A Christmas Cracker Book Cover A Christmas Cracker
Trisha Ashley
romance, cozy, humour
Harper Collins
2015

This Christmas is about to go off with a bang!

Things can’t possibly get worse for Tabby. Framed for a crime she didn’t commit, she suddenly finds herself without a job. Then to make matters worse, Tabby’s boyfriend dumps her and gives her cat away to a shelter.

But rescue comes in the form of kindly Mercy. A master of saving waifs and strays, Mercy wants Tabby to breathe new flair into her ailing cracker business. Together, they’ll save Marwood’s Magical Christmas Crackers.

But someone has other ideas. Mercy’s nephew Randal thinks Tabby’s a fraudster. Stubborn, difficult and very attractive, her future depends upon winning him round. But it’s that time of the year when miracles really can happen. Standing under the mistletoe, Tabby’s Christmas is set to be one that she will never forget . . .

This is in the cozy women's fiction romance genre - and well done indeed. It is not a suspense novel and there are no murders or supernatural happenings, but a lovely warm story of generosity.

The animals are fun but please please don't encourage people to feed the ducks bread. This is seriously bad for them. In fact a recent BBC blog said:

Experts warn that feeding ducks bread is not just bad for the bird's health - it can damage entire ecosystems, says Justin Parkinson.

Throwing crumbs of stale bread in a pond or river is a ritual of family days out dating back to at least the 19th Century. Ducks vie with geese, swans, moorhens, sometimes gulls, for their fill.

It's long been recognised that a bread-rich diet - particularly processed white bread - can cause wildfowl to become ill and, in some cases, deformed. Now conservationists are warning that undigested bread sinking and rotting can create wider havoc.

The Canal and River Trust says that it can encourage bacteria and algae which can poison other species as well as attracting vermin.

Rotting bread exacerbates naturally occurring surface algae - which can give off toxins damaging to fish populations and create a stench for humans - by releasing more nitrates and phosphates. It also denies sunlight to underwater plants. And the bread eaten by birds creates more faeces, which has the same effect.

The nutrients can also encourage filamentous algae, which grow upwards from the bottom in chains or threads. The algae can slow down river flows, further deadening the environment.

Now you might think that I am being rather picky here focusing in on just this one aspect but it annoys and upsets me to see people doing something that is going to harm animals when they think they are doing something good. Not good for the poor childrens' psyche at all.

I found that I wanted to keep reading the story as there several twists and turns, but no murders, no supernatural happenings, just a heart warming story,

I was pleased too that the Quaker attitudes to criminality and to their workers was highlighted as this is forgotten all too often now Cadbury's, Fry's and Rowntree's and the banks Barclays and Lloyds are no longer run by them. Perhaps we should look back at some of these principles and see just how far from them some of our current business leaders have gone - see Phillip Green for instance.

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