Cover Image: Christmas, Cabernet, and Chaos

Christmas, Cabernet, and Chaos

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Member Reviews

This cozy mystery is the second in a series by Wendy Day. It features two widows, Sally and Pearl, who live together and are prone to adventure.

First of all, kudos to the author for writing about women who are older than the usual main characters and for showing that older people can still experience romance.

This is one of those comedic, wacky capers mysteries. Pearl and Sally find themselves frequently caught up in unusual circumstances and are usually in over their heads.

In this book, Sally is deeply disappointed that, for the first time, none of her grown children will be spending Christmas with her. But she and Pearl decide to visit Mike, a friend they met in book one of the series.

Mike lives in a charming cabin in a postcard-perfect small town in Oregon. There is snow and decorations and reindeer to feed. He arranges for the women to enjoy traditional activities, such as cutting down and then decorating a Christmas tree. The ladies also join a cooking competition and help decorate a float for the town Christmas parade. Also, Mike seems to be a bit sweet on Sally.

When a murder occurs in the town, Pearl and Sally feel called to investigate. Apparently they have some experience as sleuths (see book one of the series). Hijinks ensue, but their investigation of course puts them in danger.

I did not like all the humor, such as fart jokes. And Pearl’s manner of speaking, full of “aints” and dropping the g at the end of all the “ing” verbs (examples: doin’, gettin’, lovin’) irritated me.

This was not the magical holiday book I had hoped for, but readers of cozies should enjoy it. ⭐️⭐️1/2, available now.

My thanks to the author, Wendy Day, to the publisher, Open Sky Publishing, and to NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book.

#ChristmasCabernetAndChaos #OpenSkyPublishing #netgalley

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what a fun and delicious read!! this was amazing and wonderful and i'm so thankful to netgalley for letting me read this one early! what a blessing! i love reading!!!!

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This was a nice, quick read. It did kind of got hiring in parts but overall it was an okay read. The charectors were kind of forgettable for me but it was a nice time and was just fine.

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What a great second addition to these two lovely characters. It was Christmasy, warm, funny, and overall fantastic.

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"Christmas, Cabernet, and Chaos" by Wendy Day is a heartwarming holiday tale that is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. The book follows Sally and Pearl, two senior sleuths, as they navigate their way through a small town famous for its Christmas magic. After Sally's holiday plans fall apart, she drags her grumpy best friend to McKenzie Bridge, where they soon find themselves embroiled in a series of holiday mishaps, including a cookie bake-off, a missing child search, and a poisoned raccoon mystery.

Despite its lack of mystery, the book is a light and enjoyable read that is perfect for the holiday season. The characters are likable, especially Pearl, who is funny and grumpy, and the town of McKenzie Bridge is full of Christmas cheer. The book has a charming holiday romance and is reminiscent of a Hallmark movie, complete with a Christmas miracle. While the mystery aspect may be a little lackluster, the book is still a delightful read that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. If you're looking for a cozy holiday read, "Christmas, Cabernet, and Chaos" is a great choice.

I'm beyond excited to have received this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

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Sally and Pearl are older women who are widows, roommate's, and best friends. After learning her adult kids won't be home for Christmas. Sally gets an invite from her police crush Mike, who is chief of police in McKenzie Bridge, a town full of Christmas magic. Sally loves Christmas so she convinces her grumpy Friend Pearl to accompany her on the trip. When a local woman claims someone is trying to kill her, the police won't take her seriously, as she is known for her constant complaints. Sally and Pearl put on their sleuthing hats to find the culprit. I wish there was a little backstory as this was the first book I've read in the series. Nevertheless, this was a fun lighthearted cozy, perfect for the holiday season.

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I loved the cover and description however it was really hard to get through. It felt as the story was all over the place and hard to follow. I was so excited at the concept but it fell short for me.

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This is the second book in the Sally and Pearl adventures. In this book we are transported to a picturesque Christmas Village called McKenzie Bridge. The town itself seems to encapsulate all the beautiful Christmas traditions, and I enjoyed the location which is based on a real place. Sally and Pearl find themselves in the middle of another mystery, being called upon to help solve who is trying to hurt one of McKenzie Bridge's prominent citizen. Hijinx definitely ensure between these two characters. I found this book to be a little less fun than the original Sally and Pearl adventure. I felt there was a bit too much fluff in the book with less focus on the plot line. The mystery was certainly easy to discover and it just didn't get a hold of me as much as the first one. I wanted to like it because I love Christmas books and i did think the first Sally and Pearl adventure was fun, I just think this one fell certainly flat for me. We got more characterization of Pearl, but I felt Sally seemed too stuffy in this book. I do look forward to reading more of their adventures however.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions in this review are my own.

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I didn't realize there was a sequel book when I requested to read this. That’s my bad for not doing more research, just the cover looked fun and perfect for December. But, I should have read the first book. There’s a good amount of backstory I feel like I’m missing. I know Pearl was probably supposed to be the funny, comedic character of the book, but she had too many little sayings and just wasn't my cup of tea. I did really like Sally & Pearl’s friendship. They are a true Ride or Die and friendships are hard to come by. Overall, it just fell flat & I should have read the first book.

SYNOPSIS: Sally and BFF Pearl are left alone for Christmas after Sally’s kids are going other places. So, they decide to visit friend Mike Cunningham, in McKenzie Bridge, a town known for it’s Christmas magic. Sally loves Christmas and thinks this will keep her mind away from missing her children this holiday. But, the town gossip thinks someone’s trying#to kill her and Sally is the only one who believes her. Now, Sally & Pearl are out to prove it.

Thank you to @NetGalley and Open Sky Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I was a little thrown that this book was a part of a wider series. You don’t necessarily have to read the other books to enjoy this one, but a few other references make more sense.

With that being said, I didn’t really enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. The book felt like it should be a British tv show rather than a holiday novel.

I haven’t read a lot of books that also feature main characters that are of a much older generation than me, and I’m feeling a little ashamed because that factor also drew me away from the book as well. I didn’t resonate with the characters and I just found I was bored

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I loved Sally and Pearl!! It was light, funny, such a great read for the holidays. I would read more with Sally and Pearl all day long.
I just reviewed Christmas, Cabernet, and Chaos by Wendy Day. #NetGalley
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I picked Christmas, Cabernet, and Chaos because I was looking for something light and fun to read over the holidays and I loved the cover. The story is set in the charming mountain village of McKenzie Bridge, which happens to be a real place. I love that we learn about the town, the Christmas traditions there and the colorful community. When their Christmas plans don;t go exactly as planned two friends receive a welcome invitation from the town's sheriff to spend the holiday in the mountain. What follows is a story filled with fun, some mystery, a baking contests, a dash of romance and family time.

Christmas, Cabernet and Chaos was a quick and fun read, but I didn't relate to the main charactes as much as I wished I did. I am a big fan of The Golden Girls, so I was expected to love this but did not quite get there. Sally came off rather insensitive, quite stubborn and shelfish, throwing a temper tentrum that would make a two year old blush over the fact her grown children and their families may not be able to make it for Christmas. Keep in mind there is a storm, flights are cancelled, the town is on lock down because of said storm, so no one can come in or get out and still she is insisting that they come on the day of. Celebrating a day or two, or even a week later is not an option. Why??? As a mother I find this a tad disturbing and doesn't make sense. Life happens and I would rather my kids are safe. As for her best friend Pearl, I just found her language quite vulgur and confusing.

I also felt that there was just too much going on and I wasn't sure where the story was going or what it was. For it being a cozy mystery, the mystery didn't start until 65% of the book, was solved by 80% and then we had disappearing children and a few chapters on a family dinner. There were just too many details that did not move the story forward and a lot of showing vs telling.

It was a sweet novel but it's 2.5 stars for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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I received a reviewer copy of Christmas, Cabernet, and Chaos by Wendy Day from the publisher Open Sky Publishing from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What It’s About: When Sally finds out her kids can't make it to Christmas, she is devastated so when her friend/crush Mike invites her to his new town McKenzie Bridge, which also is famous for being the Christmas town of the USA, she grabs her grumpy best friend Pearl and off they go! However, when a local woman claims someone is trying to kill her and the police won't take her seriously, Pearl and Sally are on the case.

What I Loved: This is the second in a series so some stuff likely went over my head, but I think that it is not distracting to reading experience. I loved the concept of these two old ladies and following their Christmas journey. It was fun and a really nice escape, it had humor and was fun. I loved having our older protagonists and going to the mountains of Oregon over Christmas. It was a fun Christmas book, it read like a holiday movie.

What I didn’t like so much: Sometimes I got annoyed by Sally's negative attitude (I know she's not the grump, but her complaining just irritated me). At sometimes it felt like this book was a bit random and followed random storylines. I was expecting a mystery but this book was largely not about that storyline so it got a bit frustrating.

Who Should Read It: People who love elderly women acting as detectives. People who like atmospheric Christmas books.

Summary: Two elderly sleuths save the day!

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Elegí este libro porque la portada me evocó unas Navidades divertidas y diferentes.

Diferentes han sido, puesto que Sally y Pearl viajan a un pueblo dedicado a la Navidad y viven una pequeña aventura en la que hay: intento de asesinato, colapso de su hotel y nevada monumental que las deja apartadas del mundo.

Lo que no encontré, para mi decepción, fue la diversión. La novela me ha parecido un tanto lenta y repetitiva y con demasiadas cosas inconexas.

Como espíritu navideño un 10, como novela no tanto.

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Wendy Day’s Christmas, Cabernet, and Chaos is an okay heartwarming cozy that would have been excellent if it decided exactly what it wanted to be. I enjoyed the beautiful Christmas setting as well as the descriptive writing. However, this book is all over the place and sadly doesn’t deliver on any of its genres.

When her adult children can’t make it to her Christmas celebrations, Sally is devastated. It’s a Christmas miracle when her friend and crush Police Chief Mike invites her to visit him in the small town of McKenzie Bridge which is famous for its natural charm and Christmas magic. A Christmas fanatic, Sally instantly drags her grumpy best friend Pearl with her for the adventure! Once in McKenzie Bridge, the women get swept up in a series of events: there’s a baking competition, they sympathize with a little girl caught between her fighting parents, Sally’s budding romance with Mike, a sudden snowstorm, and, of course, a little mystery. Someone is trying to kill dour town busybody Birdie Grassley. With Mike not taking the threat seriously, it’s up to Sally and Pearl to save the day!

I was expecting this book to be a fun cozy Christmas mystery but I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong: it’s an entertaining and sweet book that is bursting at the seams with Christmas cheer, complete with many Christmas miracles and a happy ending wrapped up in a perfect bow. However, while there are a lot of events, they aren’t that interesting and they do not really come together to form a cohesive plot. The events in this book would have worked better as a series of short stories. I really would have liked less of Pearl’s understandable but sometimes overbearing and pushy interactions with Noël, the poor little girl who wants to enjoy a vacation with her parents despite their constant fighting. I also got tired of Sally’s whining over her adult children somehow not managing to conquer a snowstorm to spend Christmas with her.

Furthermore, this book is advertised as a mystery but it is definitely not. There is a small, forgettable, and uneventful mystery with someone trying to kill Birdie in true Christmas fashion via a poisoned fruitcake and a runaway reindeer among other things. Trust me, it sounds more exciting than it actually is. The culprit is glaringly obvious, Sally and Pearl barely do any sleuthing in between their other Christmas activities, and the mysterious events come and go with little fanfare before it even really starts.

While the book does have a lot of disappointments, I still liked some aspects. I love the beautiful and cheerful setting of McKenzie Bridge! Day creates a wonderfully cozy small-town setting and a perfect Christmas atmosphere. I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie the entire time. I also love Day’s mature and descriptive writing and I wish the plot was stronger to reflect her writing skills. The main characters are well-written and likable. I love Sally and Pearl’s friendship. I wish we had gotten more of their sleuthing shenanigans because they work well as a team and clearly love and support each other. Pearl is hilarious and sassy while Sally’s kindness and determination to help others is admirable. I also think that the sweet romance between Sally and Mike works naturally and is nicely done.

🎄🎄 ½ out of 5 Christmas trees!

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What do you do when you are on Christmas holidays? You read Christmas books. And this one was a gem. Short sweet and to the point, it is funny but without much substance yet it is also entertaining. So it is a nice read but I did find it a bit slow in parts but I got through those parts and enjoyed the rest.

Fun characters, a fun setting and I must say I love a Christmas themed book.

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Sadly I did not realise this was the second book in a series until I started reading it. But I do think the author did great at recapping what happened in the first book.

Best friends Sally and Pearl visits a friend living in a small town after Sally's learns that her kids wont be coming home for Christmas. They soon find themselves trying to solve the mystery of who is trying to kill one of the local woman.

This is a fun and funny read with some romance sprinkled in. There was also some heartwarming moments.

I give it 3 stars ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to NetGalley and Open Sky Publishing for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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After Sally’s children tell her that they won’t be home for Christmas - her favourite holiday - she decides to drag her best friend Pearl to McKenzie Bridge, the Christmas capital of America. It also happens to be where Mike, the handsome police chief who the duo met in Mexico whilst solving a crime, lives. It seems that crime follows Sally and Pearl around, and their next investigation is around a local resident who claims someone is trying to kill her.

This was a cute story to read in the lead up to Christmas, full of Christmas events. I felt that the crime part of the book occurred quite late so there wasn’t a lot to the story, but nevertheless the duo were entertaining and it was very Christmassy.

Thanks to @netgalley for the review copy.

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I didn’t realize this was part of a series before I requested and started reading it. I think it would have been better if I had read in order, but I still found this book to be fun. Perfect for this time of year too!

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I was seeking out Christmas books as they are very popular in our library for the month of December, but unfortunately this one didn't blow me away. I'm personally not a romance/holiday reader, but I don't think this would be a winner with our readership.

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