The Christmas Tree Thief by Phillipa Nefri Clark

The Christmas Tree Thief (Charlotte Dean Mysteries #1)

First in a cosy mystery series by the name “Charlotte Dean Mysteries” is a new series by Phillipa Nefri Clark.

Goodreads synopsis

She’s looking forward to a quiet Christmas, but this small town is anything but quiet . . .

Former psychiatrist Charlotte Dean has had enough trouble to last a lifetime. When the opportunity to work in a bookshop in the picturesque town of Kingfisher Falls arises, she realises it may be a rare chance to start over where no one knows about her past.

The last thing Charlotte expects to see is someone stealing Christmas trees, but she’s determined not to get involved. Especially when some of the locals, including the town police officer, are suspicious of a newcomer like Charlotte.

Unfortunately, trouble has a way of finding Charlotte. When the bookshop becomes a target, she’s forced to reconsider her hands-off policy—even if it means putting herself in danger. In order to find the culprit, Charlotte will discover what it really means to live in a small town and that the prospect of becoming a local may not be so bad after all. So long as it involves a spot of sleuthing on the side, of course . . .

The Charlotte Dean Mysteries is a brand new series of mysteries from the author of The Stationmaster’s Cottage. Set amongst Victoria’s beautiful Macedon Ranges featuring a quirky cast of characters and a dash of danger, it’s small town mystery with a unique Australian twist.

Rating and Review

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It is a 3.75 really.

Before I begin with my review, I will tell you the first two things that jumped at me as I started reading the book. The surnames Dean and Sibbritt. A nod to two book bloggers (Nas Dean and Helen Sibbritt) maybe? I say that because I know these two ladies and I am so happy for them if this is, indeed, based on their names and not a coincidence.

To the story now.

The words capture the beauty of a small town, especially the glow and warmth of the Christmas season. Did not feel like a run of the mill description and has it’s own soul to it. The beauty of nature is described in a way that it made me want to visit those places myself.

Pace of the story is slow. Would have appreciated a little hurrying up of stuff as it felt a little repetitive at times. The fuzzy Christmassy feels sort of made up for that.

The mystery was not over the top or too hard to figure out if you had been paying attention but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.

The characters? Character growth was there but just for one character as far as I understand stuff. I am not going to deduct a lot of points for that on account of it being a series and development is expected in the coming books as well.

Lastly, as the book ended with many unanswered questions, I for one am definitely reading Book 2 when it gets published.

Read it for the Christmassy feels.

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