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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

Dastardly Deeds at St Brides by Debbie Young #StBridesSeries #CozyMysterySeriesBook1 #Review

I am delighted to introduce a new cozy mystery series by Debbie Young, the St Brides series. and to feature the first in the series, Dastardly Deeds at Sy Brides. It was published by Boldwood Books on 15th September.


When Gemma Lamb takes a job at a quirky English girls’ boarding school, she believes she’s found the perfect escape route from her controlling boyfriend – until she discovers the rest of the staff are hiding sinister secrets:

             Hairnet, the eccentric headmistress who doesn't hold with academic qualifications

             Oriana Bliss, Head of Maths and master of disguise

             Joscelyn Spryke, the suspiciously rugged Head of PE

             Geography teacher Mavis Brook, surreptitiously selling off the library books

             creepy night watchman Max Security, with his network of hidden tunnels


Even McPhee, the school cat, is leading a double life.

Tucked away in the school’s beautiful private estate in the Cotswolds, can Gemma stay safe and build a new independent future, or will past secrets catch up with her and the rest of the staff?

With a little help from her new friends, including some wise pupils, she's going to give it her best shot...

My Thoughts

 This is the gentlest of cozy mystery series, with a varied range of characters who all add both humour and poignancy to the story. They each have their own secrets and individual reasons for being at St Brides. When Gemma arrives at the school, she is anxious as to whether she will fit in and whether she will be accepted. She needed have worried as she finds a haven in the school and a world which seems to take people at face value, with little regard for their history. 

    Set in the middle of the countryside, you can picture the school which has a nostalgic feel. It reminds me of the boarding school books I read as a child and is spot on for a cozy mystery. The pupils are also delightful and there seems to be an amusing relationship of mutual respect between staff and pupils who collude in accepting certain events. This is a promising first book in the series. It sets the scene and sets up the characters who you will meet, whilst showing the school to be a potential rich source for future stories.

In short: gentle cozy mystery with humour and a hint of romance

About the Author


Debbie Young is the much-loved author of the Sophie Sayers and St Brides cosy crime mysteries. She lives in a Cotswold village where she runs the local literary festival, and has worked at Westonbirt School, both of which provide inspiration for her writing. She is bringing both her series to Boldwood in a 13-book contract. They will be publishing several new titles in each series and republishing the backlist, starting in September 2022.

You can follow Debbie here: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

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Book links: 





Dastardly Deeds at St Brides Amazon UK  



Sinister Stranger at St Brides Amazon UK







Wicked Whispers at St Brides Amazon UK 


 Thanks to Debbie Young, Boldwood Books and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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