#TBRChallenge2023 Review: A Dead End Christmas by Alyssa Day

Posted December 20, 2023 by Jen in Mystery-Cozy Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Rating B, Reviews Tags: , , , , ,

Book cover of A Dead End Christmas by Alyssa DayA Dead End Christmas
Alyssa Day
Rating: B


  • December’s Theme is “Festive”
  • This book has been on my TBR since January 2023.
  • Why I selected it: it takes place at Christmas time. 

What I’m Talking About:

A Dead End Christmas is the ninth title is Day’s humorous paranormal mystery series set in Dead End, Florida. The series follows pawn shop owner, Tess, and her tiger-shifter boyfriend, ex-rebellion commander Jack. The titles are always a bit chaotic and zany, and this book is no exception. 

Jack and Tess are now “facebook official,” spending nights together and talking about their mutual future. I like how kind to and loving of one another they are. They are happy and work well as a team – always having each other’s back and listening to any and all wild theories. And while Jack is a protective tiger, he knows he can’t reign in Tess’s joie de vivre or her desire to help her friends, family, and town. A Dead End Christmas is really the first title where they are fully a couple, and I love skipping the awkward “will they/won’t they” scenes.

It’s nearly Christmas, and the denizens of Dead Eye are even more odd than usual. Santas are fighting for territory and townsfolk are debating the merits of a proposed UltraShopMart. Additionally, there is a crime spree, with vandalism, break-ins, abandoned puppies, and a murder. The story is all over the place, jumping from thought to thought like a squirrel with ADHD. Unfortunately, sometimes things are brought up (like Shelley’s magic) only to fade into the background without a strong intention.

The mystery behind the vandalism isn’t all that difficult to figure out, but it took Tess and Jack on a few twists and turns (which frustrated me because it seemed pretty obvious). The murder whodunit has a few red herrings, but nothing serious or really believable. There is also never a clear reason why the UltraShopMart folks want to take Tess and Jack’s place, which is (apparently) no where close to the proposed shopping center site. Although the UltraShopMart team is portrayed as mighty shady, I like that town folks debate both the merits and pitfalls of a super shop in town. 

Is A Dead End Christmas top-notch literature? No. But I don’t read the books for the complexity the mystery. I read them for the characters and silliness of Dead End. Overall, I enjoyed the entertaining story, especially seeing how far Tess and Jack have come.

My Rating:  B

About the Book:

It’s Christmas time in Dead End.

And this year Santa’s bringing … murder!

Join Tess, Jack, and the gang for the craziest Christmas since Fluffy the taxidermied alligator was still alive and got into Otis’s moonshine.

Because in Dead End, that reindeer you thought you saw might have been Bigfoot in disguise … and you never, ever want to see elves. Christmas might be merry after all, if Tess can investigate Santa and Jack can use his tiger’s eye to see the truth.

Because nobody wants to miss Christmas in Dead End!!

Warning: This book contains a taxidermied alligator, shapeshifters, Santa, elves, a dead body, magic, hideously bad singing, horrible puns, a slow-burning romance, mystery, mayhem, and “I laughed so hard I almost peed myself”* humor.

Release Date: January 28, 2023
Tiger’s Eye Mystery #9
Paranormal Cozy Mystery, Romantic elements
paperback (318 pages), e-book
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds

Purchase Info:

Reviews in the Series:
Dead Eye by Alyssa Day (Tiger’s Eye Mystery #1)
Private Eye by Alyssa Day (Tiger’s Eye Mystery #2)
Note: reviews of books 3-7 are published on Goodreads.
Eagle Eye by Alyssa Day (Tiger’s Eye Mystery #8)