Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza #WeekendBlogShare

About this book…

A sparkling feel-good Christmas comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child the must-have Christmas toy?

It’s December 1992, and children are going crazy for the Tracy Island toy – almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and Coco Pinchard is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz.

Throw into the mix a horrible boss, a lazy husband, and the prospect of her in-laws arriving for the festivities, and Coco wishes she could cancel Christmas and sail off to a desert island somewhere – preferably with the gorgeous-yet-unattainable Tom from work.

But retail therapy is at hand! Coco’s faithful friends Chris and Marika rally round, and even her mother-in-law Ethel tries to help in her own eccentric way.

From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everythingin the hope that Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.

My review…

Although this is book 5 in the Coco Pinchard series it’s actually a prequel and so can be read as a standalone Christmas novella. Even if you’ve not read any of the series you will appreciate the humour of the situation here as Coco attempts to make sure her son has the best Christmas ever!

Now every parent dreads it being the year that their child really, REALLY wants the must have toy that Christmas. I have fond memories (NOT!) of dashing to Argos late one Christmas Eve as they had had a Barbie VW Beetle returned that day and my child had told everyone it was the only gift she wanted from Santa that year. And don’t even start me with the must have toy this year (Hatchimals anyone? ANYONE?!?!) because doesn’t every parent want their child to explode with joy on Christmas morning?

So back in good old 1992 the UK went mad for the Thunderbirds Tracy Island and I will always remember Blue Peter for trying to come to the rescue of parents up and down the country with a plan to “build your own”. And it looks like that may be the only option available to Coco after her many near misses with a real life Tracy Island. Some of the funniest scenes in this novella are of Coco desperately trying to find her son his perfect gift, only for it to be snatched away at the very last minute. Honestly, I was giggling constantly throughout this extremely funny lead up to Christmas Day for poor Coco.  Most of the best lines go to Ethel, her mother-in-law, but a few other snippets that had me practically crying with laughter were the encounter with the Sylvanian families lady (my daughter still thinks she had a deprived childhood as she was the only one of her friends not to have a little cottage full of miniature woodland creatures!) and the ashtray comment!! 

I love the fact that Robert Bryndza can turn his hand to both crime thrillers and comedy, his writing style adapts perfectly to fit whichever voice he is using. I adore the Coco series of books and often recommend them to friends looking for a hilarious feel good series to follow especially if they are fans of the Shopaholic series or Bridget Jones. This Christmas prequel is quirky, very funny and highly entertaining. I loved it so much that I downloaded his other Christmas novella, A Very Coco Christmas, as soon as I had finished it. These books will definitely make you forget all your Christmas holiday stresses! And if you haven’t discovered Coco Pinchard yet then this is the perfect introduction and I guarantee you will love her and her madcap life as much as I do.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story: A sparkling feel-good Christmas comedy! (Coco Pinchard Series Book 5) is out now and available to purchase form Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first in the new Detective Erika Foster series.

The second book in the series, The Night Stalker, is a Wall Street Journal no.1 bestseller, and the third book, Dark Water, has just been published.

Robert’s books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into 21 languages.

In addition to writing Crime Fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján.

You can find out more about the author at and on Twitter @RobertBryndza


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

2 thoughts on “Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza #WeekendBlogShare”

  1. This sounds like a really enjoyable festive treat. My 5 year old son was desperate for a Teenage Mutant Nija turtle hideout – and I’m afraid the words fell out of my mouth, ‘Nope. Sorry – you’re not having a sewer for Christmas…’

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