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Dead and Gondola

Dead and Gondola is the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Ann Claire.

Set in a picturesque, fictional Colorado ski town, only accessible by ski gondola and a mountain road, it centers on two sisters, Ellie and Meg Christie, who run the family's historic bookshop, The Book Chalet. Agatha Christie fans, they have not yet found a familial link to the famed author but did name their cat in her honor. When a mysterious stranger who visited their bookstore is murdered and a rockslide locks down the town, the Christie sisters are on the case!

With nods to Agatha Christie, her works, and facts about her life, this is very much a tribute to the Queen of Mystery. As it's the first in a series, significant groundwork is laid for potential sequels. So, it's lengthy for a cozy, with a great deal of world-building, a large suspect pool, and a few twists along the way, but overall an enjoyable read. Bibliophiles will find the charming bookstore in the mountains setting appealing and fun. There's even a celebrity Bookstagrammer! The mystery is puzzling, as it's a somewhat unusual locked room mystery. This is a light-hearted read with a unique concept, and perfect for a snow day!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group- Ballentine for the opportunity to review this ARC.

Pub Date is November 1, 2022

Goodreads rating: 3.78

My Steep was Pecan Pie Rooibos herbal tea from The English Tea Store.


In this series debut, a mysterious bookshop visitor dies under murderous circumstances, compelling the Christie sisters and their cat, Agatha, to call on all they’ve learned about solving mysteries from their favorite novelist.

“A fair-play plot, vivid characters, fascinating facts about Dame Agatha, and an intelligent and appealing protagonist make this a winner.”—Publishers Weekly

Ellie Christie is thrilled to begin a new chapter. She’s recently returned to her tiny Colorado hometown to run her family’s historic bookshop with her elder sister, Meg, and their beloved cat, Agatha. Perched in a Swiss-style hamlet accessible by ski gondola and a twisty mountain road, the Book Chalet is a famed bibliophile destination known for its maze of shelves and relaxing reading lounge. At least, until trouble blows in with a wintry whiteout. A man is found dead on the gondola, and a rockslide throws the town into lockdown—no one in, no one out.

The victim was a mysterious stranger who’d visited the bookshop. At the time, his only blunders had been disrupting a book club and leaving behind a first-edition Agatha Christie novel, written under a pseudonym. However, once revealed, the man’s identity shocks the town. Motives and secrets swirl like the snow, but when the police narrow in on the sisters’ close friends, the Christies have to act.

Although the only Agatha in their family tree is their cat, Ellie and Meg know a lot about mysteries and realize they must summon their inner Miss Marple to trek through a blizzard of clues before the killer turns the page to their final chapter.

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