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Murder on Mistletoe Lane

Book five in Clara McKenna's Stella and Lyndy Mysteries is a holiday treat!

In December 1905, Stella, a wealthy American who married into the British aristocracy, and her husband, Viscount "Lyndy" Lyndhurst, are set to celebrate their first Christmas together. Stella is excited for an English country Christmas and to introduce her new family to American holiday foods like pecan pie. But it's not all merriment as Stella notices that some of her belongings are missing, and then strange notes are left for her. The housekeeper is found dead under suspicious circumstances, and it's not the only suspicious death Stella and Lyndy will encounter before the new year!

Book five in this well-written series is delightful and charming! I was excited to read this and particularly enjoyed the Edwardian Christmas festivities- the group tree trimming, the caroling, the Boxing Day race, and the moment the ones who were brave enough tried pecan pie!

The sense of place is fantastic, and whenever I read these books, I pick up PBS period mystery vibes. Because Stella is a fish out of water, we mostly experience Edwardian England through her eyes, and McKenna includes lots of period detail.

The characters are well-developed and become more so with each book in the series. Stella is spirited, kind, intelligent, loves horses, and has even started a charity horse rehabilitation farm. Lyndy adores her, and rightly so! The secondary characters are vividly depicted, as well. With a large manor house full of guests and staff, there were several characters/suspects, but each had a distinct personality.

The mystery was skillfully woven into the festivities with several red herrings, a few twists, and scandalous secrets! If you enjoy historical and cozy mysteries, add this engaging series to your tbr!

Thank you to Clara McKenna for my signed ARC and bookmark! I loved it!

My steep was Winter Jubilee from Beach House Teas and was part of my October Amoda tea box! A black tea with cranberry, ginger, and apple!


American heiress Stella Kendrick and her husband, British aristocrat Viscount "Lyndy" Lyndhurst, prepare to celebrate their first Christmas together as newlyweds in Clara McKenna's latest historical mystery set in England's New Forest region at the turn of the 20th century…

Taking on the responsibilities that come with being Lady Lyndhurst, Stella is eager to embrace yuletide traditions in the Edwardian English countryside and use her strong social influence for good. Her world becomes so consumed with starting a horse farm charity for the holidays that she barely notices the usual oddities attached to her upper-crust lifestyle. At least, not until items vanish from her bedroom and maligned housekeeper, Mrs. Nelson, becomes seriously ill—only to be found dead in the cold on Mistletoe Lane . . .

Cheery spirits are dashed following the sudden death, especially once Stella questions whether her own staff knows what—or who—killed the woman. Her suspicions mount when another person dies under strange circumstances during New Forest's annual Point‑to‑Point Boxing Day race. Then there's the case of Morrington Hall becoming plagued by false identities, secret affairs, and disgruntled employees . . .

Now, with two murders unfolding before their eyes in late December, Stella and Lyndy realize they can't fully trust anyone except for themselves while investigating. Because as disturbing answers come into focus, identifying the criminal responsible and surviving into the new year would be the greatest gift of the season . . .

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