Title: Christmas Cow Bells
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Page Count: 336
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
The first novel in Mollie Cox Bryan’s brand new mystery series, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will keep you guessing until the cows come home . . .
Christmas is a time for new beginnings, so after her big breakup, Brynn MacAlister takes the gouda with the bad. With her three Red Devon cows, she settles in bucolic Shenandoah Springs, eager for a new life as an organic micro-dairy farmer and cheese-maker. Then her dear cow Petunia’s bellows set the whole town on edge. But it isn’t until Brynn’s neighbor, Nancy, dies in a mysterious fire that her feelings about small town life begin to curdle . . .
It seems some folks were not happy with Nancy’s plan to renovate the Old Glebe Church. But is a fear of change a motivation for murder? As a newcomer, Brynn can’t ignore the strange events happening just on the other side of her frosty pasture—and soon on her very own farm. Suddenly Christmas doesn’t feel so festive as everyone demands she muzzle sweet Petunia, and Brynn is wondering if someone wants to silence her—for good . . .
Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan is the first book in the brand new cozy A Buttermilk Creek Mystery series. As with most cozy mystery series the murder mystery within will be fully solved within the book so they can be read as a standalone but for those that continue the character development carries over book to book.
Brynn MacAlister had just gone through a break up so she packed up and headed to Shenandoah Springs in the Blue Ridge Mountains to begin her whole new single life. Brynn was settling into her new home along with her three dairy cows that she treats just like her family as they help her in her new business as a organic micro-dairy farmer and cheese-maker.
Brynn had slowly been making friends in her new home including her neighbor, Nancy. Unfortunately though one night a horrendous fire breaks out at the neighbor’s which traps Nancy inside. Help arrives and rushes Nancy to the hospital but her injuries were too severe. After the fire Brynn feels certain that what happened to her friend was much more than an accident as she feels it had to be murder.
Christmas Cow Bells was a lovely opener to this new cozy mystery series where even the cows had their own personalities. Set in a small town it certainly had that cozy vibe as our main character did her digging uncovering suspect after suspect. Will certainly be interested in joining Brynn on her cheesemaking and murder solving adventures again.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozy mysteries with edge and romances with slow, sweet burn. The first book in her Cora Crafts Mystery series, Death Among the Doilies, was a “Fresh Fiction Not to Miss” selection and was a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier Award. The second book, No Charm Intended, was named a “Summer 2017 Top 10 Beach Read” by Woman’s World. She also wrote the Agatha-award nominated Cumberland Creek Mysteries. She makes her home at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, where she works as a researcher and fact checker and writes in the early morning hours. Visit her and sign up for her newsletter at molliecoxbryan.com.