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Gold Frankincense and Murder (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza) [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Early
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

High school geometry teacher, Donna Russell likes her life well-ordered and logical, even if it is a tad solitary at times. But when a charming co-worker at the local food bank disappears just before Christmas, Donna is left with more questions than solutions.

After the missing man's neighbor, muscle-bound EMT Sam Holton, volunteers as Donna's crime-fighting sidekick, sparks fly between them. Donna wonders if Sam can be trusted, or if he's trying to throw an unknown into her calculations—and her life.

And when police recover a body from the icy Niagara River, Donna is faced with the most frustrating equation of all: can murder plus mayhem ever equal romance?

This story is part of the Pelican Book Group Christmas Holiday Extravaganza, specially-priced through December 2011

Product Details

  • File Size: 182 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing) (November 29, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006G3O588
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,673 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Christmas Short story November 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Wonderfully written with a nice mix of thrills, chills and laughs, Gold, Frankinsense and Murder is a lovely short story to curl up with on a winter's night. I loved the scene with the cat attacking the tree - something my cat did reguarly - and the sleuthing Donna reminded me of Miss Marple. It's 83 pages are jam packed with vivid descriptions and action that keep you turning pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming cozy for the Christmas season! December 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Red herrings abound in this cozy mystery by Barbara Early. I found myself asking "whodunit?" right up until the murderer's unmasking.

"A missing coworker.
A muscle-bound side-kick.
Sometimes the holidays can be murder."

Woven throughout the tale is the systematic dismantling of the heroine's Christmas tree by her cat, Soot. I think I owned that cat, once upon a time. Topping off the story is a sweet touch of romance between the heroine and the hunky hero, Sam. Will they figure out their attraction before it's too late?

As a Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden fan growing up, "Gold, Frankincense, and Murder" was a lovely reminder of what I loved about those early cozy mysteries. Need a quick boost for your Christmas spirit? Download "Gold, Frankincense, and Murder" for Kindle, or order your copy ASAP from White Rose Publishing!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love a cosy mystery! December 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this story although I wish it had been longer! I wasn't able to figure out the mystery and hint of romance was a nice touch. Keep writing, Barb. You're off to a great start!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book took me somewhere... December 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
There's nothing quite as enjoyable as curling up in a cozy chair with a good book on a winter evening. Unless it's curling up with a cozy mystery that takes place during the same season, and whisks you off to trail after high school geometry teacher, Donna Russell, in search of a killer.

And what a trail it is! In GOLD FRANKINCENSE, AND MURDER, author, Barbara Early, takes us to wintery Buffalo, New York, where a solitary teacher's predictable, well-ordered life is suddenly interrupted by the mysterious disappearance of a friendly co-volunteer at the local food bank. Well, maybe more than a co-volunteer, because the friendship was progressing nicely to shared pears and pleasant conversations during lunch hours. But where did he go? Has he been leading a double life and up to no good? Not one to shirk from finding an answer, Donna is determined to figure things out. Even if it leads her into the sort of situations she normally doesn't get involved in.

Being a mystery enthusiast, myself, that's about all it took for me to be hooked on this story. I like a plucky heroine who isn't afraid to put herself on the line for her friends. But add to that mix another mysterious (and handsome) character who may, or may not be part of the problem, and I had to read straight on through. At which point, I will have to admit Ms. Early had me guessing "whodunit" right up until the end. Which is all I'm going to say about that, right now, or I'll be giving things away.

Which is also why I would heartily recommend GOLD, FRANKINCENSE, AND MURDER to mystery fans who like to be taken for a spine-tingling ride and end up feeling perfectly satisfied about it, afterward. Maybe even hoping it isn't the last we will see of this determined, pleasantly analytical, amateur sleuth from Buffalo. That's what I'm thinking, anyway. Any plans for a sequel, Ms. Early?

I'm a fan, already!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story! December 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Ms. Early shares a wonderful sense of humor in her writing. as well as a genuine sense of curiosity that just oozes from Ms. Russell, the heroine of the story.

Hmmm, an absent co-worker, a math teacher who can't make things add up, and a hunk of a neighbor who's too good to be true...

I'd forgotten how much I enjoy a good mystery. Ms. Early did a very nice job of not giving away whodunit. Matter of fact, I had no idea at all until the last pages (although I suppose a better sleuth than I might have seen clues that I missed). Some of her ideas certainly sounded possible to me!

A very cute and clever story! I really enjoyed it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud fun! December 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I've just recently discovered the cozy mystery. Yes, I've read a few before and really enjoyed them, just didn't know what they were called. Barbara Early did a wonderful job with creating funny, endearing characters. I laughed out loud throughout the book. And the ending was great, tying everything together just right. Loved this little novella. If anything, I wish it was longer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Read March 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Something smells fishy at the food pantry, and it isn't the old cans of tuna.

I knew I was in for an entertaining story as soon as I met Donna on the first page. As Donna restocks the shelves at the food pantry, she's mildly annoyed at having to fill in for Neal, who missed his shift for the second Saturday in a row. I could clearly picture her banging cans of food around as she groused about men and her nonexistent social life. Even though Donna is wishing for a romantic relationship, I like that she didn't wallow in self pity. She finds self-worth in her job, her volunteer efforts, and her faith. Things take a more serious turn when Donna realizes something might be wrong with Neal. Soon Donna finds herself investigating the murder of a friend, but she's just an amateur sleuth. Will she discover the culprit before she becomes the next victim?

Donna is such a fun character. She's smart, caring, and has a wonderful, wry sense of humor. While her mind is often filled with amusing thoughts concerning those around her, she laughs at herself just as much. She's a little on the cynical side, but not truly bitter. I think she'd be a great friend. Donna also strikes me as a bit of a control freak who does not handle the unknown very well. When Neal's attractive neighbor, Sam, offers to help her investigate, she's reluctant to accept his help. I laughed when she made a chart with one side labeled "Cute Sam" and one side "Scary Sam" that outlined the pros and cons of working with the man. Despite her reluctance, Donna and Sam have great chemistry and their sweet, flirty moments added a subtle, romantic touch to the story.

The secondary characters are not quite as rounded as I usually like, but they definitely frame Donna well and help move the plot along.
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More About the Author

Barbara Early grew up buried in the snowy suburbs of Buffalo, NY, where she developed a love for all things sedentary: reading, writing, classic movies, and Facebook scrabble. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, but her penchant for the creative caused her to run away screaming from the pocket-protector set. She taught for several years in a Christian school before home schooling her daughter successfully through high school. Barbara cooks up cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance, and was a double finalist in the 2010 ACFW Genesis competition.


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