Wednesday, July 22, 2015

*Challenge Review* Christmas in Paradise by Kathi Daley

Genre: Mystery/Holiday
Published: August 29, 2014
Pages: 240
Ages: 14+


Christmas in Paradise is a magical time of year that Tj has always looked forward to with happy anticipation. This year her holiday spirit is marred by the impending arrival of two new men in her life. When one of the men ends up dead, Tj must juggle community plays, Christmas tree cutting, sleigh rides, and holiday shopping, with a complex murder investigation. As the facts start to unravel Tj realizes that she must risk it all to save someone she loves.


I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review.

This is the first book I've read by Kathi Daley, and it appears to be the fourth book in the Paradise Lake series. While it can ultimately be read as a standalone, the first chapter felt like a big info dump with a lot of name dropping and it left me kind of reeling. There's a huge cast of characters and I didn't really care about any of them, I just didn't feel any connection. I suspect I may have felt differently if I had started this series at the beginning and built the relationships over time.

While this book is ultimately a mystery, I was still expecting to get a Hallmark cheesy Christmas movie feeling from it based on the title and the cover. I didn't. There were a couple times where I could see it sort of heading that way, but overall it didn't give me a sappy feel-good storyline. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but it didn't meet my expectations.

There were times where the story had a very Veronica Mars feeling to it, but ultimately I felt like it was a rudimentary mystery, almost like the mystery aspect of the story was an afterthought. Also, I never wavered from my original suspect, which I don't consider a good thing when reading a mystery. I want a story that makes me genuinely suspect everyone.

Overall I give this book 3 out of 5 stars because although it wasn't bad, it failed to meet my expectations on three counts, two of which are major for me when reading mystery. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Kathi lives with her husband, kids, grandkids, and dogs in beautiful Lake Tahoe. When she isn't writing, Kathi likes to read (preferably at the beach or by the fire), cook (preferably something with chocolate or cheese,) and garden (planting and planning not weeding). She also enjoys spending time on the water when she's not hiking, biking, or snowshoeing, the miles of desolate trails surrounding her home. 
Kathi uses the mountain setting in which she lives, along with the animals (wild and domestic) that share her home, as inspiration for her cozy mysteries.  

Join me on Facebook at Kathi Daley Books ( for updates on my books, photos of life in Lake Tahoe, recipes, contests, and giveaways. For weekly updates and contests sign up for The Daley Weekly Newsletter ( 

Challenge Scorecard

I used this book to fulfill my "Book set during Christmas" category, although it was really more about the time leading up to Christmas, but it's the Christmas season, so it counts because I said so. 

Other categories it would fulfill include
A book by a female author
A mystery or thriller
A book by an author I've never read before

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