Sunday, 20 November 2016


4 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK HERE

Life's a beach in Blue Lake
...except when bodies blow in with the snow.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  What I like about the way Cynthia Harrison writes is that it's so very readable.  The words just flow along, and suddenly you're at 20% when you think you've only just opened the book.  She has a great knack of representing small town American life which makes me feel I know it well, even though I have never even been to the US.  You expect there to be a character called Harlan, and there he is, along with the policemen that everyone knows, the complicated relationships, etc, etc.  In this book, some of the characters are written in a rather tongue in cheek way; loved it, some great observation going on 

So...I've read three other books by her, liked them and thought they were jolly good examples of the genre.  This one, though, I REALLY liked.  It's nothing like I thought a 'cosy mystery' would be - which I always thought meant middle aged knitting women trapping murderers by tripping them over with their hedge trimmers, or something.  Blue Lake Christmas Mystery is nothing like that.  The main character is Holly, a young rookie journalist who wants to be a true crime writer, and has a contract with a top New York agent if only she will spill the beans about people who don't want the beans spilling.  She goes to live in Blue Lake which is so upmarket cutesy that there are no chain stores or restaurants, but doesn't give off of the claustrophia inducing frustration of many small towns.  I read it in bed and it actually made me feel cosy... I wanted to live there, too.

Holly's journo investigation revolves round a suspicious death at the local Fun Divorce Club Thanksgiving dinner.  There's a romantic aspect to the story, with Holly's two love interests:  Bob, a nice guy but a bit of a sanctimonious drip, and Sam, sexy but a bit of an ass.  I doubted Holly's passion for Bob when she stopped to put her dress on a hanger while in mid-snog-leading-to-sex-whilst-tearing-off-clothes.  He probably approved.  Mind you, with the amount of enormous meals everyone keeps eating (jacket spuds with sour cream and bacon, steaks, soup and sourdough bread, peach pie, hot chocolate made with real chocolate and whipped cream, pears and blue cheese - I got heartburn just reading it) I'm surprised they can work up the enthusiasm for anything more energetic than slumping on the sofa.  I just wish I'd read it when I was hungry, then it'd have had me reaching for the peach pie and whipped cream rather than the peppermint tea (I really fancied that brussel sprout casserole, incidentally).

Cynthia Harrison, you've got me hooked on Blue Lake.  I want to move there.  Oh, and I didn't guess the murderer, so well done there, too!  Readers, I'm the girl who likes the odd psychopath with her zombies; 'feel good' books are not usually my bag at all, but I really liked this.  I imagine that if you DO favour romance, cosy mystery and Christmas books you will adore it.  Definitely recommended ~ and read it in bed, with hot chocolate! 

Love and Death In Blue Lake reviewed HERE, with a link to Luke's #1 Rule.




  1. I like the sound of this a lot, Terry. Can it be read as a standalone or should I start from book 1?

    1. It does refer to previous books, Cathy, but yes, it's a total standalone. I couldn't remember anything about the previous books because I read them ages ago and have a lousy memory, and it was fine for me. I think you'd really like it!

    2. Thanks, Terry :) Off to Amazon....

  2. Just have to comment on the guy on the cover of Luke's #1 Rule - which was distracting after your review!