"A Dozen Days of Death" Helen Binney Holiday Novella By Gin Jones: Review/Giveaway 

Review by Kathleen Costa

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

“Delightful” Entertainment!

Helen Binney is the ex-wife of a former governor, and although she is living with the challenges of a lupus diagnosis, she is very active, and not really what she was going for, is known by some for her success channeling Miss Marple or in some cases Nancy Drew, depending on the age of the fan. Helen has often found herself “wrong place, wrong time” mayhem or on the receiving end of a desperate plea for help. Helen doesn’t let her disability hamper her determination although she has found herself in some personal, if not life-threatening, predicaments. This has led to conflicts with her ex-lawyer boyfriend Ambrose Tate, better known as just “Tate,” who has her best interest at heart. However, nothing stops Helen…not her cane, slow speed, or a killer intentions!

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A Dozen Days of Death
Earns 5/5 Magpies…Entertaining Cozy Gem!

It’s Christmas, and everyone at the Wharton Nursing Home is busy knitting and crocheting items for their Charity Caps program, including Helen whose budding talents are functional. However, one of their own, Lucy Cho, has been the victim of a theft. The lapghans she’d been working on for months as Christmas gifts for friends are missing. She didn’t want any fuss and Helen worries Lucy’s memory issues may be a factor, but as much as the other residents are stepping up to replace the missing gifts, they want Helen to investigate.

On an additional holiday note, residents are complaining about the nursing home admins’ decision to not have a huge Christmas tree: it blocked the lovely views of the wintery grounds. Instead, a young sculptor create a “metaphorical” tree. It doesn’t even look like a tree, several grumble, but each day when he arrives with a new ornament, they learn, however obscure, it’s in line with the “Twelve Days [Before] Christmas” theme. But, the sculptor is furious when he discovers his ornaments have also gone missing. Baaah Humbug!

Holiday Fun! Gin Jones has penned a delightfully fun Christmas novella with a bit of ‘humbug.” Christmas gifts and, albeit odd, decorations have gone missing. Helen isn’t too worried about interfering with a police investigation since the thefts have yet to be reported, but she is on a time crunch to get answers. Who’s the Grinch? Resident? Staff? Family? Or is an aging memory the culprit? Interrogating key suspects whether friendly or by appointment reveals several interesting issues, a variety of dynamics between the residents and those in charge, some endearing motivations, politics, and underlying discontent. No bodies in a refreshing twist, but still keeping up the suspense, the final reveal was a perilous moment, yet realistic and well-founded in the clues, and Christmas ultimately was saved…no spoiler, it’s a cozy that ends…cozy!

Many cozy mystery authors have characters dealing with personal problems from divorces to unemployment to tragic deaths, but Gin Jones adds to the life of her lead a unique physical challenge…she has lupus. The character’s limitations are respectfully portrayed highlighting strength and independence rather than pity or activism, but she does address the occasional resentment of those who don’t have to think about the restrictions in daily life. Helen is, though, a spunky middle-aged woman enjoying a full life! I love it!

Helen Binney Mysteries (6 book series)

A Dose of Death (2014)

A Denial of Death (2014)

A Draw of Death (2015)

A (Gingerbread) Diorama of Death (Novella 2015)

A Dawn of Death (2016)

A Darling of Death (2017)

A Display of Death (2019) KRL Review HERE

A Dozen Days of Death (Novella 2022)

Be a Big Gin Jones!

Gin Jones is a USA Today bestselling author of several traditional mystery series. Along with this popular Helen Binney Mystery series, she has her three-book A Garlic Farm Mystery with tech savvy Mabel Skinner inheriting her aunt’s prized garlic farm, the four-book Crazy Cat Lady Chronicles, set in a unique post-apocalyptic world in which nurse-practitioner Wyn Miller with an extraordinary Maine Coon cat Sal offers her special skills, and as part of the multi-author Danger Cove Mysteries, her Quilting Mystery and Farmers’ Market Mystery. There’s something for any taste!

FREEBIE ALERT! On Amazon, December 1-4, the eBook version of the first book in Gin Jones’s Crazy Cat Lady Chronicles, OneCat For The Road, will be FREE. Set up a calendar alert, so you don’t miss out on an intriguing cozy mystery with a determined young woman and her delightful cat!

Facebook Friend: Gin Jones

Website - Gin Jones


To enter to win an ebook copy of A Dozen Days of Death, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "dozen,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 10, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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 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:

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.


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