winning lottery ticket believed to be stashed somewhere in the RV, leading the homicide detective and Merry’s stepdaughter to believe Merry is the one whodunit.
With visions of prison dancing in her head, will Merry be able to solve this Christmas calamity before she’s locked away?
With a name like Merry Winters, you just know she is going to love Christmas. She also loves crafting and her family. Merry is going through a rough time adjusting to her kids moving out on their own and a recent divorce, so she decides to throw herself into her crafts. When she gets the opportunity to purchase on RV she jumps at it because she believes it is the perfect way to take her crafts on the road, traveling to craft shows far and wide. She even buys a pet to take with her, Ebenezer, a guinea pig.
Her first trip in her new RV is to the Christmas Holiday Bazaar in Morgantown, not too far from her home in Season’s Greetings, West Virginia. When she arrives she notices an odd smell. Thinking the former owner, her ex-stepdaughter left something in one of the compartments that had now spoiled she starts to look around. But it isn’t rotting food she finds, it’s her ex-husband, very dead and stinking to high heaven. When the police arrive Merry becomes their #1 suspect. She can’t believe they actually think she killed him and hid him in the RV she is driving around. She knows she has to find the real killer or Santa will be delivering her presents to her in jail. Behind bars is not how she imagined celebrating her favorite time of year.
I loved this story. Merry Winters has had a wonderful life after a precarious start. She has a huge heart and believes the best in everyone which at times can be her downfall. We do share a love of crafting and I miss doing the crafts I love. That is why I enjoy cozy mysteries like this one. I can live vicariously through the characters.
I don’t share her love of guinea pigs though. Ebenezer runs free through her house and does add some humorous moments. My guinea pig experience was not good. Our older children each had one and soon their care fell to me and cleaning their cages daily is an experience I would love to forget. They did enjoy their playtime, inside and out, but that was limited. I was glad their time with us was short.
Fittingly set in the holiday season, complete with a blizzard was great. Made me feel right at home as similar weather was happening here in Wisconsin as I was reading. I could relate to Merry’s worries about driving the RV on snowy slippery roads and her concern that the RV may not be the best choice for cold weather without some major renovations.
The mystery was fast paced with several surprising twists including unexpected suspects. The author has crafted a unique mystery and I really enjoyed the way she told this story. I was engaged the entire way and captivated by the way everything came together in the end.
Great characters, (I loved their names), an excellent plot, and a fun setting gave me everything I look for in a quality cozy mystery. I am excited to see where Ms. Freeburn takes us in book two.
About the Author
Christina Freeburn has always loved books. There was nothing better than picking up a story and being transported to another place. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she’s been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary Award nominee. Her mysteries series, Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery and Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mysteries, are a mix of crafty and crime and feature heroines whose crafting time is interrupted by crime solving.
Christina served in the US Army and has also worked as a paralegal, librarian, church secretary, and golf shop pro. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid and allergic to felines.
Praise for Not a Creature Was Stirring
(Merry & Bright Handcrafted Mystery)
by Christina Freeburn
This book was the right mix of Christmas cheer, family relationships, mystery, and community.
~Carla Loves to Read
If you love Christmas, you really do need to read this book. Christmas oozes from every page. Whether it’s talk of Christmas carols, Christmas decorations, Christmas crafts, or comparing people to characters from Christmas stories, you can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit.
What made this cozy mystery delightful for me was the settings, of course (all that snow!) but mainly the character of Merry Winters. Here is an individual we ought to all admire: a genuinely GOOD person, ready to think the best of everybody and to exert the effort to help and comfort anyone in need.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies
Not A Creature Was Stirring is fast-paced, funny, and filled with a quirky cast of characters. I devoured this book in a couple of days.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…
This is a story about new possibilities and old insecurities, some relationships and choices revisited, some regret . . . The characters are complicated and have “interesting“ relationships.
An intriguing mystery and themes of Christmas and crafting make NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING a fun holiday read.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”