#review #5stars Sleigh Bell Tower: Murder at the Campus Holiday Gala, by James J Cudney #NextChapterPub @jamescudney4


Kellan Airwick is a character with many solved murder mysteries under his belt. And, even though his boss is sending him to Scotland soon -partially in hopes that with with his bad luck gone people will stop attacking one another on or around campus – things still manage to get out of hand around the holidays prior to his trip. Fortunately, Kellan has very keen sleuth skills, and pared with April his girlfriend/sheriff there’s is nothing that can go unsolved in Wharton county.
As with all the previous Braxton Campus cozy mysteries, Nana D is my favorite character. She’s a classy, sassy ol’ broad with a bunch of wit and grit. She’s Kellan’s Nana but she’s also the Mayor of Wharton county, and in the case of Sleigh Bell Tower she’s got quite the mess to work out by means of shotty old paperwork that was passed through the Mayors desk before she was sworn in.
A wealthy family with some ties to Braxton have decided to build a hotel as a part of their booming chain next to the lake in Wharton County. However, the ownership of the land it’s intended to be built on isn’t quite clear. The plot maps don’t exactly line up, and it appears at one point there had been some altering of the land records. Two different families, the Ingrams and the Lynchs, are tied into this land. So, when Porter, the Hotel Magnete moves his family to Braxton and proceeds to move forward on his building plans, tragedy strikes! He’s brutally murdered during a Christmas Gala, and his body is found by none other than Kellan himself.
There are so many directions that fingers can be pointed… finding the proper one is next to impossible. As always James J. Cudney is the master at weaving the clues so very intricately, in a way that its unfolded to perfection. There are shocks and twists and I never in a million years would have guessed who the actual killer was! I loved everything about this book. There is the perfect amount of holiday spirit, the cozy mystery was on point, and everything molded together so well. No stones were left unturned, and no suspect left un-prodded.
What I loved most about the book though, was the family togetherness and love during the holiday spirit. The character building of the Braxton Campus mysteries all tie in so well together. A broad spectrum of characters is no easy feat, yet here we are in Wharton county and I feel like every family member is my own. 5 stars AGAIN for another Wharton county win, and just in time for Christmas!!



When Bell Towers decides to build their newest boutique hotel in Wharton County, Braxton establishes a hospitality program as part of their university expansion. Despite the Ingram and Lynch family ties to prominent citizens, a dispute over the proposed landsite pits citizens against each other. One takes matters into their own hands and slays the hotel magnate during the campus holiday party. As the list of suspects increases, long-lost family members are anxious to keep their secrets from being revealed, complicating Sheriff Montague’s ability to determine the murderer’s true motive. Even Kellan’s forced to cast doubt on his friends and colleagues when it becomes obvious someone he knows committed the ultimate crime. April and Kellan are also celebrating their first Christmas and Hanukkah together, exchanging gifts based on the classic Twelve Days of Christmas song. While they trim the tree, light the menorah, and experience all the traditional holiday festivities with the kids, Nana D delivers her sarcastic brand of humor and endlessly tortures the town. Among Eleanor’s surprise news, Augie’s new girlfriend, and Myriam’s hilarious demands, Kellan’s dealing with unexpected holiday drama. The poor guy simply wants to spend the merry season with his family before he’s forced to trek to Scotland to fulfill his promise to the late Constance Garibaldi. What kind of quest has the psychic sent him on now? 

16 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you so much for sharing!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A terrific review of Jay’s new book, Didi. I am also a Nana D fan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Robbie, Nana D gives me life goals, I just love her ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent review Didi.. sounds like another winner from James.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely a winner 🤩

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Gteat reciew Didi of James latest book. Sounds a fun read. I’m also a Nana D fan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How could not not just love her, right!? ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah! Absolutely ❤ She rocks.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Didi,

    Thank you so much for this amazing review. I am beyond lucky to have someone as amazing as you writing such fantastic post. I appreciate you…. and some day, you have to write a scene for Nana D!!! xoxo


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omfg writing a scene for Nana D would be a dream 🤩

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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