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Christmas Cow Bells

(A Buttermilk Creek Mystery #1)

by
3.98  ·  Rating details ·  465 ratings  ·  183 reviews
The first novel in Mollie Cox Bryan’s brand new mystery series, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will keep you guessing until the cows come home . . .
 
Christmas is a time for new beginnings, so after her big breakup, Brynn MacAlister takes the gouda with the bad. With her three Red Devon cows, she settles in bucolic Shenandoah Springs, eager for a new life as an organic mi
...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Kensington Books
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Start your review of Christmas Cow Bells (A Buttermilk Creek Mystery #1)
James
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Christmas Cow Bells is the first book in a new cozy series, A Buttermilk Creek Mystery, published in 2019 by Mollie Cox Bryan. I belong to a cozy mystery group where the book was mentioned, and since I was looking to start a new series and had heard of the author, I took a chance. I'm glad I did, so let's get into the review.

Brynn returned home to Virginia earlier this year to open a cheese shop after her beloved grandmother passed away. Unfortunately, after the move, she learned her fiance was
...more
Carrie
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan is the first book in the brand new cozy A Buttermilk Creek Mystery series. As with most cozy mystery series the murder mystery within will be fully solved within the book so they can be read as a standalone but for those that continue the character development carries over book to book.

Brynn MacAlister had just gone through a break up so she packed up and headed to Shenandoah Springs in the Blue Ridge Mountains to begin her whole new single life. Brynn was
...more
Natalia  R
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our main protagonist, Brynn moves to a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She's recovering from a bad break up and wants a fresh start as a cheesemaker. Brynn has her hands full taking care of the farm, her three cows, one of whom is grieving the loss of her stillborn calf and making her new business successful. Then her neighbor, Nancy dies in a suspicious fire, and soon after, someone starts harassing her. Brynn is convinced that there is a connection between the two, and she hopes to get to th ...more
Chatting About
Delightful cozy debut! Brynn MacAllister is a cheese maker who lives in Shenandoah Springs, VA in an old rectory next to a church. When there’s a suspicious fire at the church and her neighbor passes away as a result, Brynn and good friends, Willow and Schuyler, do their best to figure out whodunnit. The author supplies several suspects as red herrings, and the mystery is great. The cast of characters is intriguing and one I feel I’ll grow to love. Brynn’s cows, Petunia, Buttercup, and Marigold ...more
Juli
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brynn MacAlister moved to Shenandoah Springs, VA to start her dream business....a micro dairy farm. The old rectory building and its surrounding land is perfect for her and her 3 Red Devon cows, Petunia, Buttercup and Marigold. The locals are a bit standoffish. Most of then don't like change. Brynn is seen as a newcomer, along with her next door neighbor, Nancy. Nancy wants to remodel the Old Glebe Church into a farmers market. Local pushback turns to murder when the old church burns to the grou ...more
Alan
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Brynn MacAlister investigates the murder of her friend, someone starts harassing Brynn. But Brynn is strong and resolute.

Brynn is a memorable amateur sleuth. The page turning story and vivid setting are filled to the brim with Christmas spirit. The secondary characters are believable and vibrant.

This is a heart warming Christmas cozy.
Moondance
Sometimes a place reaches deep inside you, flows through you with light and warmth, and fills you with a sense of belonging, a sense of home.

Brynn MacAlister and her former fiancé, Dan planned to buy a microdairy to make cheese. Brynn makes it on her own after she catches him cheating. Brynn has settled into Shenandoah Springs, a small town in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia. Along with her three cows, Petunia, Buttercup and Marigold. Poor Petunia delivered a stillborn calf and is grieving her
...more
LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Brynn MacAlister follows her dream on her own leaving her cheating ex behind when she moves to Shenandoah Springs with her three Red Devon cows, Petunia, Buttercup, and Marigold to open an organic micro-dairy and make cheese. Petunia is suffering after a stillborn calf. While trying to soothe her cow a Brynn suffers another loss. Her friend and neighbor, Nancy dies in a fire when the old church she is living in and renovating for her business burns down. It looks like arson, a
...more
Brooke Blogs
Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan is the first book in the Buttermilk Creek mystery series. I had such a fun time reading this holiday story. The setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains was absolutely perfect. Brynn was easy to like. She seemed reluctant to be cast into the role of amateur sleuth but desperately wanted to find out what happened to her friend. I liked that she had an occupation that I'd never read about before - micro-dairy farming and cheese-making. I learned a lot while readi ...more
Kristina
Christmas Cows Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan is the debut of A Buttermilk Creek Mystery series. I like the author’s conversational writing style (like chatting with a friend) which makes for a pleasing reading experience. Brynn MacAlister got her love of Red Devon cows from her grandmother and fell into cheesemaking after taking a course in college. Her degree in chemistry came in handy when she attended cheese school. I like that the author took the time to establish our main character. We get to l ...more
Kav
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes, when you're faced with a vast array of newly released Christmas fiction you just have to go with the book that has the decked out cows on the cover. That it's a cozy mystery is a bonus. And I get extra points because this is a new-to-me author as well. So many cozies, so little time!

What a moo-vellous start to a fun series! (Was that too cheesy?) Okay, I'll stop with the corny puns but it's hard to resist with those big brown eyes alight with holiday merriment watching me as I write t
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Peggy R
What a delightful start to a brand new series for author Mollie Cox Bryan. I was completely engaged in the story from the very first pages and just wanted to keep reading to find out how the story would end. The author has set this series in a charming location. I have visited the Shenandoah Valley and her wonderfully descriptive writing style allowed me to picture it once again. The character of Brynn is easy to like. She is starting out on her own after calling off her engagement and has somet ...more
Mary
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I can't put my finger on exactly why I didn't give this a higher rating, but some things just bothered me. Brynn's immediate suspicions about some people, for example. She questioned why the fire was being investigated, but isn't that standard procedure? Later she goes into the basement of the burned church, where Nancy, who died from the fire, lived. The police have apparently not been there at all. Wouldn't they check it out during their investigation?

There were also some editing problems. Fre
...more
Tari
This is going to be such a fun new series! Even though Brynn hadn't lived in her house for too long, she'd already made some friends in Willow and Schuyler. I liked how those three worked together, sort of a Nancy-Bess-George type of friendship. I enjoyed her neighbor's family especially the college guys and thought it was a great idea to have them stay in her guest cottage, especially with some weird things that had been happening on Brynn's little farm. Someone wanted to drive her away, and so ...more
Susan
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Okay, so maybe a cozy series about a small cheese making operation wasn't the best idea for a lactose intolerant person who really really misses cheese. But the story is well worth the untreatable cravings! Brynn is getting over heartache, as is one of her adorable cows Petunia. A small little town seemingly focused on small organic farms is the perfect place for her to mend her heart and build her business But, life isn't all butter and cream and she is quickly drawn into the not so nice parts ...more
Kirsti
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

Oh how I loved this one! It had absolutely everything that I want to see in a first cozy book; great, memorable characters, unique setting/theme, an interesting crime and a great mystery! It was well written with just enough twists and turns to keep you wondering who the murderer actually was. I learned a little about the book's theme too (cheese making) and it's definitely something I've never thought about before. I can
...more
Robin Reynolds
*Received through the Cozy Mystery Review Crew and voluntarily reviewed*

This was a slow read for me, though it shouldn't have been. I think I might have enjoyed it more if it hadn't been entirely told from Brynn's point of view. She's likable enough, but I never really connected with her, and didn't really get to know any of the other characters. I had trouble sometimes just keeping up with the other characters. Brynn's friends, Willow and Schuyler, seemed quite similar and I mixed them up sever
...more
Cheryl
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brynn has just broken up with her boyfriend. They had plans to start a small cheesemaking farm and she decides to continue with the plan. Taking care of her 3 cows on a scenic farm keeps her busy, which she tells you too many times. Her neighbor Nancy is killed in an arson fire and someone is trying to get Brynn to move also. Some people didn't like Nancy's plan to redo the old church but Brynn thinks it has to be more than that. A nice story even though I read it after Christmas. ...more
Kimberly
I had to get one more #readforkimberly book done this year. This was a wonderful start to kick off this cozy series. Great locations, wonderful characters, love the animals and definitely was an intriguing mystery

I loved the idea of a cheese farm nestled in this quaint country town. I’ve never been a big fan of cheese, but I appreciate how the author didn’t include long, drawn out descriptions explaining this craft. Instead, those tasks were blended into the normal actions and conversations so
...more
Mary Brown
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Christmas Cow Bells
A Buttermilk Creek Mystery, Book #1
Mollie Cox Bryan
5 Stars

Synopsis:

The first novel in Mollie Cox Bryan’s brand new mystery series, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will keep you guessing until the cows come home . . .

Christmas is a time for new beginnings, so after her big breakup, Brynn MacAlister takes the gouda with the bad. With her three Red Devon cows, she settles in bucolic Shenandoah Springs, eager for a new life as an organic micro-dairy farmer and cheese-maker. The
...more
Book Concierge

First in a new cozy mystery series set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and featuring artisanal cheese maker Brynn MacAllister and her small herd of Red Devon cows: Buttermilk, Petunia and Marigold.

This was just delightful. I love the basic premise of a micro-dairy farmer who is trying to make her way in a new community, but facing difficulties from traditionalists who do not want any change. I think the murder of her neighbor gives her a legitimate reason to ask questions, and she does
...more
Melina
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first in the new series, Buttermilk Creek Mystery. Brynn is new to Shenandoah Springs where she has a small diary farm of only three cows and makes her own cheeses. When Brynn's neighbor and friend Nancy dies in a fire, Brynn thinks that there is something suspicious about her death. Brynn has some help investigating from her friends, Willow, who she met through the local co-op, and Schuyler, the local vet/acupuncturist who is helping Brynn's cow, Petunia, get over her depression of ...more
Micky Cox
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brynn has moved to Shenandoah Springs to get a fresh start making fresh cheeses, but someone isn't interested in having Brynn as a neighbor and are doing their best to run her out of town including murdering the only real friend that she has. A great new series is off to ringing great start to the series! The characters were well fleshed out and very relatable which drew you into the story even more quickly. Add to that an extremely well plotted story line that kept you guessing and offered up s ...more
Sally906
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brynn has recently moved to Blue Ridge Mountains to start a new life running an organic micro dairy/cheese making farm. Most of the families in the area have been there for generations and though most are friendly and welcoming to newcomers - there are some who don’t take too kindly to change.

The story opens with Brynn’s new neighbour dying when her home, and old church, is burned down. Brynn is not convinced that the fire wasn’t an accident and starts to snoop around as she believes the police
...more
Linda
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyable start to the series. I liked Brynn and was rooting for her. I enjoyed the other characters and look forward to seeing how the relationships develop. I also liked the cows and Freckles the dog too. The mystery was good and my second suspect wound up being guilty. I didn’t like that they seemed to be caught but not really, although everything was resolved. Recipes were included in the back and this book has me wondering how I make my own cream cheese and if it’s worth the effort. ...more
Melanie Mckinney
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Christmas Cow Bells is the first book in the new cozy mystery series “Buttermilk Creek Mystery”. The book is based in Shenandoah Springs in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Brynn returned home to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia with her fiance to open a cheese shop. Unfortunately after Brynn moved she discovered that her fiance was cheating on her. After making him move out she then became friends with her neighbor Nancy and spent a tremendous amount of time with her three adorable and sweet Red D ...more
Phyllis
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cozy mystery readers
Thanks to the Cozy Mystery Review Crew and publisher Kensington Books for a copy of this book. All comments and opinions are my own.

This was a captivating and quick read - quick because I couldn't put it down. The cozy opens with a suspicious fire which leaves one person dead. Nancy is the neighbor of our heroine, Brynn MacAllister, a micro-farmer and cheese-maker newly arrived in the small town of Shenandoah Springs in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Brynn is compelled to find out why her new friend
...more
Jessica Fischer
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book by this author and I’ll definitely be looking for more. I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas Cow Bells.

Right from the start I was drawn into Brynn’s story with her cows and Buttermilk Creek Farm. A newcomer to the area who is starting over, Brynn becomes worried after a devastating fire claims the life of her neighbor Nancy (a fellow newcomer). Thinking someone is set to scare her off, Brynn dives into the mystery of Nancy’s murder.

Along the way we meet Brynn’s cows, including
...more
Christine
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Buttermilk Creek series. Brynn McAllister is a cheesemaker on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is busy with taking care of her farm and running her business. When she friend and neighbors' church burns down killing her in the process Brynn is understandable upset. Brynn and Nancy were the newcomers to town and had bonded and become fast friends. Shortly after mysterious events start to happen to Brynn. A fire is set on her lawn, her dog is taken and a busines ...more
Maggie
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy
Christmas Cow Bells is the first in a new series by Mollie Cox Bryan. Set in a small town in the Shenandoah, new resident and local cheesemaker Brynn MacAlister’s neighbor, Nancy, is murdered after her house was set on fire, and right before Christmas. While the Fire Inspector is investigating the fire, strange things start to happen around Brynn’s farm – trying to scare her off.

I really enjoyed this book. For a first in the series, there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of world building, but enou
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