When a young boy’s life is threatened, his dad will do anything to keep him safe, including eliciting the help of his single and beautiful school teacher.
One of Hope Creek, Montana’s most desired single men has his hands full this Christmas with a new puppy litter, work, and a rambunctious young son. Now, someone has threatened to harm his son if he doesn’t reveal the location of a mystery woman.
Second grade teacher, Bethany Evans, loves her job, but she wants more. Could Toby and his dad hold the key to making this Christmas extra special, or will the trouble they are facing not only ruin Christmas but destroy their lives in the process?
From Selah award winning author, a Christian romance novella with a touch of mystery and suspense.
About the Author
Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest USA. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.
Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Are you in need of a perfect romantic suspense story for Christmas? Found: an Almost Perfect Christmas by Kimberly Rose Johnson, may be your answer.
Elements that attracted me to the novel were several. Bethany Evans, one of the main characters, is an elementary teacher who understands how to teach with heart. Her students, especially 8-yr-old Toby, adore her.
I love the friendship and “I’ve got your back” relationship between Ty and Joel. So essential when protecting those one loves, endangers one’s own life!
Dog lovers will enjoy the inclusion of the Ty and Toby’s dog and puppies. Just something to sweeten the pot.
The reality of the ending was refreshing. Not all pieces tied up neatly, yet healing could still occur because the damaged person is willing to forgive, whatever the future holds.
I received a copy of the book from the author. All opinions are my own, and no positive review was required.
Magnificent! Many great elements, deftly combined, to make a suspenseful and sweet story!
Mabel plans to bring the thrills of volunteering to the masses—if she doesn’t go to the dogs first.
When Mabel finds herself sharing a thicket with a dead body while volunteering with canine search-&-rescue, her life has clearly—once again—gone to the dogs!
After her losing her job at age forty-nine, Mabel thought she’d turned things around. Now she’s doing good by volunteering, and surely, she’ll soon be a successful author, writing about her experiences. After solving two notorious decades-old cold cases while serving as a historical society volunteer, she’s already getting invitations to appear on TV.
Her new assignment couldn’t be simpler. All she has to do is hide in the woods and let Millie the search dog practice finding her. But to her horror, Millie finds more than Mabel—there’s a dead body hiding in the same patch of brush. To make things worse, Mabel’s maybe-boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow, has a dark history with the victim.
While struggling with maid-of-honor duties for best friend Lisa, a string of disasters created by handyman Acey, and a disagreeable new neighbor, can Mabel solve another murder in time to save John’s detective license—if not his neck?
If you like clean cozies and laughing a lot, Mabel Goes to the Dogs by Susan Kimmel Wright should be on your must-get list. I prepared for this book by reading the two that came before it, and I wasn’t sorry. There is a chronological progression to the books that will be more enjoyable if they are read in order. They are all fast reads, but far from silent! I felt so bad for my husband in the same room as I burst out in laughter so many times while reading.
One reason this book appealed to me is that Mabel is an older sleuth, pushing 50 when the series starts. She isn’t stick-thin, isn’t beautiful, and has just been fired from her career job. She likes to exaggerate freely, about her wanna-be careers as either an author or a volunteer. Mabel talks about her forthcoming book in a tv interview. Unfortunately, “Mabel knew “next book” was a slight stretch. The only other “book” she’d ever written was a biographical booklet for the historical society.” Mabel is rather hapless and hopeless as a heroine, and somehow that makes her very relatable!
John, the love interest, is an enigma, waiting to be unraveled. Why doesn’t he have his PI license anymore? Why does he share so little of himself? And, in this book, you may wonder what his real motives are, and why he is putting moves on Mabel instead of staying with the beautiful ex-girlfriend we meet.
Acey is the hired handyman who is anything but. He sure brings his share of the laughs at poor Mabel’s expense!
Animal lovers will rejoice to see more of Barnacle, Mabel’s lumbering dog that lives up to his name, and her snooty cat Koi, as well as John’s cat, one to beware of.
Plus a search and rescue team is involved in this novel, so more delight for canine lovers.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. (I also bought my own copy.) No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
Great!! I’m anxious for Mabel’s next volunteer stint!!
About the Author
Susan Kimmel Wright is a child of the Appalachian Mountains. A former lawyer, Susan has published three children’s mystery novels and is a prolific contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Mabel Goes to the Dogs, Book Two in Mysteries of Medicine Spring, her first cozy mystery series for adult readers, is now available from Mountain Brook Ink. Susan shares an 1875 farmhouse in southwestern PA with her husband, several dogs and cats, and an allegedly excessive stockpile of coffee and tea mugs.
More from Susan
A bit about Mabel and how she got herself into this situation…
One of the great joys of writing this series has been the wonderful reaction my main character Mabel has gotten from so many readers. Typical comments are: “I love how quirky and imperfect Mabel is…Mabel is a fun character with a big heart who has the best of intentions.” (I also hear “hilarious” a lot… 😉)
Mabel is fifty, and her entire life has just unceremoniously changed. For the past twenty-three years, she’s had a job as a low-level attorney in a law firm. Boring, yes, but every day, she knew where she was going, what she was doing, and when and how much she was going to get paid. But suddenly, she gets the ax, and her old life is over. Blessed with a severance package from her former employer, as well as an inheritance from her grandma (also named Mabel) that includes a cluttered Victorian house in the town of Medicine Spring, Mabel resolves to reinvent herself. She will do good by volunteering while building a glamorous new career as a writer.
Many readers have told me they see themselves in Mabel. As one reviewer said, “She’s a bundle of insecurities ironclad in over self-confidence and I can relate to that!” And I guess I do too! While Mabel is certainly a product of my imagination, she also reflects a bit of me. I left my job as a lawyer after about twenty years too (though I didn’t “get the ax!). I also live in a somewhat ramshackle Victorian farmhouse with a bunch of animals, and I see many of Mabel’s insecurities in myself. (Not to mention Mabel’s love of food—writing about Mabel’s diet gives me the opportunity to indulge in all the yummy things I try to limit in real life!)
Of course, nothing goes according to Mabel’s master plan. Mabel knows little about writing, her new old house is stuffed to the rafters with her grandma’s accumulations and comes with a hostile neighbor bent on continuing a decades’ old feud, and her first volunteer endeavor comes complete with a dead body. On the plus side, Mabel and her cat Koi acquire a new family member—Grandma Mabel’s big dog Barnacle, and Mabel seems also to have acquired a possible boyfriend, suspended PI John Bigelow.
By the time we run into Mabel in Mabel Goes to the Dogs, she has stumbled through two homicide investigations and also discovered the solution to an eighty-year-old cold case—the ax murder of a father and son in a neighboring historic house. This has gotten her an invitation to appear on a local morning TV show—and little else. Then Mabel undertakes a new volunteer assignment, helping train search-and-rescue dogs. The discovery of yet another body makes her wonder if she’s somehow bringing this on herself. Boyfriend John assures her, “You’re not causing dead bodies with the power of your mind, you goof.” Mabel isn’t so sure. Nobody else seems to be having this problem.
At least, life is now far from boring in the village of Medicine Spring…
Decades after her parents’ murders, Penelope McGregor’s grateful the killer’s finally been identified—until he comes after her. Now Detective Tyler Walker and his K-9 partner, Dusty, must protect Penelope and catch the culprit…while making sure his little girl stays out of the crosshairs. But can the single father outplay a killer whose endgame will leave no one safe?
I just recently started reading Dana Mentink’s novels, but I wish I had discovered her sooner. Cold Case Pursuit by Dana Mentink is a realistic, romantic suspense tale that I really enjoyed. Tyler and Penny are both relatable people. Both are flawed and feel unloved by at least one parent. Yet, I want to cheer for them as they work through their respective baggage to discover they have value in the sight of God and others. Their pasts do not have to define them. Don’t we all need to learn that?
A friend of mine loves evil clowns, so I enjoyed the story as if through her eyes. I also appreciated the close sibling relationship we see between Penny and Bradley.
Dana Mentink captivated my attention from start to finish. If you like romantic suspense, young children, or dogs, Cold Case Pursuit will give you plenty to love.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I am voluntarily leaving these thoughts, while no positive feedback was required. All opinions are solely my own.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
About the Author
Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Poisoned Pen Press, and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself puttering around her Northern California backyard. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)
More from Dana
I love book covers with adorable children on them, don’t you? There’s something so angelic about those wee folks on the covers. I have two bear cubs myself, young adults now, and I love them devotedly. Tell you what though. Sometimes, just occasionally mind you, they were a wee bit naughty. Don’t tell anyone, but one reason I enjoyed writing Cold Case Pursuit so much is that hero Tyler is the single dad of a little girl named Rain who is….er…a handful. Sure, she’s adorable, but she’s prone to disobedience and the occasional tendency to flush things down the toilet. So in addition to the edge of your seat pursuit of a murderous clown killer, there are the shenanigans of a precocious preschooler, a highly trained yet distractible police K-9, and a romance that doesn’t exactly run smoothly. Fun to write? You betcha! I hope you enjoy coming along with me on this True Blue adventure!