Title: Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas
Series: Kitchen Witch Mystery
By: Lynn Cahoon
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Mia Malone is planning a holiday party to promote her catering and cooking school business—but she’s got a Christmas spirit to deal with first, in this new Kitchen Witch Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon . . .
For all its merriment, Christmas can also bring melancholy—and in Magic Springs, Idaho, Mia finds that the season has brought her an unhappy ghost who’s pulling poltergeist-style pranks to get her attention. When she demands an explanation, the ghost just sends a message: Ask Mary Alice—that is, Mia’s beloved Grans, who’s been training her to develop her witchy talents. If anyone can figure this out, it’s Grans . . . even if she still hasn’t managed to free Mia’s cat from a previous spell that she cast.
The restless spirit turns out to be Magic Spring’s most well-known ghost, Dorothy, who supposedly died peacefully in her sleep. Now Dorothy claims she was murdered, and she wants her killer brought to justice. And she doesn’t have much patience about it, so the pressure is on Mia—with some help from her boyfriend, Trent, and a strangely secretive Grans. There aren’t many dicing-and-chopping days till Christmas—but this year, the most important gift Mia can give is to cheer up this troubled spirit . . . (Goodreads)
Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas by Lynn Cahoon is the newest novella in the Kitchen Witch Mystery series. Not a huge fan of short reads (novellas) as I usually feel like I need a bit more background on the characters than I usually get – I have been enjoying a few novella’s written by Ms. Cahoon and Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas is no exception.
The story revolves around Mia planning a party during the holidays to promote her new catering and cooking school business and an unhappy well-known Magic Spring’s ghost – Dorothy. Seems Dorothy is not too happy about the circumstances of her demise. Everyone thought it was a result of natural causes in her sleep – but according to Dorothy it was murder!
I found the writing style easy to read. As well, the humour certainly added to my enjoyment. For example, the following comment from Trent to Mia had me chuckling when he was commenting on her decorating style:
“So you’re going for the whole ‘Christmas threw up in here’ vibe.”
There was some depth in the lengths that Mia had to go to really get to know Dorothy – digging into finances and birth records, which had to come in between preparing for the holidays and the party she was throwing. Additionally, there was the connection between the ghost and Grans that was revealed. Definitely added some intrigue.
While not the novella I had hoped it would be (I have enjoyed other novellas by Ms. Cahoon more) – all in all – an enjoyable, quick read to start off the holiday season of Christmas-based cozies. And I certainly look forward to reading more by Ms. Cahoon.