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The Christmas Appeal

Janice Hallett takes us back to Lower Lockwood for some holiday hijinks!

I loved The Appeal and was very excited to return to the Fairway Players for another production and accompanying murder investigation with The Christmas Appeal!

This time, the crew is putting on a pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk to raise funds for a new church roof when a dead body in a Santa suit ends up onstage. Young lawyers Femi and Charlotte must wade through emails, texts, and police transcripts detailing petty rivalries, snark, ordeals, and general chaos to see if they can identify both the victim and the killer.

Hallett is a fantastic writer and so clever in the way she puts together her epistolary novels! Her mysteries are always unique, entertaining puzzles to piece together. And her characters are so well done that they feel like real people caught in the middle of (or creating) these shenanigans. I was engaged and laughing the whole way through! Being a novella, this is a quick read and a fun and festive one to add to your holiday tbr! Love the charming, nostalgic cover!

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to review this ARC. I enjoyed it!

My steep was Candy Cane Craze by The Tea Spot. A caffeine-free rooibos with peppermint, white chocolate, cacao, and mini marshmallows, this tastes like a holiday dessert! This is one I'll be serving throughout the holidays!


This immersive holiday caper from the “modern Agatha Christie” (The Sunday Times, London) follows the hilarious Fairway Players theater group as they put on a Christmas play—and solve a murder that threatens their production.

The Christmas season has arrived in Lower Lockwood, and the Fairway Players are busy rehearsing their festive holiday production of Jack and the Beanstalk to raise money for a new church roof. But despite the season, goodwill is distinctly lacking among the amateur theater enthusiasts with petty rivalries, a possibly asbestos-filled beanstalk, and some perennially absent players behind the scenes.

Of course, there’s also the matter of the dead body onstage. Who could possibly have had the victim on their naughty list? Join lawyers Femi and Charlotte as they investigate Christmas letters, examine emails, and pore over police transcripts to identify both the victim and killer before the curtain closes on their holiday production—for good.

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