Murder Fir Christmas ~ A Christmas Tree Valley Mystery by Joyce and Jim Lavene ~ Review and Giveaway

Posted: December 9, 2015 in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, giveaways, Paranormal or fantasy, reviews
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Murder Fir Christmas
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Murder Fir Christmas will have you humming carols and ho-ho-ho-ing quicker than the Big Guy’s sled makes it around the world!
~Back Porchervations!!

Masterfully written…filled with intrigue, action, laughter, joy, and a mystical beauty that touched my heart, MURDER FIR CHRISTMAS has beat out every book this year to become my number one favorite book of 2015.
~Lisa K’s Book Reviews

This has mystery, humor and a touch of paranormal that combine to entertain you.

An awesome cozy story! Mystery with just a flake of folklore and a touch of paranormal and a little romance too. These authors have imaginations that are truly off the charts.
~Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

This book was full of adventure and mystery…
~Community Bookstop

The book was wonderful seeing Bonnie again and the way she handles herself with the Tree Farm and more.
~Bab’s Book Bistro

Murder Fir Christmas was a well-crafted mystery with a spunky heroine, engaging characters and a whodunnit that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

(Christmas Tree Valley Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Print Length: 208 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (December 1, 2015)

My Review

This is my favorite book by these authors. I loved it. And it’s the first book in a brand new series!

Bonnie is living the life I wished I could. She’s a Federal Wildlife Agent. Returning to her roots in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee to take care of her mother, she hardly has time to check in on her new job before she’s called out to help rescue some wildlife when a small island catches on fire.

While rescuing the animals, she finds not one, but two people dead, the latter being the retiring agent who’s position she is taking.

A good cozy mystery requires multiple suspects, with the main protagonist becoming a target of the killer or a prime suspect themselves. You get that, because Bonnie is not about to stay out of the investigation. It also requires a little romance. You get that too, and it’s a hoot.

And there’s another plus to this story. A little bit of paranormal and folklore. Right from the beginning I sensed something peculiar and it wasn’t long before Bonnie was made aware of it too.

Bonnie’s affinity with wild animals is another thing I loved about this story. She rescues a young wolf cub from the island and takes him home to rehabilitate and then release back into the wild. Well, of course I fell in love with the cub and it became a focal point for me. Would she turn the wolf loose, and would it go? It didn’t seem to want to leave Bonnie’s side.

How to describe my reading experience? I had a blast. Loved the budding romance, Had to laugh because they could deny it all they wanted but the heart wants what the heart wants. The murder mystery had a lot of suspects and I loved following the clues, discarding a suspect, finding another, and another. And the wolf cub. He was so adorable. I loved how he attached himself to Bonnie, accepting her as pack leader, never wandering far from her. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted him to integrate back into the wild or stay with Bonnie. And there’s much more going on. Every page led me to something else.

With a puzzling mystery, lots of wildlife, a touch of romance and some paranormal elements, I was hooked from the first chapter and didn’t stop until I read the last page. One of those books you can’t wait to finish and hate to finish at the same time.

5 Stars



Down the mountain from Sweet Pepper, Tennessee is Christmas Tree Valley, a place filled with hundreds of Christmas tree farms where generations of growers have made people’s lives brighter. Yet even here in this quiet, postcard-perfect corner of the world, darkness and murder can still stalk the night.

Federal Wildlife Agent Bonnie Tuttle has always had a special gift with wild animals. It was one of the reasons she decided to train with the wildlife agency. She’s spent the last ten years in Alabama working, but her mother needs her home and she’s back despite all the bad parts of her life she hoped to leave behind.

Her first day home begins with a fire on the island in Sweet Pepper Lake and the death of Harvey Shelton, the wildlife agent she’s supposed to replace. Bonnie manages to rescue dozens of animals from the fire – including a wolf pup that was shot with the same bullet that killed Harvey.

Now she’s hot on the trail of Harvey’s killer and trying to reintegrate the wolf back into the wild even though he seems to want to stay with her. Yet old memories persist in the small community where she grew up, and the killer now seems to believe that she has what he killed Harvey for. All she has to do is figure out what that is before it’s too late.

Christmas Recipes included!

About Authors Joyce and Jim Lavene

I just love this picture of Joyce and Jim


Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Author Links

Website / Facebook / Amazon / Twitter

Purchase Link:



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Follow the tour for more fun stops.

December 2 – Back Porchervations – Review 

December 3 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review

December 3 – readalot – Review

December 4 – Community Bookstop – Review

December 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

December 5 – Babs Book Bistro – Review

December 6 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review

December 7 – Bubble Bath Books – Review

December 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review

December 8 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review

December 9 – fuonlyknew – Review

December 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Review

December 10 – fundinmental – Review

December 11 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review

December 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

December 13 – Laura’s Interests – Review

December 14 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review

December 14 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review

December 15 – View from the Birdhouse – Review

December 15 – Book Babble – Review


Until the next time….

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the Christmas Flamingos below!

  1. candace knight says:

    I love every book they have written. Each series is different and great. I love all of the characters. I can’t wait to read this one!

  2. feeroberts64 says:

    This sounds like my kind of mystery. Can’t wait to read it.

  3. Jen says:

    This books like a delightful read for the holiday season!

  4. Mai Tran says:

    Question to the author: If you could meet your star crossed lovers, what one piece of advice would you give each of them?

  5. Sounds like a good one so I put it on my wishlist. :)

  6. I love these authors but haven’t read this series yet. Definitely going on my TBR!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      It’s the first book. I usually jump into one of their series somewhere besides the beginning. LOL I’ve started their two newest at the beginning for a change!

  7. Patricia says:

    Great review, Laura!

  8. Peggy Hyndman says:

    This book is a delightful read for the holiday season!

  9. robeader says:

    The Lavenes have outdone their self with this new series. Taking characters from other existing series and making a new series to follow is exciting to see where it will lead. Thanks for the review.

  10. Kathleen Costa says:

    I love Joyce and Jim Lavene writing team! Joyce will be missed, but never far away, as I have several of their books. I am looking forward to read another Christmas-themed book. Bring it on! Happy Christmas!

  11. Sandra Watts says:

    Thanks and Happy Holidays to you.

  12. Mary Preston says:

    A helpful review thank you.

  13. This sounds really good. I haven’t read anything by these authors before so I’m going to look for the books! Thanks for a good review.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Happy you enjoyed my review:) They have so many wonderful books and just started another new series!

  14. This definitely sounds good, Laura! And I have never heard of these authors before. I need to check out their books! New series that start off with a bang like Murder Fir Christmas is such a treat, too :)

  15. Brooke says:

    Thank you for sharing your awesome review. I can’t wait to read this one.

  16. Sandra Watts says:

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  17. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the introduction to these authors and their book.