"The Mystery Before Christmas" A Cat in the Attic Mystery By Kathi Daley: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of this book, and a link to purchase it.

Curses Create Opportunities

Calliope Rose Collins and the female line of her family have suffered some unexplained tragedies that seem the result of a curse placed on Calliope’s great-great grandmother, “...any Hollister daughter born to the [union], or any daughter born to their descendants, would suffer the tragic and early loss of their beloved.” Callie’s first introduction to the “curse” was losing her parents in a tragic accident and being sent to live with her Aunt Gracie. There her aunt shared a wonderful imagination, a secret hideaway in the attic, and a love for music. Music turned into a passion then a successful career as a concert pianist, but her next curse experience came in another accident causing a debilitating injury...her “tragic and early loss” of her “beloved” music. She sought refuge in Foxtail Lake, her childhood home, accompanied by her cat Alastair, hoping to find a new purpose in life without music. That she did. Murder and mysteries abound and after writing about her role in the investigation of a tragic murder along with a twenty-year-old cold case, Callie was offered a weekly column in the local newspaper. She used her budding investigative reporter sense to uncover the details behind missing dogs at the local shelter and misappropriation of city funds. She has also been reunited with a childhood friend, Deputy Cass Wylander. But, what about the curse? She may not wholeheartedly believe in curses and caution may be a good response, but she also pledges this curse will end with her.

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The Mystery Before Christmas earns 5/5 Santa Smiles...Engaging Entertainment!
“Secret Santa strikes again...” is Callie’s lead in her new column set to run in the regional newspaper, Foxtail News. She is greatly intrigued by a rash of random acts of kindness by someone dubbed “Secret Santa” delivering exactly what a few deserving residents need for the holiday season: a new wheelchair, a down payment, snow shoveling services, transportation. Believing this “angel come to earth” needs public recognition, Callie sets out to uncover their identity. The motive seems to indicate the person is not unfamiliar with altruism and several locals have the means to give away thousands of dollars, but who has the opportunity to sneak around delivering such life-changing gifts and still remain secret? There was one resident, Ford Fisher, whose lodge buddies believe his odd behavior as of late might make him the perfect candidate as the mysterious Secret Santa. But, he was also close friends with Buford Norris whose body recently had been found under a pile of snow, frozen, with a bump on his head. Cass’s investigation has brought to light some curious evidence which sheds a suspicious light on Buford’s death. Is Ford’s odd behavior evidence he’s a busy Secret Santa or is it more related to his friend’s death?

I love this series...and it’s just getting started. Kathi Daley has penned an engaging mystery for book two with a twist on Secret Santa...secrets, greed, and the magic of Christmas converge. The incongruous nature of the mystery added to the drama and provided a great conversation starter. What would you do: reveal the Secret Santa identity or not? Daley also throws in a couple of murders with a connection that is slowly revealed, going one way, than another, before ending with a perilous, yet very satisfying conclusion. Callie is quite an admirable character with which many can identify. She’s taken her tragedy and found a new direction for her life as a journalist. Her human interest story about the local Secret Santa may be picked up by The Denver Post, but she’s also discovering her budding reporter skills translate well as an investigator. Her collaboration with Deputy Wylander creates a successful team, sharing clues, ideas, and scenarios, but can she resist him? There is the curse...that’ll be fun to follow. Music is still important in her life, but she just finds it a different place in her life. Great cozy page-turner!

Cat in the Attic Mystery
The Curse of Hollister House (Reviewed 9/27/19 HERE)
The Mystery Before Christmas
The Secret of Logan Pond (Coming in 2020)

Be a Big Kathi Daley Fan!
Kathi Daley has ten other series offering something for every cozy taste including “fur” friends and close relationship between family and friends. She has a great social media community of fans and can be followed on Goodreads and BookBub. Keep updated on all of her book releases, events, and goings-on by signing up for her newsletter HERE.

Facebook - Kathi Daley Books
Join the Club Kathi Daley Book Club
On the Web Kathi Daley Website
Blog - Random Thoughts and Meaningless Musings

Naughty or Nice!
Evermine Blog — Saturday Sips: Homemade Eggnog
Josephine Guicciardi is the nom de plume of one of the creative Evermine bloggers. She has provided a delightful, easy-to-follow recipe for one of the iconic Christmas drinks...eggnog! For the nice version guests will enjoy the luscious hint of vanilla, but for a little bit of the “naughty,” add bourbon, brandy, or spiced rum. Serve at any holiday celebration or make this a delightful “from the heart” gift for neighbors, the mailman, or your child’s teacher. Merry Christmas!

To enter to win an ebook copy of The Mystery Before Christmas, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "before christmas,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 14, 2019. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. We delete all emails after the contest is over.

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! One of our past episodes features another of Kathi's books. You can listen to it here: mysteryratsmaze.podbean.com/e/boxes-in-the-basement-by-kathi-daley We just posted a new episode this week which features a Christmas mystery short story by Donna Andrews!

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

Opens to author website

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. Kathi Daley never stops writing! Count me in!

  2. Thanks for this contest. I love her books. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot ) com

  3. Sounds like a great read. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. oooh it looks so good aelinderman (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  5. Would love to read. Thanks for the chance.

  6. I always enjoy her books
    sgiden @ verizon(.)net

  7. Thank you for the opportunity to win one of Kathi Daley's amazing books!!!

  8. Love all of Kathi's books!! jawdance@yahoo.com

  9. Her books always look really great Thank You for the chance iamabho AT gmail DOT com

  10. Shared Post on Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/LindaMoffitt02/status/1203538501368598528

  11. Thanks for the chance to win. Sounds good! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  12. I love all of Kathi Daley's books and she keeps coming up with great new series like this one too! I'll never get caught up with my tbr pile but that's all part of the enjoyment of Kathi Daley's writing. I enjoyed Cass and oh that curse mentioned too in the first book. Love to win this one! Thank you! oh_bother88@hotmail.com

  13. I just Love cozy mysteries, and these look like they are going to be a great read.

  14. Love KAthi Daley Books. Thanks for the chance. kckendler at gmail dot com

  15. Would love to read this thanks for the chance! hollystover13(at)Yahoo(dot)com

  16. Sounds like a good book, thanks for the opportunity to win it. kc20083 (at) gmail (dot) com.

  17. Thanks for the chance...love the books and games....susie s

  18. I’d love to read this!
    legallyblonde1961@ yahoo.com

  19. Love your giveaways. Thanks for the chance.

  20. I'd love to win this book- it looks like a great one! Email is somesmartcookle at aol dot com. cookle has an L, not an i. Thanks for the chance!

  21. Kathi Daley is worth reading...and the plots are so cute.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com


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