A Corpse for Christmas
A Cass Peake Cozy Mystery
by Rena Leith
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 30 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2021
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 31 members
This is the first book I've read by this author and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Cass is a small business owner and in order to fatten up her bank account, she takes on extra work during the Christmas holidays. A series of mysterious deaths puts Cass and her family in the path of danger, and they must act quickly before they become another victim. #ACorpseforChristmas #NetGalley.
I live for cozy mysteries and this definitely fits the bill. It's a great, quick holiday read and I can't wait to read more from this author.
Christmas time is coming and Cass Peake takes on some extra work to make a little extra money at the college. What was supposed to be a quiet time on campus turns into a murder scene. When this puts Cass and her family in a precarious position, they decide to figure out what’s going on before they become part of the body count themselves. This is a new author for me and WOW. I am excited to have found her. Love cozies and love adding a new author to my must read list even more!
This was a bit of a mystery within the mystery. What do all those mystical symbols and names mean in the diary? Who knew taking an additional job over the Christmas holiday would be so deadly? At a small, scenic college, at that. Cass and her team of friends, family, and relatives set out to make a sort of virtual video to help the college promote itself to potential students. In the process, dead bodies keep popping up. As one suspect is singled out, Cass brings her some basic necessities. What secrets will the diary that is given to Cass on the sly by the suspect reveal? Hey, wait. Why is the diary being given to Cass in the first place? What is the long-kept secret of the Black Triangle Club? Will the video Cass' crew is shooting reveal anything? How good of an actor must one be to feign innocence? Who is the new professor the college found so quickly to take that job? Who is, or maybe was, Doris? Will Thor survive her curiosity? Will Cass' brother and sister-in-law live to regret visiting her for Christmas? I'm not telling. If you enjoy solving puzzles within puzzles, so to speak, and enjoy a good mystery, you'll want to read this book. This was a new series to me but worked nicely as a stand-alone. That said, I'm intrigued enough to be on the lookout for the previous two books and the next in the series. Thank you #NetGallery and #TheWildRosePressInc #BackLitPR for this intriguing mystery. It was an intriguing puzzle.
In Rena Leith's third book in her Case Peake Cozy Mystery series, A Corpse for Christmas, amateur sleuth Cass Peake has multiple dead bodies to deal with. No bodies on the beach by her cottage this time. I really liked reading about all the investigating Cass, her brother and sister-in-law do to help solve the mystery. Resident ghost Doris is also helpful in the investigation. Doris is quite a character. I am really enjoying this series and can't wait to see what happens next.
Cass and her film group go to make a video tour of campus during the holiday break. When members of a private club start dying she keeps finding the bodies. This club is holding a reunion, but someone doesn't want them to leave. Fun group of characters, but felt like I came in a bit late. I am guessing there are others in a series, but this is the first one I've read. Enjoyed it, but would probably like it more with more background on the characters, especially the ghost Doris. Would recommend.
Fast cozy read set at Christmas time. A good book to pass a rainy afternoon. Cass is working on her first real client for her new web business setting up a virtual tour of a local small, private college. She is determined to make the project a success but a bunch of dead bodies keep getting in the way of filming. With her neighbor and friend as a suspect, Cass is determined to solve the crime. I have not read the two prior books in this series so this was my first introduction to these characters. My favorite is Cass' resident ghost, Doris and her complete lack of social graces. I also love that she regularly inhabits Cass' cat Thor to go exploring. Her complaints about her various vessels' diets was the best part of the book. I wasn't too absorbed in the story as it didn't really require a lot of concentration, which is what I was looking for right now. If you're look for an easy read set at Christmas time, this is a good mystery.
3,5/5 stars This is the third book in an ongoing series, which wasn't mentioned in the description on the Netgalley page. I think if I had known, and had read the first two books, I might have enjoyed this more. As I however didn't know, I was thrown right into the middle of the story, and the characters were just random strangers who took a good while to catch my interests. As they are mostly already established, it felt like joining a party where you know no one at all, while everyone else is well acquainted. Once I got past that part, I did enjoy the tone and voice of the book, and was quickly absorbed. It's a quirky, fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously and just flows along nicely. The plot was a bit rough around the edges here and there, and I did reread some paragraphs and especially dialogue as I felt like I missed something, even if I did not. A few more pages and a little mor depth every here and there would definitely have helped to round up the experience. Plenty of food and festive activities along with murder, mystery and a wilful ghost kept me well entertained, and helped to awaken the Christmas feelings! So even if this wasn't a personal favourite, it was still a quick, fun and peculiar read, that is well worth a look.
This is the third book in the Cass Peake mystery series. I read the first one in the series, so I already knew most of the characters and the background. The author did a decent job weaving in back story so the reader would know what was going on – like who Doris is (a ghost). Cass takes on the job of doing a new video for a local college and hires some young people to help her out, but while filming, they stumble onto a murder…or three. Her cop boyfriend George doesn’t like her getting involved, but Cass can’t help herself. Oh, and it’s Christmas so her brother and his wife are there as well. There’s a lot going on in this book—sometimes so much that it gets a little confusing. And I was left with a lot of questions unanswered – like Thor – why was he so lethargic? And what happened to Doris? And such a big deal was made out of the diary, but it ended up not being important, so why the big deal? Still, I enjoy the stories about Cass and her live-in ghost Doris and their sleuthing. Recommendation: I suggest you pick up the first book in the series first so you understand better what’s going on in this one, then go ahead and pick them all up. Disclaimer: Disclosure of Material: I received a final and/or advanced reader copy of this book with the hope that I will leave my unbiased opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that… My Opinions. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
A Corpse for Christmas by Rena Leith is a cozy murder mystery involving a cast of characters from a couple of previous books. While they are explained, more details provided for back story would have been helpful for any readers who have not read the first two in the series, like me. I found the idea of the story intriguing, but I also got a bit bored at times. The story didn’t really flow well and some of the clues were odd. The protagonist takes on solving the crimes which evidently the police couldn’t handle. I found some of the actions unrealistic. With that being said, it is a cozy mystery and the main character is supposed to be heavily involved in solving the crime so readers who enjoy ghosts who take over cats and easy to read books will enjoy this one.
A Corpse for Christmas by Rena Leith was an interesting read, a bit sidetracked, and confusing at times. My review is based heavily off of my expectations versus what I read, so lets begin with my expectations. I expected a semi-light and seemless reading experience. I was not expecting a "cozy" christmas murder, and this was not exactly cute and "cozy", this was different. Lets get to the details. Characters: While I do not expect well developed characters and a detail oriented book, the characters were not described well at all. Marc was the only one that had any real detail, mostly about his height, with the exception of the resident ghost (Doris) who changes outfits on a whim. Doris was fun, but I did not feel her overall value to the story. While I understand her purpose, she mostly seemed like an unecesarry, yet entertaining character. A very personal gripe, was all the characters with names than began with M. Given that they were not well developed, they mostly all meshed together in the begining. There was a lot of throwinng out names without any real references to develope them as characters. I would have liked to know a little more about George, Mina, and even Gillian. They were probably the characters that were developed the most, but because I was provided so little, I wanted even more. Content: This story was interesting. At times I was curious if I was reading a food/baking mystery as opposed to a murder mystery. You know the ones... a new bakery opens and someone dies from a cupcake consumption; that is what I felt like I was reading at times. I couldn't tell if I was reading a food based story, a murder mystery, a family christmas story, or a website content developing company. Add in actual murders and a secret society. I felt like so much was crammed into one book, and a short book at that with minimal character development and no real difinitive information on the secret society. As a mood reader I skimmed over some of the cooking paragraphs and towards the end I even skimmed over the video content recording parts. In the beginning the content recording was a vital part of the story and I recognized the importance, but by the end it seemed like an excuse to get on campus and had no real value. The story felt a bit jumbled at times and almost as if Rena Leith had a word count quota to fill and some things were thrown in to accomodate that quota. Story Flow: As mentioned above, regarding characters. In the beginning some characters were introduced and then some other names were thrown in. The first few pages moved fast, albeit confusing to sort out the characters. As the story started to settle in a bit, things slowed down and I made mental notes of characters so that I could keep them straight. The story flowed smoothly through the initial content recordings and even through the first two suspected murders. Now I am always game for a pizza, but once recipes and food preparations started to be thrown in I began getting a little sidetracked. The protagonist became a bit of a self-proclaimed detective, which I understand the necessity, but her attempts were not realistic at all. Again, I was not expecting "A Corpse for Christmas" to be realistic, but atleast semi believable. When the characters gathered to decorate the home and eat after seeing dead bodies and a potential serial killer on campus I could not fathom obessessing about food and decorations. However, those lemon bars did sound delicious and even the Christmas dinner sounded like it smelled phenomenal. Recap: While many of my comments above are not particularly positive, I did enjoy parts of this story. I felt it could have flowed a little smoother at a steadier pace without all of the added content. I also wish there had been some more information on Doris' past, as well as some more information on the constant references to a prior murder on campus many years before this story took place. I really liked Mina as a character, and even George grew on me. Gillian and Jack made me laugh with their light banter and Jack;s inability to pick up cleaning supplies. The ending seemed short lived and wrapped up rather quickly. I appreciated the follow up details regarding the investigation, but there were a lot of unanswered questions. Doris was light and fun, but I wish she played a bigger role and I really wish we had more of her story. This was an ok-ish read for me, I kept going because I knew it was short, but I wasn't actively willing to pick it up every chance I had. I imagine Rena Leith will grow to be an awesome author and I look forward to that growth.
This ARC was provided to me via Kindle by The Wild Rose Press, Inc and #NetGalley for my honest opinion. Opinions expressed are completely my own. What a fun read! I look forward to more by this author.
Absolutely loved this book!! I really enjoyed the characters and the sweet story line!! I was up all night reading and couldn't put the book down! I highly recommend!!
I like Cass and her ghost Doris. They are likeable characters. Sometimes I was confused but I haven't read the previous books. Will go back and find them. A quick fun read. Thanks #netgalley and #TheWildRosePressInc for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
3rd book of a series, works as a standalone but might take a moment to work into the characters. Cass and her crew have been hired by the local university to update the video tour to attract new students. Since the school is on Christmas break, the team takes advantage of fewer people on campus to get footage. At the same time, a former secretive society is having their reunion on campus. All is fine until members are murdered and attacked and one of Cass's team members is accused of the murders. ARC via Net Galley. All opinions are my own.
3 stars. This is one of those books that is highly entertaining to read, but isn't mind blowing, which it doesn't have to be. I really enjoyed reading this book and snuggling up with a blanket and sipping hot coco. The plot is fairly standard, in my opinion, with a personal spin from the author. I simply have to say I don't have a ton to say apart from the fact that I enjoyed reading it and would pick up something else from this author.
A fun and ghostly cozy taking place in the SoCal region where the last thing you would ask for is a corpse, maybe a little snow, definitely not a corpse. Highly entertaining and not just because Doris the ghost if full of moxie and sass. This was my first time reading a Cass Peake Cozy, but it will not be my last. I am intrigued by the fact that people can see Doris, that she can inhabit small animals (namely Cass's cat), and by Cass' unusual and modern business. The story jumps right into the deep end with holiday havoc and the on campus reunion for the ultra-secretive group of thirteen. Plenty of suspects, at least 10 of them to begin with including campus security, my how we start looking at people differently when there is a murder to solve. I did feel that one little detail was not addressed with relation to two of the corpses but otherwise the story developed nicely and now I have a new recipe to try to make, if I can find myself a duck.
An entertaining short sleuth mystery at Christmas on the local University. Two death on campus could freak people out in holiday time. Cass and her family, friend, live-in ghost Doris, and big black cat Thor want to help find the murderer. This was a good read but, I was hoping there would be more about the ghost and Thor, this wasn't exactly like an ending! Thanks to NetGalley and Backlit PR for giving me a chance to read A Corpse for Christmas (A Cass Peake Cozy Mystery #3) by Rena Leith, I have given my honest review.
I began this book hoping for a holiday read. However, despite “Christmas” being in the title, there were minimal holiday scenes and interactions. Overall, I was disappointed with the plot. But, it was a quick read, and lived up to the mystery genre you’d expect.
This was an enjoyable read but I kind of guess what was going to happen before it happened, I enjoyed it and the story the characters as well but just didn't grip me like the read up did unfortunately
A Corpse For Christmas by Rena Leith This was a Christmas novel covering a college campus, a murder, and a ghost. This was an enjoyable, light cosy mystery. It was a fast read. I liked it very much. Thanks to Net Galley for sending me an advanced reader’s copy for my review.
A Corpse for Christmas is the third installment of Rena Leith's Cass Peake Mystery Series. This novel opens with Cass and her business partners preparing to film a new promotional video for the local college while also preparing for the Christmas holidays. During the course of filming, the crew stumbles across murder victims that are related only in their association with a reunion taking place on campus but location and method of death in each case are different. The author has done a good job with the creation and development of her characters for this series and has maintained excellent consistency within the focal group. As with the earlier Cass Peake books, the storyline is easily followed but there are enough plot twists and intricacies within the writing that while the reader is not necessarily led astray but the killer is also not readily identifiable until the conclusion. The author has also done a good job of bringing in a touch of intrigue and mysticism to the story with the secret society twist and the use of symbolism and coded writings that prepare the foundation for the reason behind the murders. The author has also included enough background in this book so that it can be read as a stand alone but not so much as to cause spoilers if a reader goes back to read the earlier books later. I have enjoyed all books in this series to date and am looking forward to reading the next one when it is published. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Princess Fuzzypants here: An author who lives with two Maine Coons and has a Maine Coon as one of the most important characters in her series is my kind of lady. Her books are pretty good too but I like having kitties of my purrsuasion portrayed as nobly as Thor. He is the vessel by which Cass’ ghost, Doris, gets around outside of the house. Together they form Thoris. I know. It is an interesting hook. Cass has been hired by the local college to update their recruiting website. Since it is the Christmas holiday, the campus should be almost deserted, except for a reunion of a most unusual club. It started with 13 members from the 1970s and the survivors want to get together before it is too late. Turns out, the reunion is going to be “too late” for some of the participants. Somebody is murdering them one by one. Because they are on campus filming and because on of the club members happens to be Cass’ neighbour, they get drawn into the intrigue. I do confess I twigged pretty early to whom I thought the killer might be but the reason for the killings is unexpected and rather sad. There is also a bleak testimonial to the inequality of the justice system at the end. The characters were interesting particularly the former students who helped Cass with the production. It was good light holiday reading. Four purrs and two paws up.
A Corpse for Christmas is the third in the Cass Peake series, but the first I’ve read. For me, it took a while to get all the characters straight, and I think if I had read the series in order, that wouldn’t have been an issue. I also would have felt like I knew at least Cass and the other recurring characters, including Doris the ghost, better. Cass takes on the job of doing a new video for a local college and hires some young people to help her out. It’s the holidays so the campus is pretty empty, making it easier to film locations, but while working, Cass and her crew stumble onto a murder. Her obligatory cop boyfriend, George, doesn’t like her getting involved, but Cass of course can’t let it go, especially when a neighbor asks for her help. There’s a lot going on here. We have the project for the local college; it’s Christmas so Cass’ brother and sister-in-law are staying with her; there’s the secret club and their reunion; and a ghost lives in her house. There were a couple of clues and lots of red herrings. I did enjoy the book overall. It was fun and quirky, with good characters and an oceanside setting.
A Corpse for Christmas is the third installment of Rena Leith's Cass Peake Mystery Series. This novel opens with Cass and her business partners preparing to film a new promotional video for the local college while also preparing for the Christmas holidays. During the course of filming, the crew stumbles across murder victims that are related only in their association with a reunion taking place on campus but location and method of death in each case are different. While I do not expect well developed characters and a detail oriented book, the characters were not described well at all. Marc was the only one that had any real detail, mostly about his height. There was a lot of throwinng out names without any real references to develope them as characters. I would have liked to know a little more about George, Mina, and even Gillian. They were probably the characters that were developed the most, but because I was provided so little, I wanted even more. The protagonist became a bit of a self-proclaimed detective, which I understand the necessity, but her attempts were not realistic at all. Again, I was not expecting "A Corpse for Christmas" to be realistic, but atleast semi believable. When the characters gathered to decorate the home and eat after seeing dead bodies and a potential serial killer on campus I could not fathom obessessing about food and decorations. While many of my comments above are not particularly positive, I did enjoy parts of this story. I felt it could have flowed a little smoother at a steadier pace without all of the added content. I also wish there had been some more information on Doris' past, as well as some more information on the constant references to a prior murder on campus many years before this story took place. I really liked Mina as a character, and even George grew on me. Gillian and Jack made me laugh with their light banter and Jack's inability to pick up cleaning supplies. The ending seemed short lived and wrapped up rather quickly. I appreciated the follow up details regarding the investigation, but there were a lot of unanswered questions. Doris was light and fun, but I wish she played a bigger role and I really wish we had more of her story. This was an ok-ish read for me, I kept going because I knew it was short, but I wasn't actively willing to pick it up every chance I had.