Cozy Christmas Caper

Deception in December by Doreen McAvoy


Deception in December is the second book in Doreen McAvoy’s middle-grade Fern Valley Mystery series. While this book could be a stand-alone, I’d recommend starting with Secrets in September. Understanding the previous mystery as well as the character’s relationships will enhance the storyline. The characters in this series are wonderful—from the main protagonists to the supporting cast, they all help to bring the story to life. I especially appreciate the positive messages and life-lessons that the author weaves into her stories.

Twins, Will and Wendy, and their friends find themselves involved in another intriguing adventure set at the town’s mysterious Mayfield mansion. As Christmas nears, can the twins and their friends uncover who is behind the strange happenings around town that threaten to tear their friend group apart? Can Will regain his confidence, on and off the court? Join the residents of Fern Valley in this heart-warming Christmas-time caper.


Thirteen-year-old Will Abbott is enjoying his eighth-grade year and looking forward to a fun-filled December packed with basketball games, snowball fights, and Christmas pageant practice. With Otis Mayfield safely behind bars, Will’s biggest problem is enduring the antics of the class bully, Beefy Boris. But when an old car belonging to the Mayfield family is spotted in town, Will fears another Mayfield is back. And when his friend Betsy’s baby pictures, believed to have been lost in a fire, mysteriously start appearing, Will is certain someone with ties to the Mayfield family is involved. With Betsy’s residence in Fern Valley in jeopardy, Will must retain the services of Boris’s newly formed messenger service. Can a bit of Christmas spirit help Will and his friends find the answers they need to keep Betsy from leaving Fern Valley?

Author: Leslea Wahl

Leslea Wahl is an award-winning author of Catholic teen adventurous mysteries. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her family. Leslea believes one way to encourage teens in their faith is through positive messages and Catholic values, embedded in great stories. She is excited to share her reviews of some incredible Catholic books, all of which have received the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval. Find her online at