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Murder on the First Day of Christmas

(Chloe Carstairs)

by
3.86  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Finding a severed hand at a client’s house might throw lesser decorators off their games. But Chloe Carstairs and her mother, Amanda, won’t let a little thing like murder keep them from decking the halls. With a body under the partridge’s pear tree and a dead Santa in a sleigh, they have to crack the case before the killer strikes again - this time much too close to home. ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 17th 2012 by Annie Acorn
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every cozy mystery fan, those wanting to read a holiday-themed read, those who like humorous novels
4.5 stars

"Nothing like the holidays and homicide to bring people together."

Initially I sought this one out because I needed a holiday-themed novel in December, and this one fit the bill because it looked easy, cute, and was a cheap price. I never figured I'd enjoy this one as much as I ended up doing - usually with cozies my rating is an average 3 star slap and decent impression. Now that I've read this, I not only loved it but want to continue more of the series.

On that note, when I went to
...more
Jordan
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book breaks the murder mystery mold, and has resurrected my love of reading them! Billie Thomas puts a fun new spin on the genre with a mother-daughter designer/sleuth team. Chloe Carstairs is as observant as she is fashionable, and with the backing of her willful and determined mother, these Southern sleuths get to the bottom of a series of shocking murders right in the midst of their Birmingham, well-to-do community. A fun, sharp, funny read. Look out Stephanie Plum!

Rebecca Lawton
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Fun! Billie Thomas's prose drew me right in and is bringing a smile with every page. I recommend this cool book not only because it has the best cover with a Santa I've ever seen, but also because it's an escape that any reader will enjoy. Excellent for any season!
Chelsea Starling
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This might be Billie Thomas's first book, and I may not be madly in love with the cover art, but holy crap this is a hilarious, impeccably written mystery, a great holiday read any time of the year. The characters seem like old friends, (some like old frenemies!) the mother daughter relationship is spot on and the mystery keeps you guessing until the end.

Can't wait to read the next installment. I'd sooooo love to see this series turned into a television show or a film! Read this book!
Tomi L.  Wiley
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Love love love this book - it's a fun, funny, captivating read that I couldn't put down and made me laugh out loud. Makes me proud to be a Southern gal and eager for more adventures with Chloe and her crew!
Sharisse Coulter
Chloe Carstairs is instantly likeable and her harebrained detective exploits are laugh-out-loud enjoyable. I would absolutely recommend this book to funny murder mystery fans. Can't wait for more in this series.
Julia Tracey
What a fun read! I read this after Christmas but it didn't affect my enjoyment. I loved pop culture references, smart and savvy plot, dating angst, and a keen yet goofy narrator who made me root for a delicious denouement---and I got one! Fun from first page to last.
Philip
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-xmas-read
I think this book is one of the best Christmas mysteries I’ve read this year and is probably worth more than 3 stars except I am a bit leery of giving the first in a series more than 3 to allow room for growth or to preclude a necessary reduction in the rating of the following book in the series. This story has all the required elements of a good cozy mystery with the exception of perhaps too many corpses. It sure has a great mystery along with all the grossly overdone Christmas decorating, two ...more
Maggie Reed
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The premise in this first of hopefully many from author Billie Thomas: Finding a severed hand at a client’s house might throw lesser decorators off their games. But Chloe Carstairs and her mother, Amanda, won’t let a little thing like murder keep them from decking the halls. With a body under the partridge’s pear tree and a dead Santa in a sleigh, they have to crack the case before the killer strikes again - this time much too close to home.

I have never laughed out loud like this reading a book
...more
Meredith Stoddard
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found the characters very relate-able, especially Chloe and her Amanda. Of course that may be because I'm a snarky Southern girl in my 30's and Amanda reminds me a lot of my Southern belle mom.
I have a tendency to solve mysteries before the end of the book, which is why I don't read many of them. That was not the case with this one, but the culprit was no less believable for being a surprise.
I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good mystery and will
...more
Ann
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this little cozy murder mystery with a Christmas setting. Chole and her mom are decorating homes for the holidays and murder is following them house to house. A riveting story and lovable characters make this a great read. I hope this is book one of a new series because the girls deserve more stories.
Courtney Lochner
I couldn't put this book down, it was like watching a holiday movie, hanging out with a good friend and attending a stand-up comedy session all in one! It hits all the right buttons and I can't wait for the follow-up!
FangirlNation
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Murder on the First Day of Christmas by Billie Thomas, Chloe is busy helping her mother, the famous decorator Amanda Carstairs, set up a life-size nativity scene when the neighbors’ dog steals baby Jesus. Soon the dog leads the pair to the house of Saul Taylor, a notorious true crime writer, on whose doormat lies a foreign object right inside the O in Noel. As the women scream, Saul comes out to find a dead rat grasped in a severed hand wearing his own pinky ring. The hand becomes the talk of ...more
Amy Allen
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Overall the story is good, but way too much diva. I found the main characters somewhat hard to stomach.
Sissy BP
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun Christmas mystery. I really enjoyed it.
Karin
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I thought this book was a bit all over the place. What does it say that I was more interested in the decorating than the mystery? Still a nice twist at the end.
Author Groupie
Intrigued by the cover photo of Billie Thomas' Murder on the First Day of Christmas, a photo of poor Santa lying face down in the snow with a Lucite icicle to the back, and then learning this book won a Shirley You Jest! Shirley HAH Award for fiction, I gathered my post-it notes, highlighter, and pen before turning pages.

My frenzied highlighting and belly laughter began on page four, paragraph five when Thomas describes the troublesome neighborhood chocolate lab:

Starting life as Lady Marmalade,
...more
DelAnne Frazee
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: Murder on the First Day of Christmas - Chloe Carstairs Mystery
Author: Billie Thomas
Published: 2-17-2012
Publisher: Annie Acorn Publishing LLC
Pages: 264
Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense
Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Humor & Satire
ISBN:
ASIN: B00APPOR40
Reviewer: DelAnne
Reviewed For: NetGalley
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

.
Chloe and Amanda Carstairs are true southern belles. The two are designers can get the job done under any circumstances. Showing steel spines in the midst of
...more
Eva
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

What I liked:
I enjoyed the mystery part of the book. It kept me guessing until the very end. The mystery is well-crafted and interesting. There were no big plot holes or inconsistencies.
I also liked that the story was nicely balanced (in my opinion at least). Some books focus so much on the mystery that the characters feel flat. Others, especially cozies seem to be afflicted by this, spend so much time telling us all about the characters’ lives and relationships that the mystery falls
...more
Liz Terek
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murder on the First Day of Christmas by Billie Thomas Book Review
No one can glam up the holidays like the rich & famous. Sporting a wealthy clientele list, Amanda & Chloe Carstairs are busily decking the halls for them. Interior designer Amanda is used to divas & high strung men who want outlandish décor for the Christmas season. Amid parties & chaos, they trim each home to perfection. At famous crimewriter, Saul Taylor’s house, they’ve almost finished recreating the 12 Days of
...more
Ginny  Gallagher
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it
*3.5 Stars*

Murder on the First Day of Christmas by Billie Thomas is book 1 of the Chloe Costairs Mysteries series. It takes place in the wealthy area of Birmingham, Alabama and has southern charm and humor with a touch of sarcasm tossed in.

Parts of the story were really fast paced and kept me turning the pages but there were other parts that were really slow. During those times I found it easy to aside the book but then I would wonder who the killer was and what Chloe and Amanda were up to and
...more
Chanzie
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book is not exactly what I expected. For a comedy novel, I did not find it very humorous, although half way into the book I picked up the humor a little bit easier and I did have a few giggles. Unfortunately this book was a like a hit and miss. I didn't connect with Chloe that well and I got a little bit bored. There were quite a few editing errors, but nothing that took away from the story.

Characters: 3/5
Chloe - Chloe is smart and witty. She is one of 2 characters that bring humor to the
...more
Anne
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable mother/daughter cozy.
I enjoyed Murder on the First Day of Christmas and am reviewing it on Dec. 3, so it was a timely read. That being said, while the story line occurs in December and our heroines have decorated two of the victim's houses for Christmas, I didn't get a big Christmasy vibe from the book, which didn't matter to me. I like the characters, who didn't have some of the over the top annoying characteristics some cozy characters have. Chloe gets along fairly well with her
...more
Laurie
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really got into this mystery that was told by 30-something Chloe Carstairs. I loved Chloe and her mother Amanda. Chloe and her mom are frequently at odds but they are able to appreciate each other’s strengths during the course of the book and I delighted in the fact that they came out of the Christmas season stronger people. In fact, this book is filled with memorable characters. There are quite a number introduced but the author does an exceptional job, I think, of making the important ones ...more
Julie
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, mystery, netgalley
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Chloe and her mother, Amanda were interior designers whose clients began dieing during the holidays. Amanda decided it was their duty to figure out who the killer was.

From the beginning there was laugh out loud humor with the introduction of Lady Chablis the male dog and his kidnapping ways through the end with Amanda being upset about Chloe's underwear. The humor was clean and vastly entertaining.

There was one thing that
...more
Andrea Guy
Murder on the First Day of Christmas is really the most unique cozy I've read in a long time. When the books starts out with Chloe and her mom Amanda decorating a house in the theme of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" I knew the story was going to be a fun one.

Then a severed hand and a the party host dying at his Christmas party, well that's when things really start to heat up! And it seems like the whole town is at the party so the list of suspects for this murder is pretty large!

This book was
...more
Underground Book Reviews
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It’s Christmastime in Birmingham, Alabama. Thirty-something Chloe Carstairs and her mother Amanda are decorators for their high profile Birmingham clients—the kind who spend over $30,000 on Christmas décor. It’s serious business and yet we find these Southern women in a laugh-out-loud decorating disaster in the very first chapter. Décor issues end up being a piece of cake compared to the crisis that follows when two of their clients are murdered. Chloe and Amanda, not the types to sit back and ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a novel about a young woman and her mother, Chloe and Amanda Carstairs, both interior decorators, and a penchant for solving mysteries.

It is Christmas time and Amanda has come out of retirement to decorate, with Chloe's help, several prized client's homes for the Christmas season. Price is no object and the ladies are having a wonderful time, decorating lawns, homes and more...until, Baby Jesus gets stolen, and a client finds a severed hand, then ends up deceased under the 'Partridge
...more
Angela
Oct 30, 2014 rated it liked it
MURDER ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS by Billie Thomas
Chloe and her mom are interior decorators. They have special access into people’s homes, and are sometimes privy to dangerous secrets.

When the mother-daughter team does up some fancy mansions for Christmas, they are surprised by the “gifts” they find: a dead man’s hand, a rat, a dead Santa, and a very confusing (and enlightening) version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The women keep sticking their noses where they don’t belong, until they
...more
Amy Metz
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved Billie Thomas's humor in this southern cozy mystery. Chloe Carstairs and her mother make a great team of unlikely detectives--the author really nailed the dynamics of a mother/daughter relationship. Ms. Thomas kept me laughing with lines like, “I assure you, my life is very full as is your mouth, dear. Please swallow before you spew any more talk show psychology at me.” And, "I’ve never seen my mother so furious, and I missed a lot of curfews growing up."
I'd decided who the
...more
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Billie Thomas is the pseudonym of a Birmingham-based author. After the real Billie passed away unexpectedly at the end of 2011, getting Murder on the First Day of Christmas, the first of a series, revised and published was her daughter’s top priority as a way to honor the mom who had given her a lifelong love of books.
In her real life, Ms. Thomas writes within the advertising industry and is a
...more