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Book Review: Santa's Countdown to Christmas, 24 Days of Stories by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau

Santa's Countdown to Christmas by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau was published on October 2, 2017 and is a book format of an advent calendar.  Told from the perspective of Santa Claus, the storyline chronicles what Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and the reindeer do in preparation of Christmas on each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Crackboom! Books for giving me a copy of Santa's Countdown to Christmas in exchange for my honest review.  I was thrilled to be approved to read this book because I love Christmas and am a kid at heart. This picture book was well written and engaging.  The illustrations were phenomenal as well.  I even enjoyed reading it as an adult.  I wish I had kids of my own so I could buy it for them, but I guess I'll have to settle for buying it for family members and friends who have kids that believe in Santa Claus.  I'd recommend this book for babies through eight years old.  Reading

Book Review: Back to School Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #4) by Leslie Meier

book review back to school murder leslie meier

Back to School Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #4) by Leslie Meier opens with Lucy Stone temping at the local newspaper office when she hears that a bomb threat has been called into the elementary school. When a teacher realizes one of the students is unaccounted for, the vice principal rushes back into the school to save him. However, she's found murdered a few days later. Who would want her dead?

What I loved about this particular edition in the Lucy Stone Mystery series is that there were a lot of red herrings. I felt sure that a specific character was the murdered for most of the story, but as Back to School Murder progressed, I changed my mind and ended up being completely wrong on everyone I suspected. Leslie Meier did a fabulous job with all the suspects and keeping me guessing.

One of the situations I found believable was that Lucy was feeling unappreciated and unattractive, and when she received a bit of attention from another man, she feel for it and felt bad about it afterwards. The reason I found this plausible is because marriages do go through their ups and downs. Another believable situation was the agenda that the Reverend wanted to implement religious teachings into the public school system, which is something I've seen happen in real life. The portrayal of the religious community in this book may offend some people though.

However, there were a few things that frustrated me about this particular book. The most notable thing that irked me was Lucy's husband Bill because he was written as extremely old fashioned. Bill didn't want Lucy working and wanted her home cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. He didn't seem to care that she loved working. Another thing that annoyed me was that when events from previous books were mentioned, there was an asterisk and a footnote mentioning which book it took place in . . . however, whoever was editing must of used "find and replace" because the same book was mentioned when the events took place in different books. 

Four out of five stars is the rating I gave Back to School Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #4) by Leslie Meier. If you enjoyed this book, you may enjoy Murder Buys A T-Shirt (A Haunted Souvenir Shop Mystery #1) by Christy Fifield.

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