Holiday books with furry friends

Continuing on my column about holiday-related books, this week features books that have furry friends and the holiday season in common! And stay tuned next week for even more holiday-themed books.

First is “Slay Bells Ring” by Karen Rose Smith.

Home stager Caprice De Lucas is staging a holiday-themed historic home in her small town of Kismit. The holiday season is looking bright until Vietnam vet-turned Santa Chris is found dead and his loyal malamute homeless. Who would have killed Chris? Why is the holiday season being marred by death? And who is next?

A cozy mystery with a small-town setting, this also features a cute dog to keep pages going.

“Slay Bells Ring” is published by Kensington. It is $7.99.

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A small town pet patisserie owner finds murder on the menu in “Purring Around The Christmas Tree” by Liz Mugavero.

Kristan “Stan” Connor is ready to celebrate the town’s tree lighting and get ready for pet pictures with Santa. That is, until Santa arrives in his sleigh a bit dead. Who would want to kill Santa? Meanwhile, Stan’s pet Santa, an Irishman who comes to visit his nephew every year, hasn’t shown up yet. Is he off drinking somewhere or are there more sinister circumstances? Stan better find out before Christmas becomes even more deadly.

With plenty of cats, dogs and cozy mystery fun, this is a holiday thriller that will entice readers.

“Purring Around the Christmas Tree” is published by Kensington. It is $7.99.

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Poodles, malteses and murder, oh my! Laurien Berenson brings a holiday cozy mystery in “Wagging Through the Snow.”

Melanie is keeping busy with her teaching job and her five poodles, so she is definitely not ready for Christmas. She’s even less ready for her brother and ex-husband’s business venture — a cafe — to spur them on to a more seasonal job — purchasing a tree farm. The farm already looks like it’s seen better days, but things take a turn for the worse when a Maltese is found next to a dead body — a squatter who has been living on the land. Was it just an old branch that fell on him or was it murder? Melanie is going to have to add solve a murder to her holiday to-do list!

With funny characters and adorable dogs, this is a mystery that will keep readers laughing and guessing.

“Wagging Through the Snow” is published by Kensington. It is $19.95.

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If cozy mystery isn’t your thing, a dog helps bring two lonely hearts together in “The Dog Who Came for Christmas” by Sue Pethick.

Renee’s holiday season is looking busy with her job as a hair stylist and taking care of her son, Kieran. But a new friend for Kieran shows up in the form of Max, a little dog he finds in the woods trapped in a snare. He and his grandfather rescue the dog and the family has a new addition for the holidays. That is, until Max’s owner shows up. Travis is the kind of man that Renee has been looking for since her divorce. But is he already taken? Or can a dog and a white Christmas bring the two of them together?

This is a sweet romance with holiday wrappings that will warm hearts like hot chocolate.

“The Dog Who Came for Christmas” is published by Kensington. It is $9.95.

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Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com

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