Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Book Review: Christmas in Newfoundland

It's not even technically winter and we are overwhelmed in snow and now we're dealing with temperatures I would expect in January. I am completely over it. The silver lining is that it looks, and feels, like Christmas, so let's read another Christmas book!
Christmas in Newfoundland - Mike Martin
From the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mysteries comes "Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries," a welcome addition to the Sgt. Windflower family of books. Christmas in Newfoundland is a special time. In the depths of long winter nights memories are made and stories are told. Of Christmas by candlelight and horse and buggy rides to church. Of shopping on Water Street in St. John’s before malls and the Internet. In later years, Sgt. Windflower came to work and then to stay in the quiet town of Grand Bank by the Atlantic Ocean where the salt air froze in the wind and the Mounties were welcomed to warm themselves by every fire. Come and warm yourself by the fire and hear their stories. Some memories and some mysteries. Enjoy some holiday time with Sgt. Windflower and all the familiar characters that you’d come to know and love. Good food, good friends and always another chair at the table.
Do you love small town reads with a little mystery thrown in? You just might enjoy this one. The bonus is its a story that brings you to Christmas of the past, complete with mystery that keeps you guessing. I haven't read any of the other Sgt. Windflower books but it's totally fine, you won't feel out of step, but if you have read others, I think you're going to enjoy getting a new look into what I think are the usual characters.

The book has an interesting writing style, it feels more like a story someone is telling you over an afternoon rather than a polished story. I struggled a little with that but I think it was more of a preference issue than a skill issue on the author's part. The best part of the book is the nostalgia of it, and I think anyone who reads this will be left remembering their firsts of their own. The entire book is made up of several short stories, each one a sweet memory that will leave you smiling.

Overall, this was a pretty cute book. If you like Christmas stories but don't want to commit to a full novel, this is a good option, especially if you only have short spurts of reading time. See below for an excerpt!
A Windflower Christmas

It was just days before Christmas, and Sergeant Winston Windflower only had one big problem. That was what to get his girlfriend, Sheila Hillier, for Christmas. Other than that, life was good for the RCMP officer in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. Crime was low, if not non-existent, and spirits were running high as the holiday neared its peak in this little seaside town.

Of course, being the holiday season, the Mountie was concerned about impaired driving. But Windflower and his team had been out on the roads for the past two weekends with the R.I.D.E. program. He figured that meant everyone would be on their best behaviour for the next couple of weeks. That was especially true since one town resident had been charged with impaired driving and two others had received suspended licences because they were just over the legal limit of alcohol.
Fortunately, even the weather was cooperating. They hadn’t had any snow in Grand Bank for almost two weeks. That was a relief to not only the snow shovellers catching a break after a series of early winter storms but also to the RCMP officers, as they had already worked several overnight shifts because of storms. The best news was that there wasn’t even any snow in the short-term forecast.
All of this meant the town could be festive and safe during the holiday season already well underway.
The old Town of Grand Bank went all out to pretty itself up for Christmas. Almost every house had some form of decoration, and Christmas lights were aplenty all over town. Some people went old-fashioned and just had a wreath on their front door and a couple of strings of lights hanging from their eaves. Others decided to splurge on nativity scenes and blow-up Santas, as they held nothing back in their gaudy and joyous celebration of the season.

Old Saint Nick had already made one visit. That was last weekend during the Santa Claus parade led by the antique pumper truck from the volunteer fire department. Local RCMP vehicles were decked out in flashing lights and ribbons as the Mounties collected toys and gifts along the parade route for the Salvation Army. Sheila had rounded up a few extra dollars from local businesses to ensure that even the abandoned buildings near the wharf were gaily festooned with ribbons, bows and the essential Christmas lights in time for the parade. Now, Saint Nick’s return engagement on December 25th was eagerly anticipated.

Thank you to Mike Martin and Pump Up Your Book for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review! All thoughts and opinions are my own, this post contains affiliate links. Happy reading!

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