Monday, October 30, 2023

The Twelve Books of Christmas - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: The Twelve Books of Christmas (Bibliophile Mystery #17) by Kate Carlisle

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright and her hunky security-expert husband, Derek Stone, face a locked-room murder mystery during the holidays in Scotland.

In the middle of a wonderful Christmas holiday in Dharma, Brooklyn and Derek receive a frantic phone call from their dear friend Claire in Loch Ness, Scotland. The laird of the castle, Cameron MacKinnon, has just proposed to her! They plan to be married on New Year’s Day, and they want Derek and Brooklyn to be their witnesses. And while they’re visiting, Claire hopes that Brooklyn will be able to solve a little mystery that’s occurred in the castle library—twelve very rare, very important books have gone missing.

Once in Scotland, Brooklyn starts working on the mystery of the missing books but is soon distracted by all of the thumping and bumping noises she’s been hearing in the middle of the night. You’d think the Ghost of Christmas Past had taken up residence. But when one of the guests is poisoned and another is killed by an arrow through the heart, Brooklyn and Derek know this is not the work of any ghost. Now they must race to find a killer and a book thief before another murder occurs and their friends’ bright and happy future turns dark and deadly.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've read a number of books by this author and in this series and always enjoy them - plus how could I resist New Year's in Scotland?

My Impression:  This was one of the first cozy mystery series that I ever read and I read the first few as soon as I got my hands on them but then it kind of fell off the radar a bit.  In general it hasn't been my favorite series but this one was really fun.  For starters the setting is fantastic.  It's New Year's in Scotland and not just Scotland but a CASTLE in Scotland that has a library where books are randomly going missing.  Oh and a castle that happens to border Loch Ness.  And did I mention that the castle seems to have a ghost?

Claire and Cameron are old friends of Brooklyn and Derek and featured prominently in an earlier book which I'm not entirely sure I've read.  There was enough information provided that I didn't feel like I was missing anything and the author did a good job of not just giving readers and info dump.  I loved seeing Brooklyn's parents out of Dharma and enjoying their vacation and getting involved in the investigation.  I also always enjoy seeing Brooklyn working on book restoration and enjoy seeing all the steps involved.

The mystery had a bit of a slow reveal.  There's a lot going on between the wedding and getting settled and the New Year's celebration.  While the missing books are introduced fairly early on the murder doesn't occur until much later into the book.  However, I didn't mind this as I enjoyed the ride as Brooklyn and Derek get settled in and start figuring out what is going on.  

This is a fun series with an interesting twist on bookishness and while it has been a long running series you could easily jump in with this book.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would and I am looking forward to catching up on the books I missed in the middle of the series.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you like bookish cozies with a fantastic setting this is a fun read.  

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Well the setting in Scotland in a castle would get me straight away. I do like that many cozy series do catch us up to be able to follow a book in the series.

  2. Yes, the Christmas themed books are beginning to come out en masse. Enjoy!

  3. Still not ready for holiday reads! lol

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. I love that Scottish setting! And I think being a book restorationist would be a cool job. This does sound like a very fun series. :D

  5. I'm very tempted to pick this one up. I love Christmas themed cozies, and the setting for this one sounds so good! Glad you enjoyed it.