Blog Tour – Sleigh Bell Tower – Review


Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Great Escapes Book Tour for Sleigh Bell Tower by James J. Cudney. This is the eighth book in the Braxton Campus Mystery series. I love this series and this new installment is just as brilliant and great as the rest of them!!

About Sleigh Bell Tower

Sleigh Bell Tower: Murder at the Campus Holiday Gala (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Next Chapter (December 20, 2021)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 276 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8763163933
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 276 pages
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8763164046
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JZCSRXB

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When Bell Towers decides to build their newest boutique hotel in Wharton County, Braxton establishes a hospitality program as part of their university expansion. Despite the Ingram and Lynch family ties to prominent citizens, a dispute over the proposed landsite pits citizens against each other.

One takes matters into their own hands and slays the hotel magnate during the campus holiday party. As the list of suspects increases, long-lost family members are anxious to keep their secrets from being revealed, complicating Sheriff Montague’s ability to determine the murderer’s true motive. Even Kellan is forced to cast doubt on his friends and colleagues when it becomes obvious someone he knows committed the ultimate crime.

April and Kellan are also celebrating their first Christmas and Hanukkah together, exchanging gifts based on the classic Twelve Days of Christmas song. While they trim the tree, light the menorah, and experience all the traditional holiday festivities with the kids, Nana D delivers her sarcastic brand of humor and endlessly tortures the town. Among Eleanor’s surprise news, Augie’s new girlfriend, and Myriam’s hilarious demands, Kellan’s dealing with unexpected holiday drama.

The poor guy simply wants to spend the merry season with his family before he’s forced to trek to Scotland to fulfill his promise to the late Constance Garibaldi. What kind of quest has the psychic sent him on now?


Review – 5 out of 5 stars!

Another spectacular installment in the Braxton Campus Mystery series! I love the series anyway and this installment did not disappoint at all!! 

The plot was amazing. I totally did NOT see the villain as the villain. James did an amazing job with red herrings and providing plenty of viable suspects to choose from! So many different twists and turns in this plot – it kept me guessing right to the very end! It takes talent in writing to do that. Many authors make it too easy to guess the villain, even seasoned authors. I love it when I’m stumped all the way through! I also loved the side stories of Augie & Gia, April & Kellan’s 12 days of Christmas, etc. They add a lot of “flavor” to the story.

I love the characters in this series. Kellan, April, Myriam, Ursula, Augie, Emma, NanaD, Ulan, all of them. They’re well-rounded characters. They are funny and insightful and delightful to read about! Sometimes Myriam gets on my nerves with her straight-forward bullish tactics, but she’s growing on me. And Kellan’s growing more confidence to tell her no so it balances out!

All in all, a great new installment to the series! If you haven’t read this series before, you CAN read this as a stand-alone, but family and relationship dynamics would be better if you read from the start of the series, Academic Curveball. However you choose to do it, make sure this series is on your to-be-read list!!


About James J. Cudney


James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.


Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others, and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Author Links

Website    Blog

Amazon    Twitter    Author Facebook    Series Facebook    This Is My Truth Now Facebook

Bookbub    Instagram    Goodreads    LinkedIn    Pinterest   
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Thanks for joining me today on this stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour or visit the tour page itself, please click on the graphic below.

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5 thoughts on “Blog Tour – Sleigh Bell Tower – Review

  1. Valerie – I love this review and post. You’ve made my morning! They all feel like family to me too, and you are included in it! The 12 Days of Christmas was so fun to write, but letting Myriam’s character grow in the last few books has been a huge thing – she is sometimes so irritating! LOL I get it… finally, she’s finding a balance with Kellan. I hope! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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