Today I am delighted to be hosting a stop on the Christmas at the Gin Shack blog tour. This fun little holiday mystery will not only kick your Christmas spirit into high gear, but it will also leave you craving good company and an even better G&T.
Welcome in the festive season with love, laughter and the perfect G&T in Christmas at the Gin Shack – the most uplifting holiday read of 2017!
Gingle bells, gingle bells, gingle all the way…
Olive Turner might have lived through eighty-four Christmases, but she’ll never get bored of her favourite time of year. And this one’s set to be extra-special. It’s the Gin Shack’s first Christmas – and there’s a gin-themed weekend and a cocktail competition on the cards!
But, beneath the dazzle of fairy lights and the delicious scent of mince-pies, Olive smells a rat. From trespassers in her beloved beach hut to a very unfunny joke played on her friends, it seems that someone is missing a dose of good cheer.
Olive knows she’s getting on a bit – but is she really imagining that someone in the little seaside town is out to steal Christmas? More importantly, can she create the perfect gin cocktail before Christmas Eve – in time to save the day?
Okay, okay, despite my love of deep and twisty thrillers sometimes I can’t resist a a campy holiday read. And Christmas at the Gin Shack fits that bill perfectly. Truth be told though, if this story had been written with anyone other than Olive as the protagonist I might have bailed. But our gin drinking, Segway riding, craft-fiti fighting pensioner made for a story that I couldn’t peel my eyes off of.
Now add in the fact that Miller used this novel as a platform to address some pretty serious issues and my little activist heart goes pitter-patter. Elder abuse, maltreatment in care facilities, and poor programming that fails to contribute to quality of life are issues that I have fought with in the care of my own grandparents. The presence of these elements made the story feel so damn real, and grounded it in a way that made me feel Olive and Matron were actual people and that advanced crochet was possibly the most boring experience on the planet. Other heavy hitting topics included the precarious situations of the self-employed, managing family relations after the loss of a loved one, absentee parents and navigating the aftermath of toxic relationships.
That’s not to say, however, that this was a heavy or overtly political read. Rather, the balance between these elements, Olive’s humour and infectious holiday cheer, and the cozy mystery of the craft-fiti bomber made for a light and enjoyable experience. I loved the tight-knit nature of Olive’s circle of friends, and truly felt as though I was being drawn into their circle the further the story progressed. Their unwavering support for one another was as heart warming as the holiday timing, as was the tidy nature of the ending. I won’t say too much as I hate handing out spoilers, but it really was the perfect fit for this feisty tale.
Would I recommend this book? Oh heck yes! By the time the snow starts flying this little novel will be the perfect pairing for a warm drink (or a G&T) and a blazing fire. If you’re looking for a fun, festive escape that doesn’t revolve around a holiday romance this little mystery might just be for you.
When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren’t full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with HQDigital UK. There is a possibility she has aged remarkably in that time. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016. She is now the author of four books and hopes there will be many more now her twins have started school. Either that, or she’ll conduct more gin research on Olive’s behalf.
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Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for organizing this blog tour, for inviting me to join, and to Catherine Miller for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.