Hannah Pearl joined me on her publication day back in September, sharing #TenThings she loves on various topics (you can read that here). I’m delighted to be sharing my review today of the book she was talking about then: Mistletoe and Mayhem at the Little Shopping Mall
About the book
Countdown to Christmas with mistletoe, mayhem, meddling friends and mystery men …
There’s a saying about all work and no play – but there’s never a dull moment for Caroline working at Holly Walk Mall, especially at Christmas. When she’s not dealing with orders from Ian, ‘the manager who can’t manage’ as her friend Rachel puts it, she’s overseeing the usual late-night shopping sessions, Santa’s grotto construction and, most importantly, the sampling of many delicious festive treats at the Italian café her friends Nina and Marco own.
But when a new jewellery shop moves in and brings ‘mysterious guy with the cute bottom’ to Holly Walk, Caro isn’t yet aware just how much mayhem she’s in for in the countdown to Christmas. With strategically placed mistletoe, revealing cowboy outfits and even a bit of sleuthing, could this festive season turn out to be the liveliest yet for both Caro and her beloved Mall?
Holly Walk Mall sounded fabulous, a bit like an artisan market but under cover. It was full of independent businesses selling coffees, cakes, stationery, jewellery, hand made soaps and candles and offering that personal touch that makes them a bit special. It sounded like a great place for a browse. I really enjoyed getting to know the shop owners, particularly Nina and Marco.
The book seemed to have some very relevant themes for our times. Like us all, the shop owners worried about rising costs of goods and ulilities while reluctant to put up prices in case it discouraged their customers.
I really liked Caro’s attitude to the mall. It’s a place she’d grown up with having worked there from when she was very young. She was very protective and conscientious. This was reflected in her personal life too where she looked after her much younger brother following their parents’ deaths. For her, the mall was a continuing connection to her parents and making sure it ran smoothly was like a tribute to them.
Damian was an undercover police officer with very personal reasons for unofficially investigating possible underhand dealings at the mall. He provided the love interest and was a man of many unexpected talents. I thought it was hilarious the attention he attracted in his many guises which were to hide his identity, particularly when he was a cowboy!
I feel this could easily be the start of a series of books set in the Holly Walk Mall. Having so many businesses and different customers would lend itself to further adventures I’m sure. I’d happily pay a return visit to Holly Walk Mall, maybe without quite so much mayhem next time!
Thanks to Liz at ChocLit for providing a copy of the e-book for review.
You will find buying options on the Ruby Fiction website here:
Mistletoe and Mayhem at the Little Shopping Mall
About the Author
Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.
She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.
In 2015 she was struck down by Labrynthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning eReader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017 she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.