“A Christmas Peril” by J.A. Hennrikus


“A Christmas Peril” introduces us to Sully (Edwina) Sullivan, Theater Cop, a former active duty detective in Massachusetts. Sully is now the managing director of the cash-strapped Cliffside Theater Company whose troupe is about to stage the iconic Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. But first, she has to keep Scrooge from quitting, while holding her ex-husband and an old boyfriend at bay. There’s also the matter of the murders.

In the five years since leaving law enforcement, Sully has not lost her sleuthing skills, so when an old friend becomes a person of interest in his father’s murder and needs Sully’s help, she agrees to look into the circumstances. It turns out that every single member of the family is hiding something. With big money, romantic intrigue, and a large company at stake, there is plenty of motive to go around and no shortage of suspects.

Her ex-husband, Gus, complicates matters just by being around, but he’s a lawyer for the dead man’s family, so he’s hard to avoid. Sully still has a soft spot for him, though, and any guy that can make her toes curl can’t be all bad.

“A Christmas Peril” is an absorbing peek behind the curtain at the world of theater production. Costumes have to last for years, tech rehearsals take longer than I would have thought, and the battle for Arts money is a continuing challenge. One of the characters says while half-kidding, (paraphrased so as not to give anything away) “We can’t kill the star. His name is above the title and we would have to refund the tickets.”

Can Sully’s savvy skills save her former boyfriend and the play from disaster? Will she be able to keep from adding her ex-husband to the rising body count? And, what about the murders?

Hennrikus has penned a complex, multi-layered plot that delivers jaw dropping surprises. I could have sworn one of the ‘obvious’ suspects did at least one of the deeds, but instead turned out to be guilty of something else.


I’m looking forward to a repeat performance from the personable core group of characters – some quirky, some serious, but always entertaining. You can pre-order book #2 in the series, “With a Kiss I Die,” now. 


Please visit for more information about this Agatha nominated author and her other series.





Christmas Themed Fiction – 2018


Are you a fan of Christmas themed fiction? Then this list of thirty-two novels, novellas, and short stories is for you.  🙂


The books were recommended by avid cozy mystery readers, as well as NBR subscribers, and fans of Christmas inspirational works. Click on the titles to find out more about the books, then snuggle up with a great Christmas read.


Susan Wittig Albert: “The Darling Dahlias & the Poinsettia Puzzle


Gretchen Archer:  “Double Deck the Halls


Carolyn Ridder Aspenson + 15 other authors: “Sleigh Bells & Sleuthing


Donna Andrews: “Lark! The Herald Angels Sing”  


Mary Angela: “Very Merry Murder”


Joy Avon: “In Peppermint Peril”


Laurien Berenson: “Wagging through the Snow


Leslie Budewitz: “As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles”


Ellen Byron: “A Cajun Christmas Killing”


Lynn Cahoon: “Santa Puppy”


Vicki Delany “Hark the Herald Angels Slay”


Barbara Early: “Murder on the Toy Town Express”


Morris Fenris: “Miracle of Christmas Boxed Set


Beatrice Fishback: “Winter Writerland


Amanda Flower: “Premeditated Peppermint


Joanne Fluke: “Christmas Cake Murder


Jacqueline Frost: “Twelve Slays of Christmas


Daryl Wood Gerber “Wreath between the Lines


Patrice Greenwood: “As Red as Any Blood


Carolyn Haines: “Gift of Bones


Victoria Hamilton: “Breaking the Mould”


Julie Hennrikus: “A Christmas Peril”


CeeCee James: “The Frosty Taste of Scandal


Miranda James: “Six Cats a Slayin”


Laura Levine: “Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge”


Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross: “Yule Log Murder


Liz Mugavero:  “Purring around the Christmas Tree


Nancy Naigle: “Hope at Christmas”


Gail Oust: “The Twelve Dice of Christmas”


Summer Prescott: “Christmas Reunion Killer”


Julie Seedorf:  “The Discombobulated Decipherers”


Jane Willan:  “The Hour of Death”


Happy Choosing!  🙂




The Christmas Mystery List – 2015

Book Cover - Wreck the Halls - Sarah Graves

Christmas may be the most popular holiday topic for mysteries. When compiling this list, there were hundreds to choose from. Yes, hundreds. Do we, as readers, connect with the topic of murder at the holidays because our families and friends bring out the worst in us? Do the writers deliver a way for us to fantasize about doing in the dastardly boyfriend/cousin/landlord? Only you and your active imagination know for sure.  😉


This is a list of 50+ titles, so your favorite author/title may have been inadvertently left off the list. If you’d like to add more writers and their novels with a Christmas theme, please mention them in the comments below. Other winter holidays welcome as well. Click on the titles to find out more about each book.


Happy choosing!


Lydia Adamson….. A Cat Under the Mistletoe

Anne K. Albert….. Frank, Incense and Muriel

Susan Wittig Albert….. Holly Blues

Donna Andrews ….. Duck the Halls


M. C. Beaton….. A Highland Christmas
Rhys Bowen….. The Twelve Clues at Christmas
Lucy Burdette….. Death with All the Trimmings


Lynn Cahoon….. If the Shoe Kills

Tammy Cohen…..Dying for Christmas

Sharon Love Cook….. A Deadly Christmas Carol

Jessie Crockett ….. Live Free or Die

Deborah Crombie….. Water Like a Stone


Diane Mott Davidson….. Sweet Revenge

Krista Davis….. The Diva Cooks a Goose

Vicki Delany…..Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen



Lynette Eason ….. Christmas Cover-Up


Linda Fairstein….. The Deadhouse

Amanda Flower ….. A Plain Disappearance
Joanne Fluke….. Plum Pudding Murder


Patricia Gligor….. Unfinished Business

Heather Graham….. The Last Noel

Sarah Graves….. Wreck the Halls
Andrew M. Greeley….. The Bishop and the Three Kings


Dashiell Hammett…..The Thin Man

Charlain Harris….. Shakespeare's Christmas

Carolyn Hart….. Sugarplum Dead


Jack Iams….. Do Not Murder Before Christmas
Michael Innes….. Christmas at Candleshoe


Melanie Jackson ….. Requiem at Christmas
Craig Johnson….. Death Without Company
Jennifer Jordan….. Murder Under the Mistletoe


Kate Kingsbury….. The Clue is in the Pudding
Edward Koch….. Murder on 34th Street


Joyce and Jim Lavene….. Treacherous Toys

William John Locke….. A Christmas Mystery

Jess Lourey….. December Dread


G. M. Malliet….. Death of a Cozy Writer
Margaret Maron….. Corpus Christmas
Leslie Meier….. Christmas Cookie Murder


Robert Nordan….. Death Beneath the Christmas Tree

Jemima Norton ….. The Mistletoe Bride


Katherine Hall Page….. The Body in the Sleigh

James Patterson….. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross

Louise Penny….. How the Light Gets In


J. D. Robb….. Holiday in Death

Elliott Rooseveltt….. The White House Pantry Murder

Jenna Ryan….. Mistletoe and Murder


Georges Simenon….. Maigret's Christmas
Susan Sleeman….. The Christmas Witness


Nancy Jill Thames….. Waiting for Santa

Rebecca Tope ….. Trouble in the Cotswolds


Elaine Viets….. Murder with All the Trimmings


Mary V. Welk….. A Merry Little Murder