YULE LOG MURDER is a collection of three cozy mystery novellas by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross. With the holiday season often hectic, it’s nice to sit down and relax with a story that captures the Christmas spirit. I greatly appreciate that each novella can be read as a standalone and aren’t so long that I can’t get to the myriad of activities and chores that get scheduled for this time of year.
Each of the stories are set in Maine: Yule Log Murder by Leslie Meier is in Tinker’s Cover; Death by Yule Log by Lee Hollis is in Bar Harbor; and Logged On by Barbara Ross is in Busman Harbor. I greatly enjoyed spending time with each of the well-known characters from these well-loved series. Even if you’re not familiar with these authors, the stories can easily be read without feeling lost by not knowing the characters and backstory. Despite the limited word count, the three authors expertly captures the setting of their stories and flavor it liberally with the holiday spirit. They also give the reader an excellent feeling for their protagonist and supporting characters. The mysteries have good plots but have a gentler feel to them which, in my opinion, makes them ideal for the holidays. YULE LOG MURDER is the perfect book to curl up with in front of the fire with a mug of hot cocoa and a plate of Christmas cookies!
Each of the three authors have included holiday recipes with their story. I adore Barbara Ross’ description of her protagonist, Julia Snowden, learning to make Bûche de Noël. Barbara includes the recipe for it at the back of the book and I was intrigued. However, after reading through her introduction and advice for the recipe (which totally cracked me up) I took it to heart… and decided to make her recipe for Jewel Brooch Cookies instead! I loved that this recipe was handed down from Barbara’s grandmother. Easy to make, the jewel tones of jam makes these shortbread-style cookies festive and a lovely, delicious addition to any holiday cookie plate!
Fresh-baked cookies, pies, and cakes can warm even the frostiest Christmases in coastal Maine. But there’s little room for holiday cheer when murder is the new seasonal tradition . . .
YULE LOG MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
Lucy Stone is thrilled to be cast as an extra in a festive period film—until the set becomes a murder scene decorated in blood and buttercream icing. Returning to her role as sleuth, Lucy dashes to restore peace to Tinker’s Cove, unwrap a cold-hearted criminal’s MO, and reveal how one ornate Yule log cake could possibly cause so much drama.
DEATH BY YULE LOG by LEE HOLLIS
Hayley Powell’s holidays aren’t off to a very merry start. Not only has her daughter brought Conner—an infuriatingly perfect new beau—home to Bar Harbor, but a local troublemaker has been found dead with traces of her signature Yule log cake on his body. As Conner becomes the prime murder suspect, Hayley must put aside her mixed feelings to identify the real killjoy.
LOGGED ON by BARBARA ROSS
Realizing she can’t make a decent Bûche de Noël to save her life, Julia Snowden enlists the help of her eccentric neighbor, Mrs. St. Onge, in hopes of mastering the dessert for Christmas. With everyone in the old woman’s circle missing or deceased, however, it’s up to Julia to stop the deadly tidings before she’s the next Busman’s Harbor resident to meet a not-so-jolly fate.
A special thanks to Barbara Ross for providing a winner with a hardcover copy of YULE LOG MURDER. Contest ends Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents only. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
From the author, Barbara Ross: Many people make these cookies and call them by various names, including gems. This version came to me from my grandmother and I think they are particularly good.
- 1 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon floor (yes, really, that's what the recipe says)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup soft butter (Note: 1/2 cup, not 1/2 pound. That is the only way you can screw this recipe up)
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with a fork
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Your favorite jam or jelly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Mix flour and sugar. Cut in butter like a piecrust. Add egg yolk and vanilla.
Mix with fingers until dough holds together.
Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Roll into balls the size of a marble and set on parchment-lined cookie sheet, 1-inch apart.
Make an indentation in the center of each ball with your thumb. Fill the indentation with any jam or jelly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about a dozen cookies, depending on the size of the balls. I almost always double the recipe.
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I was provided an advance copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Yule logs are not a part of my Christmas tradition. Thanks for the great recipe & giveaway.
I’ve never had a Yule Log! Cookies look delicious.
The yule log dessert? unfortunately not yet (picky eaters, but i’m working on it!) but we do like putting on the yule log video on the tv during dinner.
Yule logs aren’t part of my Christmas, but they look amazing! I heard that Disney World serves up some really awesome Yule logs.
I have never made a Yule Log but am willing to try! Thank you for the great cookie recipe and for the contest!
Yule logs were when we lived in England but not here in the USA we can buy them from England but it cost too much, There is a English shop call The Kings Head in Los Angeles we are planing on going there in a couple of weeks so if they have them we will get one and a Christmas pudding. This sounds very good. Thank you
I have never made a yule log before, but I love the jewel brooch cookies. Thanks for the giveaway of this fun holiday book!
These are so pretty!
I have made one Yule log. They really are not difficult, just a bit time consuming.
Thank you for the recipe and a chance to win the book!
I have never had a Yule log. Looks great. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway
I have made a Yule log in the past but it’s not a long standing tradition.
I’ve never had a fireplace so we’ve never had a yule log. Thanks for the recipe!
I’ve never even heard of this tradition
I’ve never made a Yule Log. I make lots of other things for Christmas, though.
No, they are not, but an interesting tradition!
No Yule logs here!! I’ve never tried it though.
I have never made a Yule Log though I have tasted them. I think they are too much time and space for me and my tiny kitchen. These cookies, however, look amazing. I think I will put a Yule log on the tv to burn while I bake the cookies. Then I will keep the log burning on my tv while I enjoy my cookies with coffee and a book. Christmas music will be playing, of course.
Trying this again. It looks like my first time did not publish. If it does please discard this one. I have a lot of trouble getting things to post this morning.
I have not made a Yule Log. I don’t have the patience or space in my tiny kitchen. Instead I will put a Yule Log on the tv to burn while playing Christmas music and baking these delicious looking cookies. Then I will eat the cookies while enjoying the tv Yule Log, coffee, a book and my dog.
Yule logs are not a tradition with us. Pumpkin rolls are probably the closest thing.
Yule logs are a tradition only in my dreams!
Kim, I ADORE your recipe posts! These look good enough to eat — right through the screen! I made a Yule Log once, for a Christmas party in French class in high school. I’ve never bothered to make another because the first was such a hit!
I’ve never had a Yule Log.
Yule Logs are not one of our traditions.
No they are not. But would be fun to make them a part.
No yule logs in my Christmas traditions. Thank you for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Yule Log Murder.
I am Pagan so yes, Yule Logs are part of our holiday tradition.
A most satisfying combination baking Christmas and mysteries.
I have never made a Yule log, but I love to try different cookies.
I’ve never had a Yule Log. Thanks for having this great giveaway!
I’ve never done a yule log, but I think it would be fun.
No, they are not.
Thank you for this great giveaway and recipe! I will keep my fingers crossed.
Thank you for this great giveaway! I will try out the recipe while waiting. It looks yummy.
Never had a yule log but would like to.
Never had a yule log but would like to. The cookies look delicious. Wonder if it’s a tradition in USA? Thank you for the chance.
No yule logs aren’t part of my Christmas. Great giveaway.
Yes and I buy them from a bakery. I’ve tried and tried to make them, but always fail.
Nope,Yule logs are not part of my family’s Christmas traditions.
I love to bake and cook,but I have never tried making yule log.
The closest I came ,is making a coconut cake roll for one of my mom’s birthday. Thanks for sharing about the upcoming novella release for the Yule Log Murder. I won’t forget the release date,that was my father’s birthday. The cookies look really yummy,I can’t wait to try the recipe.
“Are Yule Logs part of your Christmas traditions?” No–but I like them!
Yule Logs are not a holiday tradition in my family.
The Yule Log is not a part of our Christmas tradition.
The Yule log is a part of our Christmas meal
I must admit, I’ve never made one. However, maybe this year is the time to rectify that. Sounds so yummy and looks amazing.
We also enjoy putting on the yule log video on the tv on Christmas day. Very relaxing to watch while sipping a glass of wine. Merry Christmas!
My mother has made them most years…I guess it’s time for me to start making them now. Thanks for the kick I needed, Lol. These cookies look yummy and so easy, thank you for sharing!
I’ve never had a Yule log! This recipe looks great, and so do the stories!! ?
I’ve never had a yule log but I would love to try and make them.
No they are not but I have some friends that have this tradition.
Yule logs have never been a part of our Christmas.
I’m not talented enough as a baker and cake decorator to even try to make a yule log.
Yes! When we remove our tree after Ephiphany, my husband cuts the bottom off and we burn it Christmas morning the following year.
I’ve never had a Yule log but think they are really neat. The recipe is similar to something my mother and grandmother made called Kolache! Thanks for offering this book! Love all 3 authors!
I have not had tried a Yule Log. They’re so pretty tho.
Yule log is something we ordinarily didn’t have…homemade fruitcake was our specialty. Looks delicious…
Yes we do have Yule logs!! Grandchildren love them.
I think my comment got lost. Homemade Fruit Cake is our Specialty but the Yule log looks wonderful…
No we don’t do Yule log
No, I’ve never had a Yule log.
Never had a yule log.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a yule log before.
I think my comment got lost also. I don’t think I’ve ever had a yule log before.
No, they are not but I would like to make one.
Btw, ty for this great recipe too!
I watch virtual Yule log on Xmas day as we open our presents
Have never had a Yule log
I made a Yule Log cake once MANY years ago, following a recipe in my circa 1973 Betty Crocker cookbook. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!
When I was little we had yule logs at my great-aunts house during the Christmas holidays.. they were great, but I’ve never made them..Thanks for this review, recipe and giveaway!
I love to make this type of cookies as they not only taste so great but look beautiful on a big platter for family or to bring to a party. Thanks for the reminder.
I would love to receive this book too. I Thank you.
I’m hoping to make a real Yule log this weekend! Those cookies look delicious and I bet would be great with my homemade strawberry jam!
I’ve never made one or tasted a Yule log and would love to try to make one, one day for the family to enjoy.