Friday, December 16, 2022

Blurb Blitz & Giveaway: Bloodstains and Candy Canes by Marla A. White

Bloodstains and Candy Canes
Marla A. White

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Publication Date: November 30, 2022
Page Count: 73 pages


Attending a swanky cookie exchange is the last thing on veterinarian Dr. Mandy Brown’s holiday to-do list, but she agrees to help a friend out. The party comes to a screeching halt after a body turns up on the kitchen floor, a carving knife jutting out of his back.


As if that wasn’t bad enough, Mandy comes face-to-face with Officer Dylan Shaw, a man she thought she was dating until he ghosted her. Tensions escalate as motives for murder come out of the pantry as fast as guests scarf down the pot-spiked brownies, making everything all the merrier.

Although the case seems open and shut, Mandy doesn’t believe the evidence. Can she and Dylan put their differences aside and find the real killer, or risk one of the bakers getting away with murder?


“Cheating? It’s not a contest, who cares if they bought cookies?” Shaw asks. For a cop, it’s odd he doesn’t understand cookie exchanges are all about besting the other bakers.
“Because the whole point is for everyone to make homemade cookies and share the recipe. If one of these women stooped to passing off bakery cookies as their own, they might be capable of murder.”

His frown deepens to a scowl. “I think you might be taking this baking thing a little too seriously but fine, I’ll check.”

Dylan Shaw inches to the kitchen doorway, careful not to cross the police tape. The room is crowded with the forensic team doing their thing. I catch a glimpse of one of them bagging the murder weapon, a knife with an elaborate Christmas tree on the handle. I wonder if it belongs to Agnes? It doesn’t seem her style, but would a killer really bring a knife to a cookie party? 

I creep closer to see if the butcher block is missing a knife when Shaw turns and plows smack into me. I stumble backwards—darn these high heels anyway. Shaw has quick reflexes and grabs my arms to hold me steady. I don’t fall, but my knees turn to jelly at his touch.
“You’re right, the box is stamped with Queen Bea Bakery. I’m going to let the detective know. You should rejoin the rest of the, um…”
He couldn’t quite finish the sentence, so I finish it for him. “Suspects?”

5 stars!

Neat, compact, and the perfect holiday-themed treat for cozy mystery lovers.

First-year veterinarian Dr. Mandy Brown finds herself at loose ends during the holidays when her LAPD officer boyfriend, Dylan Shaw, starts being “unavailable.” So, Mandy agrees when her vet tech and friend, Dolores Jackson, asks her to be her wingman at a posh Beverly Hills Cookie Exchange party. Besides, she loved Christmas parties and had declined all previous invites when Dylan hadn’t been “available” to go with her.

With showstopping Candy Cane cookies in hand, she, Dolores, and Mandy’s landlady, former screen star Clara De Vine are just getting acquainted with the other guests when a scream startles everyone; there’s been a murder in the kitchen.

Bloodstains and Candy Canes is an intriguing and entertaining short Christmas mystery perfect for a cozy winter night. Dr. Mandy Brown is the fun, down-to-Earth heroine whose photographic memory and quick intelligence lead to the truth of the murder. I liked her midwestern, fish-out-of-water persona and felt her confusion over her boyfriend’s unexplained ghosting and absences. The couple’s awkwardness around each other at the crime scene and Shaw’s supervisor’s accidental consumption of cannabis kept the story light and fun. My only question when all was said and done had to do with the allusions to a previous murder that led to Mandy and Shaw’s initial meeting. Is there an earlier book?
I recommend BLOODSTAINS AND CANDY CANES to cozy mystery readers who enjoy a holiday or culinary-themed story.


Marla White is a story analysis instructor at UCLA and writing coach who lives in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Kentucky where she took her first horseback riding lesson. After dabbling in hunters, barrel racing, and weekly trail rides, she fell hopelessly in love with the sport of eventing. She conquered Novice level before taking a break to pursue novel writing but hopes to return to the saddle some day soon. When she’s not writing, she’s out in the garden, hiking, putting together impossibly difficult puzzles, or (of course!) baking.


Marla A. White will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Marla White said...

Thank you for hosting and for an amazing review! Great question - yes, there is a "prequel" to this story in the final stages of editing so if you like Mandy and Dylan keep an eye out!

Good luck to all of those who enter the giveaway!

Karen said...


Thank you for stopping by the blog!

Sherry said...

I like book details.