Reading Round-Up: December Edition

It’s almost 2021! This is my last reading round-up for 2020, and pretty soon this year will be just a memory. Though 2020 brought lots of changes and more than a few blessings to my family, I know that’s not the case for millions of people all over the world.

Reading has always been a great escape, and my belief is that books have been more important than ever during the past nine tumultuous months. I hope you’ve enjoyed my reviews and that you’ve been inspired to read and review a few books of your own. I look forward to continuing my reviews in 2021 and I hope you’ll join me.


A Noël Killing (A Provençal Mystery Book 8) by [M. L. Longworth]

The first book I read this month was A Noël Killing by M.L. Longworth. I was looking for a Christmas mystery, and though I hadn’t read the first 7 books in the Provençal Mystery Series, I took a chance on this one. I enjoyed it. It’s a traditional mystery, as opposed to a cozy mystery or a thriller, and the setting in the south of France made it feel exotic. You can read my four-star review here.


The Getaway: A Magical Christmas Story by [Bibiana Krall]

Next up was The Getaway: A Short Read Christmas Romance by Bibiana Krall. If you know someone with a humbuggy heart this year, give them this book to read. If it doesn’t bring a smile to their face, nothing will. It’s a quick read (as the title suggests), it’s got everything I look for in a Christmas story, and it wraps up with a note from the author that makes the tale even more endearing. Read my review here.


Two books down, five to go in the Harry Potter series! Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was a great read, and my husband grabbed it up as soon as I finished it. There was really only one thing I didn’t understand in the story, and that was the presence of one particular character. But as I say in my very short review, that really didn’t matter, because the book was a treat to read. Why did I wait so long to start this series?? Read my review here.


Mistletoe and Mayhem: Yuletide at Castlewood Manor by [Veronica Cline Barton]

Mistletoe and Mayhem: Yuletide at Castlewood Manor, Book 4 in the My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series by Veronica Cline Barton, was a fun Christmas read that I devoured in a few hours. If you are a royal watcher and you like cozy mysteries, this is one for you. Read my review here.


The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding: A Hercule Poirot Short Story (Hercule Poirot Series Book 33) by [Agatha Christie]

It seems there are two versions of Agatha Christie’s Christmas short story The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, a shorter one and a longer one, and I have to say I don’t know which one I read. Whichever one it was, it was throroughly enjoyable. I love a good Hercule Poirot mystery, and this one was fun. Poirot is hired to (discreetly, as always) spend Christmas at an English manor house where he hopes to recover a ruby that was stolen from a prince who had placed himself in a, ahem, compromising situation. What ensues is a mystery that is finally solved after a key clue is found in the Christmas pudding. Read my review here.


Menace at the Christmas Market: An English Village Murder Mystery (Murder on Location Book 5) by [Sara Rosett]

Menace at the Christmas Market by Sara Rosett was a great short mystery. Though it’s not the first book in the Murder on Location series, I found that it was easy to follow. I was brought up to speed instantly with the main character and her job as a location scout in England for a Jane Austen documentary series (I want that job!) and her relationship with Alex, another recurring character in the series. This is a quick read that has all the satisfying elements of a longer novel—murder, red herrings, and a great setting. Highly recommend! Read my review here.


A LITTLE TASTE OF MURDER: A Brightwater Bay Cozy Mystery (book 1) (Brightwater Bay Cozy Mysteries) by [Carolyn L. Dean]

This was the 60th book I read this year, and my goal was to read 59 books. So…mission accomplished! And bonus—it was a great book AND the first in a series! A Little Taste of Murder by Carolyn L. Dean was an intriguing Christmas mystery with a gorgeous setting (the Pacific Northwest), wonderful and well-drawn characters, and some engaging red herrings. I didn’t figure out whodunit, and I love that in a mystery. Read my review here and put this on your TBR list if you love a good cozy!

That’s all, folks! Happy New Year!

Until next time,


22 thoughts on “Reading Round-Up: December Edition”

  1. These all sound like so much fun I want to read every one! I just ordered book #1 in the Veronica Cline Barton series, because I might as well start the series – they all sound fun. I’m jealous of you reading the Harry Potter books. I read them years ago and enjoyed each one so much, although the books in the series became darker as the characters grew older. Will be interesting to see what you think as you move along with Harry and his friends.


    1. Isn’t it funny how you can be envious of someone reading a really good book for the first time? I’m jealous of anyone who experiences Jane Austen for the first time. Just from watching trailers for the Harry Potter movies, I figured the books would get gradually darker. I’m excited to see what comes next for Harry!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, James! I enjoyed the story by Carolyn Dean, and next on my radar (in addition to the Brightwater Bay series) is her Ravenwood Cove series. It gets great reviews and looks like something I would enjoy. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a great read, Robbie. Short stories are great for me to read during the holidays because I’m so busy with other things, and this one didn’t disappoint. Happy New Year to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I would rather read than do just about anything else to unwind, especially in the evenings. I prefer it to tv and movies. The only thing that could make me put aside a book at night would be to play a game with the family. Happy New Year, Marja!


  2. Congratulations, Amy! It’s satisfying when you reach a goal for the year. Perhaps we need to add the addendum—in the event of a pandemic…


    1. Thanks, Pete. I was very happy to reach my goal. I look forward to adding a couple books to next year’s goal, plus I’d like to do the AZ Challenge, where I read books containing A in the author’s name or title, then B, and so on through Z. Fingers crossed that I can stay on top of it!

      Happy New Year!


  3. Some great books here! I don´t know which character you mean in the Harry Potter book but I think all will be revealed. Loved those books. Happy reading in 2021!


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