"Under the Cocoon Moon" by Kathleen Bailey: Review/Giveaway

Review by Tracy Condie

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

This is a mystery that refuses to be put down with mini-cliffhangers that keep you turning the pages. Even though this is the third book in the Olivia Penn Mystery Series, this book could be thoroughly enjoyable as a stand-alone as well.

Christmas and cold weather have come to Apple Station, childhood home and current residence of advice columnist, Olivia Penn. Cocoon Moon features a poem by the same title, a notorious jewel heist/gentleman thief, grand theft auto, the involvement of Detective Preston Hills deceased father, and a murder.

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Image Source Rhino Publishing LLC
Olivia is informed by John Mack, a D.C. private investigator, that Paige, Olivias best friend, has left some unfinished investigative inquiries. Paige was very good at digging up information, but could she have been wrong about Prestons parents? A nice amount of backstory is used to reintroduce Paige, whose murder Olivia solves in the series starter. Olivia has no choice but to pick up where Paige left off, if only to prove Detective Hills parentsinnocence. It is easy to see how Olivia was invested in the investigation even before the murder, which appears to be tied to everything.

It will be a good thing that Olivia has taken time off from her day job and is wrapping up the local paper feature assignment, the 12 Bakes of Christmas on which she and her dad have been collaborating. She will now have the free time to take meetings in dark places, do some internet digging, buy a few gifts, run into” Preston at the coffee shop (its a mutual thing), help a desperate mom, scrutinize the deceased s family, deal with the FBI, be stone-walled by Detective Hill, all while maintaining a level head. Thankfully, Olivia has some very good and supportive friends and family. Interestingly enough, Olivias dad has made a 180-degree change in his opinion about Olivia getting involved and wants to join in on the investigating as opposed to being an armchair sleuth. He almost seems giddy about riding along to the initial late-night meeting with PI Mack. PI Mack is an interesting character who seems to enjoy the wonderful food at the Inn and the company of a certain Inn owner. I wonder if he wont make another appearance in a future book.

One of the things that really appeals to me about Olivia as a character is that she makes smart choices. She has learned from her past experiences (books one & two) and usually doesnt go off meeting strangers in dark places without letting someone know or taking backup. Speaking of backup, we learn a little bit more about Olivias next-door neighbor Sam, and her security related background. Olivia makes use of Sams knowledge and co-worker (former frenemy) Cassandras reporting skills to work her way through this ever changing situation. I call it ever changing because Beverly Styles, Detective Hills mom, has asked Olivia to get involved in addition to the two-person security team that is staying at her inn. Detective Hill does not approve and tells Olivia to back off in such a way that makes you wonder if they will be having coffee together in the future.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery with plenty of suspects, several red herrings, and a few romantic sparks. The only thing that I would have liked more would be those 12 recipes.

 To enter to win a copy of Under the Cocoon Moon, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "cocoon,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 22, 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:

Tracy Condie is a paralegal by day and cozy armchair sleuth by night. When she is not working or reading, she enjoys preparing the recipes found in culinary cozies or researching recipes of meal items described therein and sharing reviews of both books and food on Instagram and on KRL. She lives in Corona, California with her husband and dog Zoolie, and looks forward to visiting with their grown sons when their time permits.
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 interesting! Count me in!

  2. Sounds like an interesting read.
    would love to try it. thanks

  3. What a thrilling book. It is definitely something I want to read. Luis at ole dot travel

  4. Sounds like my kind of read! tWarner419@aol.com

  5. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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