Thursday, December 20, 2018

12 Mysteries of Christmas + Giveaway By Kate Carlisle

JENN McKINLAY: Yay! Yay! Yay! Today, my guest is one of my very favorite writers, my plotting partner, and all around gal pal the one the only...Kate Carlisle! And she has a super fun holiday blog post to share for those of us struggling in the gifting arts. Take it, Kate!

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of two ongoing series: the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills uncover old secrets, treachery and murder; and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors' closets, but murder victims, too. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has brought three of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries to life in a series starring Jewel and Colin Ferguson. Watch for Kate's cameo in the second film!

I love a Christmas mystery. I even wrote one—Deck the Hallways. I don't know what it is about the holidays and murder that just seem to go together… Maybe all that Christmas muzak sends people over the edge.

To be truly satisfying, a Christmas mystery needs more than just to be set during the holiday season. It needs to be filled with cozy Christmas elements. The spirit of the season (murder notwithstanding). These 12 Mysteries of Christmas will fill your heart with joy. . . and your stocking with homicide!




Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James
Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are busy decking the halls for the holidays when an unexpected delivery and a shocking murder conspire to shake up the season.

Deck the Hallways by Kate Carlisle (aka, me)
Someone's been slayed! If contractor Shannon Hammer can't nail the real culprit in the St. Nick of time, her dad will wind up in the clink...

Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
The holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder—and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case.




How the Finch Stole Christmas by Donna Andrews
When Meg's family stages a production of A Christmas Carol, the show must go on, even if the famous—though slightly over-the-hill—actor who's come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him.

White Colander Crime by Victorian Hamilton
The Heritage Society is re-creating a perfect Victorian Christmas—until good tidings go bad... At the end of a long day of festival fun, food columnist Jaymie Leighton discovers the body of local woman who predicted her own murder.

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany
In Rudolph, New York, it’s Christmastime all year long. But this December, while the snow-lined streets seem merry and bright, a murder is about to ruin everyone’s holiday cheer.


Wreath between the Lines by Daryl Wood Gerber
The holidays are cookbook shop owner Jenna Hart's favorite time of year, until the friend of a friend is murdered with a Christmas tree star.

Not a Creature Was Purring by Krista Davis
Innkeeper Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia.

'Twas the Knife before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost
When a body turns up in a larger-than-life candy bowl filled with peppermints on the Mistletoe, Maine town square, Holly White is horrified to learn her best friend Caroline is the main suspect.



Death with All the Trimmings by Lucy Burdette
The only snow in Key West this Christmas is Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, who is not getting time off for the holiday…or time off from murder.

A Midwinter's Tail by Bethany Blake
Nothing gets professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton into the Christmas spirit more than the town’s annual Bark the Halls Ball. . . until the founder of a national chain of pet care franchises is found murdered, and Daphne's friend is the prime suspect.

A Holiday Yarn by Sally Goldenbaum
Holiday time is magical in Sea Harbor, as the Seaside Knitters turn winter yarns of deep reds, greens, and golds into gifts. But when murder comes to this small New England town, they must set aside their needles to pursue justice—and restore joy to the season.

Let's have some fun today! Give a little murderous twist to the title or lyric of a Christmas song, turning it into a great title for a Christmas mystery novel. For example: Rudolph, the Red-Handed Culprit. Everyone who plays this little reindeer game with me will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of Deck the Hallways. (Please note: it's not enough just to post a generic comment. You need to play the game.)


ABOUT DECK THE HALLWAYS

Read chapter one for free at http://katecarlisle.com/deck-the-hallways.php

Someone's been slayed! If contractor Shannon Hammer can't nail the real culprit in the St. Nick of time, her dad will wind up in the clink...

Even at Christmastime, Shannon is more spackle than sparkle, which is why she leaps at the chance to transform a grand old Victorian mansion into ten charming apartments for homeless families. Filled with the spirit of the season, all of Lighthouse Cove turns out to help—including her best friends, a troupe of far-from-angelic Santa Claus impersonators, and her father, Jack.

But their merriment is soon dashed by a heated scuffle between Jack and the miserly president of the bank who's backing the project. When the man is murdered, all eyes are on Jack, and visions of prison time dance in Shannon's head. Now, she needs to pull off a crime-solving miracle, before her father's Christmas goose is cooked...

JENN: What about it, Reds and Readers? Dazzle me! What's your murderous twist to the title or lyric of a Christmas song? 





147 comments:

  1. I can second the recommendation for these titles, at least the ones I've read. Full of Christmas spirit and a little bit of murder.

    Sadly, I'm very bad at puns. I love them, but I'm bad at them. Beside, I already have this book, so I'll leave it for others to play and win.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed DECK THE HALLWAYS, Mark. :)

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  2. Chet Hunt's Roasting on an Open Fire.

    I really like Brooklyn and Shannon books. Thank you for them.

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    1. I think Pam has won this thing already. That is an awesome if rather disturbingly (yet funny) graphic for a Christmas cozy mystery novel.



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    2. This is hysterical, I have to agree with Jay. A winner right here!

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    3. Snork!!! Good one, Pam! Both cute and macabre.

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  3. This is a great list, Kate. Thank you!

    How about “Mistletoe and Bodies"??

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  4. I like word play and puns. How 'bout "He hung, til twas fatal." Is twas just a Christmas word? Hmm. I once tried to make my way through an Hercule Poirot mystery translated into French. It is one of the few French books that I was able to finish all the way through. Merry Christmas Reds and fans. Shalom, Kate. I'll look for your books.

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    1. I've got the tune going through my head now. I love that you read a Poirot in French! Well done, you.

      Although twas is not technically a Christmas word, it's certainly associated with the season these days. You're entered in the giveaway, David. Meanwhile, you can read free excerpts of all of my books at KateCarlisle.com, if you'd like to test the waters without a commitment.

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    2. Poirot in French?! Tres impressionne, David!

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  5. I haven't read any of the books that are singled out by Kate save the Vicki Delany one. That series is great. But is it over? I've read the three books that have been published but I don't think one was published this year.

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    1. There's a fourth book scheduled for next year, according to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B01DB7AWME/

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    2. Yay! A fourth! Adding to my list...

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  6. I might have only read Lucy's on that list - I'm clearly running behind. What a fun contest! I normally have to outsource my own punny titles, but these just came to me:

    "Round Yon Murderer"
    "Away in a Murder"
    "Three Fatal Hens"

    Fun!

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    1. LOL!!! Good job! I especially love Round Yon Murderer. I want to read that book!

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Edith, may we call on you for help to title future works? You certainly have a talent!

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  7. I've enjoyed your books!

    Oh come all ye fraudsters
    The holly and the monkshood
    Tomorrow shall be my killing day

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    1. Clever! You're entered in the giveaway, Margaret. And THANK YOU for enjoying my books. :)

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  8. I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus - Yikes! There must be better ones than this. If all the above books are as good as the one I'v read how wonderful would that be. I always like to get a book in my stocking.

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    1. Books make the best gifts! Hours of enjoyment and introducing the reader to a whole new world. :)

      I love your title idea. Perfect! LOL

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    2. You went dark there, Judi. I like it.

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  9. I enjoy Christmas themed mysteries, too, and I don't think I have read a single one of those highlighted today. Better get on it!

    Here are my modest offerings:

    "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder"
    "The Holly and The Arsenic"
    "There's No Place Like Home for the Homicide"

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    1. OMG, these are *fabulous*!!!!!! Love them. I love the idea of replacing "holidays" with "homicide." You could do so much with that!

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  10. Slaying Around the Christmas Tree

    Why does it feel like someone's used that?

    Mary/Liz

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    1. It doesn't come up in an Amazon search. Sometimes titles are so good, you think they *must* have been used before! :) You're entered in the giveaway, Mary. Good luck!

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  11. All I want for Christmas is a gun to shoot,
    That's not in dispute,
    That my gun must shoot.
    Don't care if I am known as one of ill repute,
    Then I could shoot them all on Christmas.

    Mostly I hate the above.
    And I don't give a damn about the Second Amendment.
    Now you know why I am a reader, not a writer

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    1. This makes me think of A Christmas Story and the Red Rider BB gun. One of my favorite Christmas movies!

      You're entered in the random drawing, Ann. :) Good luck!

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    2. Hilarious (and a little scary), Ann!

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  12. Deb, you asked for my bread recipes yesterday.

    This is my bread book for easy stuff that looks like I spent the day kneading and baking:
    https://smile.amazon.com/Artisan-Bread-Five-Minutes-Revolutionizes-ebook/dp/B00F1R9D9Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545312849&sr=8-1&keywords=artisan+bread+in+five+minutes+a+day

    And for out of this world sandwich bread, either white or whole wheat:

    http://www.dinnerwithjulie.com/2012/03/04/julia-childs-white-sandwich-bread/

    Bon appetit!


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  13. Ann, I think you're brilliant!
    Wreck the Halls

    Or I defer to the master of this sort of thing, though not murderously, Pogo (the great Walt KellY):

    Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
    Walla Walla, Wash., an’ Kalamazoo!
    Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley,
    Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

    Don’t we know archaic barrel
    Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
    Trolley Molly don’t love Harold,
    Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

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    1. Wreck the Halls was one of the titles we considered for the book that became DECK THE HALLWAYS. However, I'd already had the idea for the next title (this year's A WRENCH IN THE WORKS), and I didn't want two WR- titles in a row. :D

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    2. Ah, the genesis of titles -- it's exhausting!

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  14. I do love a good Christmas cozy.
    How about:
    O Holy Knife
    or
    Body, It's Cold Outside

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    1. Those are both sooooooooooo good, Kristopher!!!! Body, It's Cold Outside elicited an evil chuckle from me. It's just deliciously dark and yet still very funny. I love it!

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  15. I love all these titles! My second book, a traditional amateur sleuth takes place in England during the Christmas season (pub date October 2019). The title can't be too cozy sounding, but I still want to pull in the season if I can. Themes are antiques,loyalty, and legacy. Any suggestions?

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    1. Oh, the title dance! It's often such a struggle, and then a thrill when you think of the right one. For some reason, "Ye Olde..." popped into my head. And then "Should Auld Acquaintance Be ...." (Haven't filled in the blanks.) Good luck in your title search, Connie!

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    2. Titles are the bane of my existence! I feel for you, Connie.

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  16. Oh you guys are giving me a lot of laughs this morning! Welcome Kate! I am starting another Christmas mystery right as we speak. I was thinking of The Bight Before Christmas (That’s the name for a harbor in key west). But I think I’m going to have to put Chet Hunt into the book instead!

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    1. Probably not a lot of open fires in Key West! ;) Good for you, starting a Christmas mystery during the Christmas season. That helps you get into the spirit, I'm sure. Enjoy!

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    2. I am writing one right now, Lucy. It starts out with a dead elf - because wha't more holiday infused than that?

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  17. Dreaming of a nice poison
    Clemmie.Jackson@yahoo.com

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  18. Santa Claus is Coming to Drown, It's Beginning to Look a lot like Murder, Mali Kaliki Maka Murder. Here is a corny joke from a long time ago: A Russian man named Rudolph and his wife were looking out the window and arguing about whether it was raining or snowing. After a back and forth of "it's raining," "no, it's snowing," the Russian man said: "Rudolph the Red Knows Rain, Dear."

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    1. LOL!!!! I adore corny jokes. The cornier, the better.

      Great title suggestions, too. This is so much fun!

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    2. LOL - you had me at the first one!

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  19. I’m dreaming of a killer Christmas
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  20. Great Post this morning Kate! Thank you.

    I love all the titles so far and I'm amazed at how creative you all are at, what for me, is early first-cup-of-coffee morning. I know I'll be in the car sometime this afternoon when suddenly I'll be hit with a title, one singular title. And then my mind will move on leaving wishing I'd thought of it sooner. I'm brilliant when I'm by myself, not so much in a group. Heh heh.

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    1. Ah, but you have all day, Lyda. So pull over, whip out your phone and post your idea when it comes! :D

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    2. I'm with you, Lyda. Hub and I flew in at 1:00 AM last night from a family gathering in Denver and my brain is mush.

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  21. LOVE Pogo! My very fave. Remember Bemidged, Bothered and Bemildred?
    Hi Kate! Love you madly.
    Silent Knife? (Si--i-lent knife, hold the knife, all is calm, all blood bright....)
    God Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen?
    Dirk the Halls?
    AHhhhhhhhh now I'm thinking about this!!

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    1. Silent Knife is a book that's begging to be written! And your lyrics add the perfect touch of terror. :) Gee, Hank, you should be a writer!

      Thanks for the warm welcome!

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    2. OMG - Silent Knife is an awesome Christmas thriller title.

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  22. Kate, you’re asking us to THINK this close to Christmas??! Well, I’ll put on my thinking cap and work on it. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying what everyone else has contributed!

    DebRo

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    1. Ha! Well, I figure we've all been hearing carols on an infinite loop for a month now, so the lyrics are right at the forefront of our minds. ;)

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  23. The Candy Caned Corpse or Slaying Bells
    browninggloria( at) hotmail(dot).com

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    1. Ohhhhhhhhhhh so good!!!! You're entered in the drawing, Glorious. :) Thanks for playing!

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  24. Replies
    1. OMG, looooooooooove it!!!!! The title alone makes me want to read the book.

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  25. I Slayed a little dreidel. cheers (at) MarjimManor (dot) com

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    1. Ha! Good one. :) Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel... :D

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  26. Stalking in a Winter Wonderland
    It's the Most Homicidal Time of the Year

    Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer..... Was it an accident? Or was it Murder? Which of the eight reindeer had it in for Grandma? Or could it have been the little old driver so deadly and quick?

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    1. Oh, you had fun with this! Stalking in a Winter Wonderland is my favorite. I think there's some truth to the most homicidal time of the year. LOL

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    2. Kathy, you're the random winner!!! Congratulations! To claim your signed copy of DECK THE HALLWAYS, send your mailing address to me at kate (at) katecarlisle (dot) com no later than December 27.

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  27. It Came on a Grave Digger's foggy night

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    1. Spooky and atmospheric. Good job, Judy! :D Thanks for playing my little reindeer game.

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  28. Silenced Night, A Holy Night Mystery

    The Twelve Slays of Christmas

    Would love to win a copy!!!!

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    1. It didn't post my name! Mary Burke Maryburke1993@gmail.com

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    2. Your name isn't included with your post, so if you win the random drawing, I don't know how to announce your name. :)

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    3. Yay! Thanks for the follow-up, Mary! Got you. :D

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  29. You know Dasher and Dancer and the Murderous vixen!

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    1. I *love* "Murderous Vixen!" How perfect is that?!

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  30. Replies
    1. Good one, Estella! You're entered in the drawing. :) Good luck!

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  31. Just woke up and I'm not sure I can think up lyrics for the game. I stopped by to say Hi! I have the pink measuring tape that you gave me at Bouchercon :-) . I love your Bibliophile mysteries. And I watched the movies with Jewel on Hallmark mysteries. I have some of the Christmas novels mentioned in this post.

    I love the comments above! So many wonderful comments!

    Diana

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    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying the measuring tape, Diana. That has to be the handiest swag item ever. :) Thanks for being a fan of my books! :D

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    2. I appreciate a good story, Kate. :-)

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  32. I Wish you a Deadly Christmas!

    Thank you so much for this chance!

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    1. Hee hee hee... rubbing my hands together with evil intent as I say this title.

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  33. I'll be Homicidal for Christmas! :)

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  34. Jingle Bell Rock Murder. Love the book with Brooklyn and Derek.

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    1. Thank you, Lois. I love writing the Bibliophile Mysteries, too. Did you see that I revealed the cover of next year's Bibliophile--THE BOOK SUPREMACY? You can see the cover reveal at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56dJwc2NDF4

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  35. How about:

    'Twas a Death Before Christmas
    Grandma Got Run Over by a Hit Man
    Killin' Around the Christmas Tree
    Have Yourself a Bloody Little Christmas
    Carol of the (Jail) Cells
    Frosty the Fugitive
    Away in a Coffin

    mlduffer(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Oh wow, your brain is firing on all cylinders!!! Soooooo clever!

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  36. Awesome post Kate! So much fun to read everybodies suggestions.
    Home for the Homicide
    Ring-a-ling, Hear Them Scream
    Hang a Shining Star From the Highest Bough

    bcollin981 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Hear them Scream.... I'm screaming with laughter!!!!

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  37. I would love to spend the whole month of December reading these Christmas related books. If there ever comes a year that I'm caught up with my yearly reading, I would jump on that idea in a heartbeat.

    So, for the murderous twist to the song lyric or song title. (I'm not reading anyone else's before I do this.) 1)Santa Body 2)Have Yourself a Murderous Little Christmas 3)Frosty the Dead Man 4)I Saw Mommy Murder Santa Claus 5)Silent Night, Murder Night 6)It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder

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    1. You're so clever, Kathy! I especially love Frosty the Dead Man.

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  38. I saw Mommy killing Santa Claus .
    Thanks for the chance.

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    1. Thank you for playing my little reindeer game, Daphne! :) You're entered in the giveaway.

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  39. I'm so not good at this stuff. Here's what I came up with:
    A Deadly White Christmas
    A Winter Solstice Murder
    A Sleigh Ride to Disaster
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'd say you're very good at this! :) Thanks, Dianne.

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  40. A sleigh ride to homicide donamaekutska7@gmail.com thanks for the chance.

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  41. Fabulous giveaway and fantastic titles! I offer the following: God Rest Ye, Murdered Gentlemen and Angels I Have Sent on High.

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    1. God Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman is the title of the Vicki Delany book I recommended above. :) But you're entered in the giveaway with Angels I have Sent on High. Good luck, Flora!

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  42. Deadly Bells,
    Menacing Christmas
    Wreck the Halls
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

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  43. Silent Night - Silent Sleuth
    Deck the Halls - Deck the Culprit
    Here We Come A-wassailing - Murder! It Came A-wassiling
    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win asigned copy of "Deck the Hallways"!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Thank you for playing, Kay! Good luck in the drawing. :)

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  44. Hmmm...let’s see. The 12 Deaths of Christmas. Slay Ride. (This is Your) Last Christmas. Mrs. Claus Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. (Oh that won’t end well!!) Happy Holidays!

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    1. These are so good, Kristi. I especially love Slay Ride!!!

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  45. A bit of cheat here, but "Twas The Nightmare Before Christmas".

    "The 12 Bloodstains of Christmas".

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  46. I Want A Homicide For Christmas! A play on I Want A Hippo For Christmas.

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  47. Shelley Freydont wrote Silent Knife. How about Feliz Navidead? I read some Agatha Christie books in Spanish when I was in Argentina many years ago. I love most Christmas mysteries.

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  48. Have Yourself a Merry Little Murder.

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    1. Love it! I can just picture a killer who loves what he does.

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  49. Little Town of Murder
    In Dark Streets Mayhem
    How Silently, How Murderously
    A Slay In A Manger

    Ann Mettert
    penmettert@gmail.com

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  50. God Rest You Deadly Gentlemen, Oh Little Town of Mayhem, He Died Upon a Midnight Clear, Murder in a Manger, Baby It's Murder Outside, Twas the Night Before Murder - trwilliams 69 at msn dot com

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  51. Simply Having a Murderous Christmastime.

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    1. Oh, now that tune will be stuck in my head all evening!

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  52. Cheater Roasted on an Arson Fire

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  53. Congratulations to Kathy L, the random winner! :D (Kathy's title suggestions were: Stalking in a Winter Wonderland and It's the Most Homicidal Time of the Year. So cute! I want to read both of those books.

    Kathy, to claim your signed copy of DECK THE HALLWAYS, send your mailing address to me at kate (at) katecarlisle (dot) com no later than December 27.

    Thank you so much to Jenn and to all of the Jungle Red Writers for such a warm welcome today. This has been a lot of fun! Very creative followers you have. :D

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    1. Kate,

      Thanks for all the fun today! (Although I must say I am now almost afraid of many of my fellow readers of JRW!)

      DebRo

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  54. Congratulations, Kathy L!!! Thanks for playing everyone and for giving us such a fun post, Kate! XO

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  55. I'm going to be bold and add MY Christmas book to the mix - A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING, inspired by the unique Louisiana tradition of building giant bonfires on the levees of Mississippi and lighting them Christmas Eve to guide Papa Noel's way up the river to all the Cajun children. :-)

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  56. Oh bummer, you chose the winner before the e-mail hit my inbox. I always get the e-mails late at night. Guess I'll have to try to remember to check the page without an e-mail, just in case. :)
    Congrats to the winner, it's a great prize!
    My not great lyric/title is "Grinch Got Murdered By a Reindeer." Happy Holidays to all!

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  57. Kate... before you run away, make sure you read Rhys’ 12 Clues of Christmas.... one of my absolute favorite Christmas mysteries.....

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  58. I like "It's Beginning to look a lot like murder"...for the season!

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