"Holly, Baubles and Murder" by Victoria Tait: Review/Giveaway

Review by Sarah Erwin

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

Holly, Baubles and Murder is book eight in Victoria Tait’s Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery” series and features a delightful Christmas setting.

Dotty is thrilled to be organizing a Christmas display at a Yorkshire country house, while Gemma, who works for the family, is on maternity leave. Dotty is charged with not only the decorations, but also with organizing the opening of the house to the public for tours.

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Dotty settles right in, easily making friends with almost all of the staff, except the head tour guide Sylvia and the American Zach. No one seems to like Sylvia due to her conniving ways, and Zach is distant and prickly. No matter–Dotty is busy enough bringing the Christmas visions to life.

However, not long after Dotty’s arrival, Sylvia is found dead. The police say the death was the result of natural causes, but something doesn’t sit right with Dotty. Dotty starts paying more attention to those around her and learns that the house is full of secrets, including Zach who spends hours in the house’s library. Soon, more lives are threatened, and Dotty isn’t sure who to trust. She is resolved to uncover the culprit and the secrets.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Christmas country house murder. It has everything that a strong mystery needs–strong characters, family secrets, puzzles, red herrings, and even possible hidden treasure.

The English countryside setting and the descriptions of the Christmas decorations made for an enchanted setting. As I read, I felt as though I was in the house and walking along the grounds in the cold Yorkshire weather. And I wished I could taste all of the food coming from Meg’s kitchen as the writing brought the smells and flavors off the page.

While Dotty casually mentions a few past mysteries she has been involved with, this entry can easily work as a stand alone mystery. Cozy mystery readers looking for some holiday cheer (and murder!) need look no further than this!

To enter to win a copy of Holly, Baubles and Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "baubles,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 20, 2023. 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. 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 goes up next 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:

Sarah Erwin started her career as a children’s librarian, later becoming a public library director and now she’s a stay at home mom. While her career might have changed, her love of reading has been a constant since 4th grade and she reads over 200 books a year. Read along with her on her blog Sarah Can’t Stop Reading or on Instagram. Sarah lives in St. Louis, MO with her two kids, her husband and a family dog and cat.

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. Mary Holshouser
    Sounds like a great book. Can't wait to
    read it. thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading.

  3. Sounds like my kind of book! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. I enjoy this author! tWarner419@aol.com

  5. Love cozys set in the English countryside! lahlstedt(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I have not yet read any of the books in this series. I had better get going since this is already book 8.
    karen94066 at aol.com

  7. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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