“Cyanide with Christie” Crime with the Classics By Katherine Bolger Hyde: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of this book, and links to purchase it.

Crime with the Classics series first published in July 2016 with Arsenic with Austen and has become an engaging favorite. Katherine Bolger Hyde introduced the delightful retired literature professor Emily Cavanaugh who inherited, from her great aunt, Windy Corners, a beautiful Victorian estate, outside Stony Beach, Oregon. In taking possession of her new property, she discovers the one who broke her heart is sheriff along with a delightful community of quirky residents, lots of secrets, mayhem, and murder including suspicions about the death of her aunt. In Bloodstains with Brontë (2017), Katherine continues Emily’s journey as she remodels the property into a writers’ retreat with rooms themed for her favorite writers offering a quaint place for writers to get their inspiration. However, like a Charlotte Brontë novel, things get dark. When hosting a Halloween murder mystery dinner, a real dead body is discovered, and her young housekeeper Katie is pegged as suspect number one. Life, and murder, at Windy Corners seems to mirror many of the classics Emily enjoys. What's next?

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Cyanide with Christie earns 5/5 Karma Surprises…Clever and Engaging!

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. Hmm, Christmas with a bunch of oddly assorted characters, some unpleasant, in a big country house. That felt slightly familiar. At least her guests weren’t all related to her or each other, or she’d be looking over her shoulder for a murderer.”
Image Source Severn House

It's Christmas, Windy Corners is festooned in all the holiday trim, and Emily is nervously anticipating her first guests arriving at the writers’ retreat. The guests comprise of well-known to up-and-coming writers; all are sparking Emily’s latent literary dreams. Luke Richards, her renewed love and local police lieutenant, is still somewhat reticent about these strangers living in the house with Emily. What does she truly know about these people? Some unofficial background checks might be in order. Her first arrival, Oscar Lansing, has become an immediate friend, an adjunct professor at the university she worked and simpatico with her literary interest, but is that jealousy she gleans from Luke’s behavior? The rest of the visiting authors arrive ranging from well-known to new-to-the-scene, inspired to blocked, open book to quietly suspicious. But, there’s one guest, flippant, critical of the other authors, and well lubricated who seems to have rubbed everyone the wrong way. However, along with a winter storm, it's the uninvited guest, oddly penned Cruella Crime, that causes the most disruption. So, when she ends up dead…poisoned! Everyone is a suspect, including old-fashioned Karma!

Marvelous! I love Katherine Bolger Hyde’s series: the writers’ retreat, a small town, renewed love, and fascinating connections to classic literature. Katherine uses a third-person narrative, not a favorite perspective for me, putting us on the outside looking in on the drama. However, with a clever mystery (the murder takes more time to occur than I prefer), well-developed characters (I literally cringed, though happily, at some), vivid descriptions (beautiful, stormy, and delicious), and entertaining banter (illustrates tone and personality well) she kept me totally engaged.

One compelling element of cozy mysteries, beyond how tenderly the crime is handled, is the focus on the characters themselves. Their relationships and connections, flaws and strengths, dreams and disappointments are all on display. I have become invested in Emily’s life as she enjoys a pseudo-motherly connection with her young employee Katie, navigates the renewed romance with Luke, struggles with what and who she wants in her future, and pines about the absence of blood relations including being childless. Another fascinating element is the insights, tips, or information about the theme weaving through the series. In Crime with the Classics, I am interested in all the literary references, ins and outs of running the writers’ retreat, and life in the Oregon area I, too, have spent vacations. Katherine has penned a well-paced, well-written, and engaging story that I highly recommend! The end? Agatha would be proud of the final “Oh, my!”

Be a Big Fan!

Facebook – Katherine Bolger Hyde –Writer
Website – KBHyde

Katherine Bolger Hyde Blog - It's Release Day!
Here is a fascinating blog, written July 12, 2016, that shares some insights about the release of the her new series with Arsenic with Austen.
Dru's Book Musing - Enjoy "A Day in the Life of Emily Cavanaugh" (5/7/19) I enjoyed this blog sharing life from Katherine’s main character Emily Cavanaugh. Check it ou

To enter to win a copy of Cyanide with Christie, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "cyanide,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 13, 2019. US residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. If entering email be sure to include your address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode featuring a mystery short story by Julia Buckley went up this week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance! JL_minter@Hotmail.com

  2. I can think of days when I would love a fireplace to sit by with my feet up and a good bottle of
    something sitting beside me. I have never read any of the books by Christie Katherine Bolger
    but I am sure I will be checking them out. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. I love the idea of the Crime with the Classics series! Thanks for the chance to get started!! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  4. This sounds so delightful. And as an Oregon resident and long-time visitor to the Oregon coast, I'm sure I will truly enjoy this series. aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. New author and series to me. Would really like to read.

  6. I have not read this series. I love the premise and will put the books on my "to buy" list.

  7. Max Allan Collins wrote a book with Christie as the detective.


  8. New to me. Sounds like a good one.


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