“Stars of Wonder” by Rebecca Dwight Bruff – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Five curious kids set out on an adventure that will teach them the value of wonder, gratitude, joy and love.

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Another fun, short holiday read! This one is a children’s book – it comes in around 50 pages, divided into 3 chapters, with some sporadic but lovely illustrations. I would think it would appeal to parents of kids in early elementary school.

In this version of the Nativity story, five young travelers from the East follow the bright star to see what wonder it leads to. There are three brothers, who are princes, and their sister, the princess. They also bring along a friend, whose family takes care of their camels… because, obviously, they need a camel.

The camel gets injured, though, during an attack by mountain lions. So the friend and the princess stay back with the camel, near a spring, where they have water and a good view of the terrain around them. The three boys continue the journey, and promise to come back the same way to reconnect with the other two.

Both groups – and their parents, who head out to look for them – encounter some tricky situations along the way. The author pauses during these times and asks the readers what they would do, forcing them to take note of the lesson being set up in each situation.

This book is available in paperback, hardcover, or ebook. I was gifted a copy through the team at Books Forward.


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“The Case of the Disappearing Beaune” by J. Lawrence Matthews – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Christmas morning, 1901: Sherlock Holmes discovers that the wine in a bottle of French Beaune (intended as a gift for Dr. Watson) has been switched with sand, and he suspects it means threat to the newly crowned King of England. Or does it?

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What better way to kick off December than with a Sherlock Holmes short story that takes place on Christmas?! This one came out in September of this year, so it is still a relatively new release – and maybe flew under the radar of the Holmes fans out there.

We start with Dr. Watson heading over to Sherlock’s home on Christmas morning, with the task of inviting him to Christmas dinner. Sherlock has always turned him down in the past, but Watson’s wife wants him to ask anyway.

As they exchange gifts, though, Sherlock’s intended bottle of wine for Watson has been exchanged for a bottle of sand. And so, as they say… the game is afoot!

This short novella follows our main characters as they race around London trying to find out who knows what, and what it all means. We hear about many of the expected Holmes characters – Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft, Lestrade – without actually encountering them until the very end.

And no, I won’t give away the ending.

This one is available both in paperback and e-book editions. A perfect little stocking stuffer for any mystery lover.

Thanks to the team at Books Forward for sending me the e-book for review.


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