Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Catholic Book Club: Advent of a Mystery

Happy book club Wednesday everyone! Today I am pleased to be reviewing a title that fits in perfectly with the season, Advent of a Mystery, by Marilyn Leach. I received this book as a gift, but it is officially out of print, and available only on Amazon Marketplace. I found out, however, that is has been reissued as Candle for a Corpse (A Berdie Elliott Mystery, Book 1). The happy news is that if you didn't read this book already, and my review intrigues you, you can now buy it in print and get two day shipping with your Amazon Prime membership, or download it to your Kindle or Kindle app for 99 cents! Pretty awesome, and thank you to Ashley for letting me know about this!

Ok, so let's get right into the scoop. This is a light-hearted mystery featuring an Anglican vicar and his wife in a small English village, and as the title indicates, set during Advent. The book begins with a large Christmas party hosted by the couple for the members of their parish, and we are introduced to a motley assortment of characters. One of the parishoners (an eccentric sort who engenders mixed feelings among the group) is later murdered. Who is the culprit?

I really liked this book, and found that I breezed through it, as one would expect for a cozy mystery. My only constructive criticism is that I found the characters hard to keep track of, there were a lot of them. I had to flip back several times to remind myself of who was who. But the heroine, Berdie, is quite endearing and I liked her very well. She and her good friend Lillie get themselves into all sorts of trouble by poking around on their own to try and figure out what happened. The murder actually ties in the victim's Advent wreath, which I found a nice touch. :) And again, this is all in good fun, it is a light mystery. In contrast to last month, it is very easy to remember that this is fiction. There is a romance brewing for Lillie, which was a sweet side story, and general happenings involving Berdie and her husband acclimating to the parish and its accompanying village since this is a very new assignment for them.

This is a cute, cute book, and I really enjoyed reading it. I had my suspicions about the murderer, which likely means it was easy to tell, since I'm terrible at that. But that did not ruin my enjoyment of the book. I loved the characters and the setting. An enjoyable seasonal read, and I definitely recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers.

The author has published a new title in this series, which is Up From the Grave: A Berdie Elliott Lenten Mystery. I mean. :0

It too is 99 cents for Kindle, and man! I may have to download this one. In fact, I just did. :) It's now happily residing on my Kindle. A British cozy mystery set during Lent? Can't pass that one up, my friends! I'm very excited to read it this spring. :) I may very well make this an official book club selection to review here on the blog. We'll see!

Just a side note on Kindles: I have an older model of the small Kindle e-reader, the one with a 4-way controller. That thing is a workhorse and I adore it. The controller, rather than a touchscreen, is a pain in the backside, but I rarely use it. I download books from my phone and send them to my Kindle. Then they automatically download when WIFI is connected, easy peasy. But the reason I'm mentioning this is that the Kindle e-readers are on sale right now, in this pre-Christmas sales bonanza time, and the deal is amazing. They are normally $79 (also dirt cheap for what you're getting, really) and are marked down to $59. That's a heck of a deal. These are the new versions, with a touchscreen, although lacking lighting of any kind (but the Kindle Paperwhite is now on sale for $99, just fyi). But at any rate, I know a lot of people use the Kindle app, which is convenient and easy and all of that, but this is just a quick plug from the librarian about the beauty of a dedicated e-reader device. ;-) LOVE. The e-ink is just gorgeous and so easy on your eyes. I actually prefer reading books on my Kindle to reading print books anymore, for fiction especially. Some non-fiction I still prefer print due to illustrations and such, but the e-reader is a gem. I always have a ton of books on there, no worries about clogging up your bookshelf, and I love how easy it is on my aging eyes to read with it. There's your Librarian Public Service Announcement of the day. :)

Back to books! If you've read either Advent of a Mystery or Candle for a Corpse, do chime in in the comments! Next month we're back to non-fiction with Blessed Mother Teresa's Come Be My Light. Join us January 28th for the discussion!


  1. This series is going to the top of my list! It follows the liturival year (the next one is about Ascension Thursday). #liturgucalyearnerd I loved the quality of writing. Even though it was light , the language was rich with detail and flowed. The characters were fabulous as well. A proper English mystery!

    1. Ashley, you are a gem! A mystery set on Ascension Thursday? I'm there! For other readers, the title is "Into the Clouds (A Berdie Elliott Mystery Book 3)"and it is $3.99 for Kindle:


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