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The Christmas Appeal
The Christmas Appeal: A Novella | Janice Hallett
35 posts | 23 read | 16 to read
This immersive holiday caper from the modern Agatha Christie (The Sunday Times, London) follows the hilarious Fairway Players theater group as they put on a Christmas playand solve a murder that threatens their production. The Christmas season has arrived in Lower Lockwood, and the Fairway Players are busy rehearsing their festive holiday production of Jack and the Beanstalk to raise money for a new church roof. But despite the season, goodwill is distinctly lacking among the amateur theater enthusiasts with petty rivalries, a possibly asbestos-filled beanstalk, and some perennially absent players behind the scenes. Of course, theres also the matter of the dead body onstage. Who could possibly have had the victim on their naughty list? Join lawyers Femi and Charlotte as they investigate Christmas letters, examine emails, and pore over police transcripts to identify both the victim and killer before the curtain closes on their holiday productionfor good.
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Gleefulreader
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Mehso-so

Wish I liked this one more but I found it stretched plausibility and was just… meh. The conceit of using emails to tell the story is interesting but the story itself just fell flat and the ending felt forced.

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Dragon
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Pickpick

Finally got to listen to this audiobook on Libby. Only a month after Christmas 😹. This was a funny mystery set in the world of amateur theatre- things go hilariously awry during the Christmas Pantomime- a fun epistolary story 👍❤️🐉

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AnneCecilie
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#BookReport

I‘ve finished both Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I‘ve read The Christmas Appeal, Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms and A Man & His Cat 1

By tomorrow‘s weekly forecast I hope to have finished both the Agatha Christie book and I desember

I‘m still reading my way through The Christmas Chronicles

50 likes1 stack add
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AnneCecilie
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Pickpick

I haven‘t read The Appeal and there was some references to that, but that didn‘t stop me from enjoying this. This is its own mystery.

The Fairway Players are putting up a pantomime as their Christmas play. When suddenly, a dead Santa comes out of one of the props.

There‘s some serious tension between the members and not everyone is who they seem to be.

After reading this, I definitely want to read The Appeal

#RushAThon

DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 5mo
Andrew65 I‘ve just finished this and like you hadn‘t read The Appeal. Definitely makes you want to read that one now. Well done 🎄🎄🎄 5mo
61 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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AmandaBlaze
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Eggs ❤️❄️💚 5mo
24 likes1 comment
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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed returning to this world and this cast as they struggle to put on a Christmas play. Funny, snarky, and a fun mystery always!
#WinterGames #GangstaWrappers @Bookwormjillk @Clwojick @StayCurious
#WGWordsearch 3120 pts

bthegood 🎄🎁 5mo
Bookwormjillk ❄️💙❄️💙 5mo
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
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janeycanuck
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Pickpick

Squeaked this novella in right before we left for our trip. I haven‘t read The Appeal but that didn‘t seem to matter. I really enjoyed the way this one unfolded with letters and emails and texts, etc. I was laughing right out loud in so many places, just the light, fun, murdery book I needed to put me in the Christmas spirit.

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Christine
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Pickpick

Been binging holiday content, and of the books included this has easily been my favorite so far! So funny and charming and great on audio. I have not read any Janice Hallett before, which is perhaps ill-advised because this does seem to contain plenty of spoilers for The Appeal…but oh well, still might go back and read that if it‘s anywhere near as delightful as this!

35 likes2 comments
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Magpiegem
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Does life get better than good coffee, a great Christmas book and puppy snuggles on a rainy morning? Probably not. #jollyhollyreaders #wintergames

Cupcake12 Oh my goodness! So cute x What‘s the name and breed? 5mo
TheSpineView So cute! Love puppy breath! 5mo
Julsmarshall So tiny and precious! 5mo
See All 10 Comments
RobES Ohhhh, that wee baby is so sweet ❤️ 5mo
hannah-leeloo So precious 5mo
AmyG Omg 🙌🏻 5mo
Tamra Soooo cute! 5mo
Ruthiella 🐶❤️🐶❤️ 5mo
ReadingRachael That sounds as good as it gets!! 😊🥰 5mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 5mo
33 likes10 comments
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AmandaBlaze
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More like Litsy made me. I wouldn‘t have known this book had come out except I saw it on Litsy.
#LMSDec2023 #BookstagramMadeMe

julieclair This looks great! Adding to to my December list for #SeasonalCozies. 5mo
33 likes1 stack add1 comment
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jlhammar
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Pickpick

Enjoyed the heck out of this. So much fun! Laughed out loud many times.

#CloakandDaggerChristmas

Ruthiella Awesome! I read the first one and definitely will read this one too. Maybe I‘ll save it for next year? 🎄💀🔪🎅🏻 5mo
batsy This sounds so fun! I've only seen good reviews. But I didn't want to jump into yet without having read The Appeal. 5mo
61 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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MaureenMc
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Pickpick

Even though I haven‘t yet read The Appeal yet, I thoroughly enjoyed this murder mystery epistolary novella. Hilarious plot twists & small town characters.

jlhammar I just finished this last night! So many LOL moments 😆 5mo
MaureenMc @jlhammar The mix-up with the “sweets.” 😂 5mo
49 likes1 stack add2 comments
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AmandaBlaze
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Eggs Perfect 👌🏼 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great cover 💚❤️ 5mo
aperfectmjk I have been trying to finish this one, it's not even that long and I just can't seem to get into it. 5mo
25 likes3 comments
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RaeLovesToRead
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Pickpick

This is a hilarious post-script to The Appeal, but probably wouldn't stand up on its own.

The Fairway Players are back and putting on a panto. Much farce and shenanigans ensue. I laughed out loud so much 🤣🤣

If you enjoyed The Appeal, you absolutely MUST read this. If you didn't, don't bother.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

LiteraryinLawrence I just finished this and I completely agree! 5mo
RaeLovesToRead @LiteraryinLawrence Everything about the "An Evening with Gary Linekar" thing absolutely creased me ??? 5mo
61 likes2 comments
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AvidReader25
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Pickpick

Such a fun quick read. The whole book is told in the form of snarky emails, texts, and group chats. A small town theater group is putting on a holiday pantomime and of course, chaos ensues. Fun and silly, it was a great seasonal book when the romcom holidays kept falling flat for me.

31 likes1 stack add
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twinkletoes74
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Mehso-so

A Christmas panto.
A dead Santa.
And everyone's a suspect.

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elkeOriginal
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Pickpick

This was a complete #blameitonLitsy! After putting a library hold that said I would def not get it before xmas, it popped up yesterday and I zipped right through it. Novella told via group chats and police reports reveals a local theatre group‘s existing dramas boiling under the small town surface long before the body shows up. I actually laughed out loud more than a few times. Quick, funny, xmasy, told in a delightful format. Thumbs up.

31 likes2 stack adds
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Rachiiebookdragon
Pickpick

I enjoyed this one.

Read for reading prompts

4/5

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AmandaBlaze
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While this one is a murder mystery, it had a lot of humor in it.
#Adventathon @BookmarkTavern

BookmarkTavern How fun! 🧡🧡🧡 6mo
20 likes1 comment
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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
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Pickpick

Told through email, IM and police transcripts- this is the story of the Fairway Players Christmas Pantomime. It starts with a retired lawyer reaching out to some former students, and emailing them all the documents surrounding the case… as we read through them - events are set in motion, motivations are revealed and a dead body is uncovered, in a very dramatic fashion.

I found the format both annoying and engaging - finished it in one sitting.

CaramelLunacy I enjoy the format, but didn't think it worked nearly as well here as it did in 6mo
thegirlwiththelibrarybag @CaramelLunacy, I think I would have found it less annoying if I‘d read it as a physical book rather than an ebook. I also haven‘t read the appeal - and while I don‘t think it mattered hugely, it did get referenced a bit. 6mo
CaramelLunacy Oh, definitely agree it was easier to work out the format in a physical copy! I don't think reading The Appeal was necessary plot-wise, but that one had a lot more interlocking storylines/mysteries to puzzle out that I found engaging. 6mo
thegirlwiththelibrarybag @CaramelLunacy, I think I might have cared slightly more about the characters if I‘d met them first in the appeal - but maybe not 6mo
CaramelLunacy Definitely not! They're all pretty terrible. 6mo
44 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Traci1
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Pickpick

Maybe not as much fun as the first Appeal book, but still really enjoyable. Audio was a little hard to follow an epistolary format, so I'd recommend this in print form.
#wintergames (2hours×10×10thons)+26+(285words×10)=3,076 #gangstawrappers @Bookwormjillk #20in4 #rushathon #bookspin #cloakanddagger #littenlisten #atoz #wintercosy #wintercleardown #candyland #adventathon @Andrew65 @DieAReader @Ruthiella @Texreader @BookmarkTavern @PuddleJumper

Bookwormjillk Oh darn I have this on audio 6mo
Traci1 @Bookwormjillk I still liked it a lot. But I normally do other stuff while I listen like dishes or whatever, and I couldn't do anything else especially in the beginning because I kept losing track of who was "speaking." 6mo
Andrew65 Well done. I can well imagine this format was difficult to follow on audio. I sometimes have issues where books have chapters based on different characters or different timelines. 6mo
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DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 6mo
Traci1 @Andrew65 exactly. It was all emails and texts. Which is inventive and fun, but it's easy to get lost if you aren't paying really close attention. 6mo
Ruthiella I read the first one in print and would probably read this in physical form too because of its epistolary nature. 6mo
BookmarkTavern I love the coloring on this cover! 6mo
55 likes7 comments
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AmandaBlaze
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AmandaBlaze
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Ruthiella Awesome! 🔪🎄🎅🏻💀 6mo
28 likes1 comment
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AmandaBlaze
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This mystery had a lot more humor in it than The Appeal or Twyford Code. It takes places and has many of the same characters found in The Appeal. Even in shorter form, the narrative of police docs, emails, and group chats works in slowly revealing the details of the mystery. A solid 4.5 stars. Word Search = 2,390.
#20 in4 @Andrew65
#Rushathon @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
#CandylandReadathon @Catsandbooks
#CloakAndDaggerChristmas @Ruthiella

DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 6mo
Ruthiella Awesome! Sounds like a fun read. 😃 6mo
See All 7 Comments
Julsmarshall Do you need to have read the other books in the series first? 6mo
AmandaBlaze @Julsmarshall Not really. It‘s a follow up to The Appeal, so it does reference some of the plot. At the end, a character from The Appeal shows up without referencing her backstory, so that might be a little confusing. The Twyford Code has been a standalone so far. 6mo
Andrew65 Sounds excellent. I know my wife enjoyed The Appeal. 6mo
Catsandbooks 🙌🏼🍭❤️❄️ 6mo
37 likes1 stack add7 comments
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AmandaBlaze
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#WinterGames begins with The Christmas Appeal. I‘m over half way through, and I love it.
@Julsmarshall

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AmandaBlaze
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AmandaBlaze
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My goal is to complete 2 books from the above tittles for #WinterGames.
@Andrew65 #20in4

AnnR @AmandaBlaze - Have you had your orthopedic surgery yet? If so, I hope you are healing well and wish you a smooth recovery period. 6mo
AmandaBlaze @AnnR I have. Friday will be 3 weeks. The first week was probably the the worst. Now I have several weeks of PT to get through. The pain is already better though. 6mo
AnnR @AmandaBlaze - Glad you are already starting to improve. 👍 I've heard the PT can be tough but also helps a lot in the long-run. Enjoy your #Wintergames reading. 🎄 6mo
28 likes3 comments
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VanessaCW
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Pickpick

This is a novella so it didn‘t take very me very long to read it. You could read it in an afternoon. It‘s a fun and humorous little mystery and made me want to read The Appeal which features some of the same characters.

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VanessaCW
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A library book. I haven‘t actually read The Appeal but have read and enjoyed The Twyford Code & The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels. Hope I don‘t have to have read The Appeal!

Booksblanketsandahotbeverage It‘s the same characters and they refer a little to the other instance, but I think it‘s a solid Christmas standalone! 6mo
VanessaCW @Booksblanketsandahotbeverage I‘ve read it now and found it a fun read. 6mo
27 likes2 comments
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SheReadsAndWrites
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Pickpick

This was a fun, quick read. The writing style of emails, texts, and group chats isn't normally my favorite, but worked well with this story and was done well. I found the humor of the chats between everyone more dominant than the mystery, but since I laughed out loud a few times I considered it a cute, enjoyable read. 🤓

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Sharpeipup
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My husband isn‘t ready for holiday music however he doesn‘t say anything about books.

40 likes1 stack add
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cjk
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October wrap-up: favorite listen is a three-way tie between tagged title and both Laura Purcell books. Most disappointing listen was Judgment Prey by John Sandford.
🎧🍁📚🍂

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Mpcacher
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Pickpick

This is a novella set in the same village with the same theatre crew as the book “The Appeal“. It also follows the same format, where we read the emails, text messages etc. the lawyers have been given as part of the discovery process. It is a humorous tale about the group as they put on a Christmas Pantomime, where one couple tries to ruin things and everything goes wrong...including the finding of a skeleton onstage. I enjoyed it. 3.75/5

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Preciouz29
Pickpick

This was my first book by the author and I was unprepared for the style of the book. That said, this little short was a fun read, lots of laugh snorts.

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jlhammar
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I just learned we‘re getting this Christmas novella from Hallett in October! I thought The Appeal was really fun so I know what I‘ll be reading come December.

dabbe And #stacked! 😃 13mo
55 likes2 stack adds1 comment