Death Comes For Christmas
A beloved aunt dies mysteriously. Fentanyl shows up in all the wrong places. Can a burned out lawyer with a drinking problem figure out who killed Auntie Freda?
Camelia Belmont is struggling to manage a stressful job, an escalating anxiety disorder, and a few too many cocktails. She just needs a nice, quiet family holiday back in Saskatchewan, away from her demanding law practice and a very unhappy boss to get her head straight. But when her beloved Auntie Freda dies suddenly, the Phoenix attorney is determined to find the killer. As she digs into the circumstances leading up to her aunt’s death, Camelia discovers a link to a local drug dealer and an exploding opioid crisis.
Despite scanty evidence, a keen RCMP retiree, and uncooperative relatives, Camelia is convinced the killer is one of their own. Tracking down clues despite their protests, Camelia worries her tactics could seriously alienate her closest family members, including her husband. Can she discover what happened before the RCMP take over and the whole mess blows up in her face?
Death Comes for Christmas is Camelia’s Origin Story and the first book in the suspenseful Camelia Belmont Murder Mystery series. If you like soft-boiled whodunnits with a smart female sleuth, true-to-life characters, and dark insights into the opioid epidemic, you’ll love PJ Donison’s debut literary mystery.
A sudden death. A deadly toxic drug. A squabbling family. Can Camelia Belmont find out who really killed Auntie Freda?
Finished in one sitting—could not put it down.
I finished the book in one sitting. Read it straight through. Could not put it down. I will just say here that the things that pull me into a novel and keep me reading are all there: kickass beginning, vivid characters, an irresistiblly unfolding story thread, tantalizing hints of untold substories that create that desire to know more (a series!), and a protagonist that you begin to care about/develop an attachment for. Altogether a win!
Couldn’t put it down and it’s not even my kind of read! Just WOW!
An intricate weave of human nature and addiction and how it can drive one’s life in ways you wouldn’t expect. The author explores some deep intricacies in ways many people can really appreciate. This is a different kind of murder mystery. Not what I expected.
I like a good murder mystery novel, and Death Comes for Christmas delivers! Fast paced, witty, you look forward to picking up your book again. I hope it is the first of a series. I want to be right there again with the main character, trying to figure out… who dunnit!?
Engaging well written novel
Enjoyed the storyline and colorful characters. The setting and portrayal of this family and its dynamics kept me captivated to the end. Looking forward to reading the next one.
No spoilers! I am already looking forward to Pam’s next book! Camelia Belmont is my new friend! She’s a Murderino!
A delightful book in every way! Highly recommend this read for mystery lovers….
Intriguing and Well Written
Captive and well written by P Donison. Have highly recommended this novel to anyone who loves mystery and who-dun-it! Hoping and rating there are sequels.
Heather G. Cook
What a thrill! Just buy this book.
P.J. knows how to weave a tale. I loved this book. I loved how descriptive the characters and their distinct character/personality traits were presented. These people felt familiar yet not to me. I could absolutely picture them in my mind as the story went on. Waiting and hoping for a long Camelia Belmont series.
Amazon User 68234
This was a moving, fun, engaging, and smart mystery with painfully relatable characters. I’m looking forward to the next installment!
Officially a fan of Camelia Belmont!
“Death Comes For Christmas” is such a page turner and treat! I found myself unable to put it down way too late into the night. It felt as if I’ve met these characters throughout my life, and like life, some I relished my connection, and others, oh how I hope I never have to endure them again. PJ Donison really finds the perfect balance between loving and hating a character, and making them very real. I became very invested in their outcomes and connecting all their dots, reasonings, and motivations. I could see and feel their homes, their furnishings, and smell the dried roses potpourri. I could hear the cocktails clinking and the fire crackling. The whodunnit and why is so much fun to discover. And some, well, they just flat out deserved what they got. I am left wanting more! Looking forward to the second book in this series!
Thoroughly enjoyed this. I thought I knew who did it until the very end. Turns out I didn’t. The harsh Canadian weather was a character in this book, very vividly described. A great read.
A great read for mystery lovers!
Death Comes for Christmas is both gritty and delightful, characters that you love and characters that you love to hate, and PJ Donison weaves it all together in such a beautifully written way, delivering you to the outcome that you will not see coming!
Well developed characters, quick pace, some nice twists and turns. Entertaining who-done-it!
Wonderful, hard to put the book down.
PJ Donison’s vivid imagery and descriptions of the setting and of the personas captured me. I felt as if I were traveling alongside Camelia, taking in the clues. Functional alcoholic is the term used in the story, and I feared for Camelia as alcohol and drugs began negatively impacting her own life, threatening to cross the line of functional/dysfunctional. I personally loved the short chapters which looked daunting in number but allowed me to put the book down occasionally. I would recommend this to any who love descriptive mysteries and I await the next Camelia Belmont story. I’m pulling for her recovery.
Did not know what to expect and was delighted with this novel. The highest praise I can give any author is ‘i want more’…Hurry up and write another one!…I want…no I need to see what the future holds for Camelia.
Compelling characters, captivating writing
This book pulled me in with the first chapter. I had to find out what happened to Aunt Freda! The characters are rich and realistic. A few are downright detestable, and each struggles with their own foibles. The dysfunctional family dynamics had me making faces as I read, and the descriptions of the cold Canadian weather had me chilly. That shows just how good the writing is.
I highly recommend this book for any reader of mysteries.
Wow that was really good!!!
PJ Donison put together a masterful story with tons of conflict you have to keep reading to find out how it’s going to end. The funny but scary thing is how believable this whole murder mystery is. I could see a scenario like in this story really happening. I could also easily see this getting adapted as a screenplay and made into a movie. I would highly recommend taking the time to read this book. Looking forward to the sequel!
Kept me guessing
I really enjoyed reading this book. It kept me wondering who did it!! I can’t wait to read PJ Donison’s next book!!
A Must read! Do not hesitate to purchase! LOVED IT!!
A great read from start to finish! I HIGHLY recommend you get this fun mystery. The characters are so relatable, as well as the dysfunction! No spoilers, just BUY IT! You’ll be happy you did. I’m an instant fan! Can’t wait for the next installment! 🙂
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In The Media
Pamela has been interviewed twice by author and artist Joanna Vandervlugt. The ‘Meet the Author’ interview is posted on YouTube and the link is to the right. The second was a joint audio interview with author and attorney Susan Jane Wright. The topic is Lawyers As Protagonists – click the link and give it a listen!