A Christmas Peril

A Christmas Peril

by J. A. Hennrikus


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738754154
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 09/08/2017
Series: A Theater Cop Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 233,114
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

J. A. Hennrikus is the author of the Theater Cop Mystery series. As Julianne Holmes, she writes the Agatha-nominated Clock Shop Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. Hennrikus blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors, is on the board of Sisters in Crime, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America. She is also an arts administrator who lives in Massachusetts.

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A Christmas Peril 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
ValerieL More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars rounded up. This was an absolutely delightful book! It didn't quite have the pizzazz I look for to push it up to a 5-star rating, it is a solid 4.5 in my opinion. The characters in this series are great. There was only once where the main character did something absolutely stupid and unsafe. The rest of the time she was well-behaved. Obviously there are some risks in trying to solve a mystery, it just bugs me when the heroine goes off and does stupid stuff or disregards all thoughts of safety. The side characters were fun too. Everyone was well-developed and complex. The plot line moved along quite well. I'd say steady-fast. It wasn't so fast that you couldn't keep up, but it definitely moved along. I had absolutely no idea who the villain was until it was revealed. Honestly, he wasn't even on my radar, so that was a great twist for me. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I look forward to the next installment whenever that might be! *** Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions expressed are my own. ***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel starts what I hope is a long series and I only found it by reading Barbara Ross' newsletter . Thanks, Barbara. Sully is a work in progress, ex-cop , now in the business end of a small hometown theater, dealing with actors, directors, and murder.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Christmas Peril by J.A. Hennrikus is the first story in A Theater Cop Mystery series. Edwina “Sully” Sullivan has been the general manager of the Cliffside Theater Company in Trevorton, Massachusetts for the last five years since leaving the force (and her ex-husband). Sully is busy with preparations for their annual performance of A Christmas Carol, but she is taking time out to attend the funeral of Peter Whitehall. Peter’s son, Eric is a friend and Sully is tending the event for him. When Eric ends up arrested for Peter’s murder, Sully puts her detecting skills to work finding the real killer. Sully has her hands full with keeping the budget on track for A Christmas Carol, replacing an actor, dealing with Patrick King who cannot remember his lines and has a drinking problem (along with a huge ego), and finding Peter’s killer. When I started reading A Christmas Peril, I went back to check that this was the first book. I felt like I was plopped down in the middle of a series. The book is very confusing in the beginning. It felt like the book was written out of order (with the beginning in the middle and the middle at the beginning). The pace of the story is a little too slow for my liking and it felt dated (like it was written for a different time-period). The book lacked flow and smooth transitions. Many of the same details are repeated frequently (after I while I could recite them by rote). Sully became fixated on murder (obsessed). Too much of the book is focused on conjecture and hearsay (Sully going over the same details). I solved the crime at Peter’s funeral (it should not be that easy). There are a couple of possible love interests for Sully in the story. I could have done with less “flirting” and a more interesting/engaging mystery. At the end of the story, there are dangling threads (it felt unfinished) and it was convoluted. The Christmas aspect was very light (almost non-existent). A Christmas Peril would have benefited from more editing/rewriting.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
J.A. Hennrikus hits all the right marks in her first Theater Cop Mystery. A CHRISTMAS PERIL by J.A. Hennrikus The First Theater Cop Mystery Sully Sullivan may have given up her badge, but she retains her police smarts as her worlds collide. After leaving the police force and her cheating husband, Sully returned to her hometown to become the general manager of the Cliffside Theater Company. But when well to do Peter Whitehall, a once friend of the family, is murdered his family request Sully look into things. To cure her curiosity and save her good friend, who happens to be the son of the victim as well as the primary suspect, Sully agrees. She finds herself sorting out a dysfunctional family and business while also trying to keep a disastrous production of A Christmas Carol on track. Add the return of her ex-husband, serving as lawyer to the family, and a former fling in to save the show, and Sully must use all of her police training and theater know how to solve the mystery before she becomes the ghost of Christmas future! J.A. Hennrikus hits all the right marks in her first Theater Cop Mystery. Sully Sullivan is a tough protagonist with enough issues to make her endearing. While she doesn't carry a badge, Sully still has the heart and mind of a cop. She straddles more than one world, but is able to work well in both. Drama is heightened when two former loves come on the scene. Working with her ex-husband on the murder and a former fling in the theater, Sully has her hands, and heart, full. The worlds of theater and law enforcement may appear incongruous at first, but they truly aren't as I, a former police officer with a degree in theatre, can attest! A CHRISTMAS PERIL is an intricately plotted mystery with fascinating characters. I look forward to the next act! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Former police officer Edwina “Sully” Sullivan tries to leave her old career behind but when her best friend becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation she can’t remain silent. Between the drama off stage and on at the theater and the murder Sully has her hands full. Then the bodies start to pile up, distant relatives of hers, she is drawn further into the investigation and closer to her ex. There is peril this Christmas and Sully needs to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible. I enjoyed meeting Sully and I anxious to get to know her better as the series continues. Retired from the police force she has become the manager of the Cliffside Theater Company and has worked there quietly for several years. The director is a bit of a handful, as is one of the current actors but her previous job has prepared her to deal with difficult people. She is smart and knows how to use her talents and can truly multitask. Her ex-husband lands back in life when her best friend is accused of killing his father and Gus becomes his lawyer. She isn’t quite sure how she feels about that but she is surprising drawn to him, he cheated on her, how could she be having these feelings? They both seem to have other people in their lives too. Romantic tension – loved it! The backdrop of the theater was very intriguing. The look behind the scenes of such a production was very interesting and the cast had its quirky characters. I imagine putting a standard like A Christmas Carol is not an easy task but when the main star is a drunkard with hearing issues it had to be a monumental task. The mystery is filled with twists with multiple murders and several suspects. It starts a little slow but soon the pages were rapidly turning. I was surprised at the big reveal but the ending left readers hanging regarding Sully personal life. You know, the teaser toward the next book. Well written, appealing characters and a fun theme have gotten this series off to a fine start. I would have liked it to be just a bit more “Christmasy” but this would be a great book to read curled up in front of the fire as winter approaches.
TarynLee More than 1 year ago
Sully, a retired police officer has moved back home and become the general manager at the local theater company. Having had issues with her previous job and divorcing her husband she was looking for a change and she seems to have found peace with where she has landed. When a prominent member of the community is murdered the mans son asks Sully if she would look into what happened, it doesn't hurt that she is also a distant relative and has an investigative background. She agrees but when things start to turn sour with this years showing of A Christmas Carol she doesn't know how much help she can give. Things change when she learns that her ex-husband is a lawyer for the family and he wants to work with her in finding out the truth. Sully begins to realize that she still has feelings for her ex but also one of the actors from the company who pops in and out of her life. With all these changes messing with her emotions and the play not going the way she planned will Sully be able to help figure out who the murderer is? I liked how the author wrote the main character and look forward to seeing where she takes her in the future. I also can't wait to see what other showings will be happening at the theater while Sully helps solve the mystery in upcoming books.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
New Series Debut Delights As much as I love movies and TV, I also love live theater. So when Julie Hennrikus said she was working on a series with a theater theme, I immediately perked up. After all, I’ve enjoyed the Clock Shop books she’s written as Julianne Holmes. An author I like with a theme I’m interested in? You don’t have to sell me further. I’ve been marking time until A Christmas Peril would debut, and I loved the result. Edwina “Sully” Sullivan has taken a medical retirement from her job as a Boston cop. After moving back to her hometown, she found herself becoming the general manager for the local theater company. It’s mostly a summer theater company, but each December they put on a production of A Christmas Carol. This year’s production is looking problematic thanks to a star who can’t remember his lines and a cast getting frustrated with his antics. Time is running out since the play is supposed to open this weekend. However, the big news in town is taking place outside of the theater. Peter Whitehall was murdered – shot in his home. Peter is a distant relative of Sully and the father of her friend Eric, but the reason the entire town is talking is how rich he was. Peter was definitely the most prominent citizen in the small Massachusetts town. Because of Peter’s security system, the police know it was someone who was in the house at the time, but that just leaves family. Reluctantly, Sully finds herself being pulled into the puzzle. Can she figure out who committed the murder while still doing her part to get the play ready for opening night? I was a bit surprised when I realized that the murder was not directly connected to the theater. Oh, there are some connections, but it’s really the friend and family ties that bring Sully into the case. This wasn’t an issue for very long, however, as I got caught up in the story. Really, the mystery is a modern-day Agatha Christie type puzzle. Instead of weather isolating the suspects, its technology that does it. There are some twists that kept me guessing until we reached the logical solution. And fans of the theater, like me, have no reason to fear. The problems the production of A Christmas Carol is facing provide a strong sub-plot that is woven through the book. I loved how the two were balanced and the glimpse behind the scenes at the theater. It certainly helps that I love the story and know it well, I watch or listen to several different productions of the classic Christmas tale every year. Sully is already a strong main character with strengths and flaws that make her relatable. There are some other strong characters here, a few of whom I’m hoping are going to be series regulars instead of just suspects for this book. Some of the theater characters could have been stronger, but they work for this book, and I’m sure we’ll get to know them better as the series goes along. My biggest issue with the book was the foul language. It mostly falls into the mild category, but it was definitely more excessive than I’m used to in a cozy. It’s worth noting, but I’m sure for most people it’s worth noting only in passing. It’s hard to believe that Christmas cozies are already coming out, but that’s indeed the case. Whether you devour it now or wait to savor it in December, you’ll definitely want to meet Sully in A Christmas Peril. This new series is off to a strong start. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.