Showing posts with label female sleuth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label female sleuth. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Birthday Mystery Reviewed

Cooking For A Birthday Can Be Deadly

birthday mystery
Mystery at a birthday party
Last night, I finished reading The Birthday Mystery by Faith Martin. I would like to offer my review to you this morning.

This book is the first in a newer series by the author known for her DI Hillary Greene series that spans back some thirty years or so. Ms. Martin does not disappoint with her new concept for a good old fashioned whodunit. 

Our sleuth in The Birthday Mystery is Jenny Starling. Jenny travels around the British countryside cooking for different clients. She has been hired to cook the dinner and birthday cakes for a party being given for Justin and Alicia, an upper-class set of twins who will turn 21 in a few days. As she arrives at the home of the twin's parents, something is already amiss. A body has been found in the pond on the residence. Jenny really does not want to get involved and plans to start preparing the plans for the meal and cakes. 

As reluctant as she is, Jenny can't help but overhear conversations that make her curious as to what is really going on in this home. The resident staff do not take well to her being there and give her a hard time whenever they can. She feels there is something off with the family dynamics but can't quite put her finger on it. Justin the birthday boy is a bit pompous and yet she can't help but like him in an odd sort of way. Alicia is beautiful but spoiled and demanding. 

I found this to be a fun reading experience with plenty of twists to the plot. The concept of a traveling cook was interesting and Jenny's sleuthing skills were impressive. The characters were well thought out and the mystery flowed along nicely. It reminded me a bit of the style of Agatha Christie and her Miss Marple which was enjoyable. 

I highly recommend The Birthday Mystery to those of you who enjoy a good old fashioned murder mystery that is not predictable at to "whodunit". To find out who dies at the birthday celebration and more importantly who caused the death, you will have to read the book. I do not think you will be disappointed. 




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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Murder In An Irish Village Reviewed

Irish Setting In A New Mystery Series

Irish Village Scene courtesy of Pixabay.com
Today's review is for the first book in a new mystery series called Irish Village Mysteries that I literally stumbled upon last week. I wasn't familiar with the author but decided to take a chance and I am so glad that I did. 

The first book in this two book series is: Murder In An Irish Village. The story takes place in County Cork, Ireland in the small village of Kilbane. The O'Sullivans are a family of six children who lost their parents a year ago in a tragic auto accident. Since that terrible day the kids, led by 22 year old Siobhan, have kept the family business running. The business is a little bistro that their parents started called Naomi's Bistro. They serve breakfast and lunch in the small shop and live upstairs over the eatery. 

The book has a most delightful cast of characters! The children are so very believable with the sibling arguments that any family has to encounter. The youngest is a 10 year old little boy who is just hysterical in his antics and not knowing when to rein in his words. He just blurts things out at the most inopportune times. Just like most 10 year olds. 

Siobhan is smart, funny and quite the little sleuth. Her older brother James has been accused of murdering Niall in their family bistro and she is determined to find the real killer so that her brother can be set free. Now Niall was a bad sort! He tried to extort 10,000 euro for Siobhan just before he was killed. Was he blackmailing others? Our fiesty little red-haired gal is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. 

I just absolutely loved the setting, the plot and the characters in this book. There are several twists and turns and I have to admit that I was surprised at who the murderer turned out to be. I liked the realism of the bungling attempts of 22 year old Siobhan as she tries to solve the mystery of Niall's death. She isn't exactly subtle in her questioning sometimes but then again she is young and wouldn't have the experience that an older person might have. 


I also loved that Carlene O'Connor used real Irish slang in the conversations between the characters.  There is a glossary at the beginning of the book that gives you the meanings of some of the phrases that might not be part of your own vocabulary. Ms. O'Connor also helps with the pronunciation of the very Irish names of the O'Sullivan kids. Like Siobhan...that is pronounced shi -vawn. She has a brother named Eoin which is Owen. That impish little 10 year old is named Ciaran which is pronounced Keeran. It is well worth looking through those pages before the story begins.

I plan to read the second book in the series, too. I found the writing of the author very entertaining with her well rounded characters and fast pace twists and turns as she unfolded the story. Very well done!



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