"A Murder Yule Regret" By Winnie Archer: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Cynthia Chow

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

In the California coastal town of Santa Sofia, December becomes the busiest time of the year as tourists flow in and celebrate with holiday parties. Working part-time at the Yeast of Eden bakery while building up her own freelance photography business, Ivy Culpepper has been called in by the bakery owner to help for a last-minute celebrity party. Movie star Eliza Fox is throwing a Dickens-themed party that requires non-disclosure agreements and costumes, which is why Ivy is soon dressed as the Ghost of Christmas Present and the party’s official photographer. When not mingling among the stars, Ivy overhears a lot of celebrity gossip, not to mention an aggressive argument between chimney sweepers. It is in fact one of those sweepers who is found smashed to death on the rocks, along with the camera that the now late paparazzi reporter frequently carried. Edward Christopher Yentin was known for his tabloid photos that threatened careers and relationships, and Ivy can’t help but think that he may have been following a scandal worth killing over.

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Having photographed the entire event herself, Ivy has a record of everyone – invited or not - who attended Eliza’s uber-packed party. Definitely on the uninvited list was Brad McAvoy, Ivy’s estranged husband caught cheating and photographed doing so by the now deceased photographer. While Eliza may no longer trust Brad with her heart, she doesn’t believe he could be a murderer, which is why he begs Ivy for help proving his innocence. For not only did Ivy take pictures of all the attending guests, she also happens to be best friends with and the sister-in-law of Emmaline Davis, Santa Sofia’s elected sheriff. Luckily for Eliza, Emmaline and Ivy have a well-established bond of trust that has the sheriff tolerating Ivy’s continuous speed-dialing updates of evidence discoveries and new theories. Always having Ivy’s back are her grandmotherly nosy neighbor Mrs. Branford and Miguel Baptista, who has grown into being a dreamily supportive boyfriend. As an added bonus Miguel is also the owner of Baptista’s Cantina & Grill, which means that while they ruminate over suspects and motives Ivy is dished up a mouth-watering assortment of appetizers and homemade dinners.

This seventh in the series is an entertaining combination of holiday traditions, seasonal treats, and celebrity-driven motives for murder. When not hanging out with a genuine movie star, Ivy celebrates the season with Santa Sofia’s Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah festivals. While Ivy doesn’t spend as much time in the Yeast of Eden bakery as she used to, her mentor Olaya Solis remains a huge part of her life now that she’s dating Ivy’s widower father. Romance is indeed flourishing throughout the town, and no one more than Ivy is enjoying the holidays with a loving companion.   

A recipe for a Bûche de Noël, chocolate yule log cake roll, will inspire chefs for the holidays, not to mention one by Mrs. Bransford’s for a drink that packs a wallop. Fans of the series will enjoy spending time with these characters who are all (mostly) so likable and fun as they help Ivy track down scandalous rumors while she goes undercover with another caterer. Scandalous secrets, hidden identities, and fraudulent photos all deliver the holiday gift of a cozy, comforting mystery read.  

To enter to win a copy of A Murder Yule Regret, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "yule,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 18, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. 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 Christmas episode went up this week.

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

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

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. This sounds so good and I love the cover. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Another great holiday mystery. Thanks for the chance.

  3. New author for me, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

  4. Sounds like a good read. Have to check it
    out - a series I've not read before. thanks


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