A Novel Noel by Veronica Cline Barton
This book, the second in the Hygge & Bisous Holiday Mystery series by Veronica Cline Barton, is out today! I read the first book in the series (Christmas Bizarre, 2021) and enjoyed it immensely, so I have very much looked forward to the release of A Novel Noel.
Here’s the premise of the series: In the days leading up to Christmas, main character Rikkhe St. Claire gathers her family and closest friends for an evening of magical storytelling. Every person at the gathering in the posh Malibu setting gets a turn to tell a story, and at the end of the evening Rikkhe’s guests vote on their favorite. The stories are accompanied by libations specially chosen to complement each story.
The stories are fun and cozy, spooky and paranormal. They embody the concept of hygge, which is a Scandanavian “invention” that emphasizes serene contentment and cozy warmth, to grossly simplify it.
Rikkhe and her guests share five stories, each one an immersive experience wherein the reader is invited to sink deliciously into the magic of the telling. I found myself wishing for more after each story concluded. The mystery and enchantment of the Christmas season is explored in each story, whether it was a possible Krampus encounter, a spellbinding snow globe, a mirror desperate to share its secrets, a visit from Mister Kringle, or a little girl in Paris who helps three friends deepen their connections to each other through acts of kindness and love.
If I were sitting by that Malibu fire pit just before Christmas, would I be able to choose a favorite? I really don’t know. I do know this, though: I’m already looking forward to Book 3 in the Rikkhe St. Claire Hygge & Bisous Mystery series.
If you’d like to order your own ecopy (for 99¢!), click the cover above and you’ll be redirected to Amazon.
What I’m reading:
The Consequences of Murder by Michael Sinclair
Over Her Dead Body by Susan Walter