Whiskers, Wreaths & Murder A Dickens & Christie Mystery Book 3 by Kathy Manos Penn Genre: Cozy Mystery
If it were up to her, they’d be singing carols and baking cookies. Instead, they’re stockings-deep in a murder investigation…
Leta Parker is looking forward to her first holiday season in the Cotswolds. Prepping for the town’s tree-lighting ceremony, the village is enraged when the new American earl announces plans to develop his family’s estate into a resort. And when the brash successor is found dead in a ditch, it’s obvious this car crash was no accident.
Determined to unwrap the truth behind the tragedy, Leta enlists the help of the Little Old Ladies Detective Agency and her talking dog and cat. But with everyone in the charming hamlet a suspect, it’ll be tough to discover who’s not on Father Christmas’s naughty list.
Will Leta and friends deliver the gift of justice?
Whiskers, Wreaths & Murder is the third book in the delightful Dickens & Christie cozy mystery series. If you like clever senior women, deep friendships, and animals of the talking variety, then you’ll love Kathy Manos Penn’s yuletide whodunit.
Buy Whiskers, Wreaths & Murder for a holiday homicide today!
Excerpt fromWhiskers, Wreaths & Murder I’ve caught the Christmas spirit, I thought. The Christmas after Henry died, I’d barely managed to put out a few snow globes and candles, much less get a tree. I knew I’d still have some tearful moments, but I hoped today’s spurt of enthusiasm was a sign I was healing.
I’d been hesitating to pull out my boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations, worried I’d have a meltdown, but since I’d made it through tree shopping without tears, I decided to chance it. After all, I thought, even if I have a good cry, tonight’s party will cheer me up.
By the time I carried all the boxes from the garage to the sitting room, I was thinking I should have asked Peter or Gavin for help. What on earth was I thinking when I shipped all this? At least the containers were clearly labeled. In the summer, when I’d moved into my fairytale cottage and begun sorting boxes, it was apparent I’d swung back and forth from haphazard to highly organized when I was packing in Atlanta. Thank goodness the Christmas decorations were in the organized category.
Dickens and Christie watched as I opened the box of teddy bears and other animals, many of which I’d acquired pre-Henry. There was my treasured Richie Bear from the now-defunct Rich’s department store in Atlanta. He was a white bear with a red sweater and red knit cap. Two brown Lord & Taylor bears from different years were wearing knit scarves and hats. The Lord & Taylor locations in Atlanta had long since closed, and I still couldn’t believe the flagship store on Fifth Avenue had closed after over one hundred years in business.
Christie wandered over to climb into the box. “What’s with all the bears? I thought we had cats too . . . Wait, here’s one.” She’d found a black and white cat with a Santa hat. She sniffed everything as I pulled out several more cats, a moose, and a mouse. Each one made me smile and Christie purr. Dickens was more interested in lounging in front of the fire and content to watch from afar.
“You know, Christie, I have a picture of you as a kitten, curled up with the packages beneath the tree—after you’d chewed ribbons and clawed wrapping paper. You played so hard, you conked out.”
“I’ve learned better now. I prefer to play with the paper after you’ve unwrapped the packages. I still think the ornaments are fair game, though.”
“Yes, dear. That’s why I never place fragile ornaments on the lower branches where you can reach them.” Thank goodness, she confined her antics to the bottom of the tree. I’d had a kitten named Moocher, another black cat, who’d climbed up the trunk of the Christmas tree one year. I was lucky I’d been there and been able to reach in and grab him without breaking a single ornament or worse, toppling the tree.
I was saving the several boxes of ornaments until last, so I turned to the box labeled China. I knew it wasn’t china, but I hadn’t known what else to call the plethora of candle holders, decorative plates, and Christmas knickknacks I’d collected. I had a handblown glass tree with tiny glass balls hanging on the branches, a wooden sleigh, and several snow globes.
Christie meowed, “I remember the big snow globe, the one on the gold base that played music. That thing scared me to death.”
That got Dickens’s attention. “It only scared you after you knocked it to the floor and it burst into pieces! We didn’t see you for hours after the crash.”
Christie turned her nose up before she replied, “Excuse me, I believe it jumped off the shelf. I had nothing to do with it.” Jumped off the shelf? That’s a creative explanation. I looked around the sitting room and considered my collection. Garland, I need garland. I’d go out Sunday afternoon to get some, and then I could arrange candles and snowglobes in the greenery and hang the three Christmas stockings with the names Christie, Dickens, and Leta. There, I thought. I’ve made it through without tears. I’ll tackle the ornaments another day. Maybe I’ll just open the boxes and set them by the tree and leave it to my friends to pull them out one by one—all except the box of cat ornaments. I moved it to the office with the idea of decorating the cat tree on my own before the tree trimming party next week.
Pumpkins, Paws and Murder
A Dickens & Christie Mystery Book 2
The Fall Fête isn’t very festive when an illusionist is discovered dead. Can an expat and her talking pets crash the killer’s party?
Retirement in the Cotswolds has given Leta Parker a new lease on life. Growing close to her small-town pals, the former corporate trainer is thrilled to help them put on the village’s annual autumn celebration. But the punch goes sour when a friend’s estranged magician husband is found murdered.
With the newly widowed woman the prime suspect, Leta leaps into action with spunky friends and her talking dog and cat to clear her name. But when they trace the lecherous victim to England’s picturesque southern coast, they discover a long list of past lovers who’d be happy to see the sleight-of-wandering-hands womanizer permanently disappeared.
Can Leta expose the truth, or will this investigation be her final trick?
Pumpkins, Paws & Murder is the second book in the lighthearted Dickens & Christie cozy mystery series. If you like compelling characters, talkative four-legged friends, and journeys full of action and humor, then you’ll love Kathy Manos Penn’s playful tale.
Buy Pumpkins, Paws & Murder for a grand illusion of danger today!
Bells, Tails & Murder A Dickens & Christie Mystery Book 1
She crossed an ocean to start her life over. Can she nab a killer before her quaint village becomes a graveyard?
Recently widowed Leta Parker desperately needs a change of scenery. Pursuing her lifelong dream of retiring to the Cotswolds, she leaves her soulless corporate hustle in Atlanta and moves to England with her talking dog and cat companions—Dickens and Christie. But she’s barely begun making new friends when she stumbles across her housekeeper’s body …
With several villagers pegged for the crime, Leta teams up with a retired English teacher and her sharp-as-a-tack octogenarian mother to track the killer before the trail goes cold. As the not-so-friendly local policewoman elbows them out and scandalous rumors plague the tight-knit community, it’s left to the ladies and their pets to sleuth for the truth.
Can Leta, Dickens, and Christie sniff out the culprit before the cute little town loses more than its charm?
Bells, Tails & Murder is the delightful first book in the Dickens & Christie cozy mystery series. If you like spunky literary women, amusing animal sidekicks, and inviting cultural backdrops, then you’ll love Kathy Manos Penn’s engaging page-turner.
Buy Bells, Tails & Murder to see the fur fly today!
A Dickens & Christie Mystery Box Set
Books I, II & III
If you like clever senior women, deep friendships, and amusing animal sidekicks, you’ll love this cozy mystery series.
When tragedy rocks her world, Leta Parker hops across the pond to mend her soul. Will a murder in her tranquil hamlet upend her plans . . . or can she catch the killer and still be home for tea?
Dive into the first three books in the delightful Dickens & Christie mystery series. Do you like compelling characters, cultural backdrops, and talkative four-legged friends? Then you won’t want to miss these clever whodunits.
Picture me sitting serenely at my desk surrounded by my four-legged office assistants. The dog warms my feet, and the cat provides the purr-fict background music. I sip hot tea, sift through handwritten notes, and place fingers on the keyboard as thoughts take shape. Such is the joy of writing.
As a child, I took a book everywhere—to family dinners, to doctor’s offices, and of course to bed. Years later, a newspaper article inspired me to put pen to paper and submit my thoughts—my words—to the editor. Before I knew it, I was writing weekly columns and blogs. Then came a book co-written with my dog. (What? Doesn’t everyone do that?)
Now I’m living a dream I never knew I had—writing cozy animal mysteries featuring a dog and cat who talk to their owner. If a dog can write a book, surely animals can communicate. Naturally, my office assistants help with the dialogue. And, yes, they are angling to be listed as co-authors.
By the way, if you can’t find me, I’m traveling in the UK doing research for my next mystery—don’t judge.