Holly, jolly, and downright deadly—the third Santa Fe Café mystery unwraps surprises both naughty and nice... It’s the most picturesque time of the year in Santa Fe, and Chef Rita Lafitte of Tres Amigas Café hopes the twinkling lights and tasty holiday treats will charm her visiting mom. Rita is also planning fun activities, such as watching her teenage daughter, Celia, perform in an outdoor Christmas play.
What she doesn’t plan for is murder.
Rita discovers a dead actor during the premier performance but vows to keep clear of the case. Sleuthing would upset her mom. Besides, there’s already a prime suspect, caught red-handed in his bloodied Santa suit. However, when the accused Santa’s wife begs for assistance—and points out that Celia and other performers could be in danger—Rita can’t say no. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother’s vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal.
Published by: Avon
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Number of Pages: 352
Source: Tour Promoter
Four stars: A delightful holiday tale that delivers a solid mystery with plenty of Southwestern holiday cheer.
Rita is hoping to pull off a cozy, Southwestern Christmas, but hosting her mother might make it difficult. Rita's mother is all about the traditional Christmas so asking her to embrace chili peppers, outdoor plays with devils and all things celebrated in Santa Fe might be a steep order. To make matters worse, the night Rita's daughter debuts as one of the devils in the town's Christmas play, one of the performers is murdered. Rita along with Flori, can't help but to do a little snooping and sleuthing, especially since the murder hit a little too close to home. Will the murder and mayhem ruin the holiday season?
What I Liked:
- Feliz Navidead was another fun edition to the Santa Fe Cafe Mysteries series. I love the setting for this series, the quirky characters and all the delicious New Mexican cuisine. This book had me wanting to pack my bags and head to Santa Fe to check out the holiday festivities for myself.
- The mystery in this one is solid. I liked that the murder mystery wasn't easy to solve. There are plenty of suspects, several motives and lots of red herrings. I had my suspicions, but when the killer was unmasked, I was wrong.
- I love the quirky, funny characters in this series. Flori, the owner of Tres Amigas, is in her eighties, but she is feisty and active, and hilarious. In this book, Flori is one of the lead members of a knitting circle, except this isn't your ordinary old lady knitting circle. These ladies participate in fly by night graffiti knitting. Basically, they head out under the cover of darkness and knit things for statues and landmarks. They even have code names and knitted masks that double as ordinary knitted hats. Adele is also entertaining with her desire to be just like her idol, Adele. Rita, the main character, is more down to earth but easy to like. I also enjoyed the addition of a muffin munching donkey and his sidekick goat named Sidekick. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment with this bunch.
- What I love most about this series is the setting. I have never been to Santa Fe, but after reading this series, I want to go there. The author does a wonderful job in transporting the reader to this remarkable, Spanish influenced city with its adobe houses, colorful mosaics, unique traditions and delicious cuisine. This time around, it is Christmas time in Santa Fe, and I loved learning about the unique traditions during the holiday season in this wonderful city.
- A cozy mystery wouldn't be a cozy without the cozy. You get plenty of cozy with this one, especially when it comes to food. This series is all about the Southwestern cuisine: chili peppers and spice. Even the chocolate pie has heat in it. I wish I could sample all the delicious food in the book, but the author does the next best thing, she provides recipes. This one has recipes for several Santa Fe dishes. Yum!
- There is a romance in this series, and I appreciate that it is without drama and angst and no love triangles. Just a simple, straightforward romance! Yeah!
- The ending wraps up the majority of the threads in the book. No cliffhangers or nagging questions. The killer is unmasked, the mystery is solved for now.
And The Not So Much:
- I was a bit disappointed that more time wasn't spent in the cafe. I love hanging out in the Tres Amigas Cafe with all of its spicy dishes.
- The big unmasking culminates with one of those ridiculous scenes where the killer reveals all of his motives and such to Rita. It felt a bit like a Scooby Doo reveal to me.
- While the police aren't complete bumbling idiots, they still don't seem competent to me. I always struggle a bit when an amateur sleuth solves the murder.
Feliz Navidead was a fun, cozy holiday read with a solid murder mystery and plenty of spicy, holiday cheer. I loved the setting and the Christmas charm, and I couldn't get enough of the Santa Fe cuisine. This is a simple, fun read perfect for when you want something to cozy up with on a winter afternoon.
I received a copy of this book from a tour promoter in exchange or an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
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More About Ann:
Ann Myers writes the Santa Fe Café Mysteries. The first book in the series, Bread of the Dead (2015), introduced café chef and reluctant amateur sleuth, Rita Lafitte. Rita and her friends stir up more trouble in Cinco de Mayhem (March 2016) and Feliz Navidead (October 25, 2016). Ann lives with her husband and extra-large house cat in southern Colorado, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, and cozy mysteries.
Check out the rest of the tour:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Ann Myers and HarperCollins. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) set of CINCO DE MAYHEM and BREAD OF THE DEAD by Ann Myers. The giveaway begins on Noveber 18th and runs through January 3rd, 2016.
Don't miss the other books in this series: