Review: Dead and Gondola by Ann Claire

Series: Christie Bookshop #1
Author: Ann Claire
Publisher: Bantam
Released: November 1, 2022
Received: NetGalley

3 1/2 kitties

I’ve been craving another cozy mystery series for ages (I’m going to blame Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series for getting me back in the cozy mystery mood). So when I saw Dead and Gondola, I knew I had to try it. This is the first novel in the Christie Bookshop series, written by Ann Claire. Brownie points for the punny title, naturally.

Ellie Christie has finally made her way back home only to find that things are not as calm and quiet as she had remembered. Or perhaps that’s the recent murder making everything feel much more chaotic.

Ellie and her family run a sweet little bookshop named the Book Chalet. It even has a bookstore cat named Agatha. But when a customer is suddenly murdered, it will take Ellie, her sisters, and Agatha combined to solve the case.

“An active imagination was an occupational hazard of a life with books.”

You can’t promise me a cozy mystery involving a crime-solving cat and not expect me to dive in with everything I have! But seriously, I’ve been looking forward to finding a new series such as this, so I was excited to give Dead and Gondola a try.

There is so much charm in this book that it may sometimes feel a bit stifling. Likewise, there are many delightful cozy mystery tropes, from the family that loves murder mysteries to the bookshop cat. It’s all quite idyllic if you’re willing to overlook the body.

I’ll confess that the humor (okay, and the cat) enchanted me here. It was so refreshing to sit down and laugh while reading. Clearly, I’ve been reading too many dark books lately (is there such a thing?).

Let us not forget all of the Agatha Christie references – in case the description alone didn’t make that obvious! You’ll find plenty of little references, hat tips, and easter eggs here, so if that is your jam, you’re in luck!

Admittedly, the pacing for Dead and Gondola wasn’t perfect. Some scenes could have been cut out, making the novel shorter and with a more rapid pace. But all things said and done, it was still a fun mystery to read.

Thanks to Bantam and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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