A SCANDAL in SCARLET by Vicki Delany
Are you looking for a brief respite from the cold and snow? Then Delany’s latest Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery can give you just that. It’s a cozy – but not the kind where you snuggle up under a blanket, drinking cups of hot cocoa. It’s more an ice cream cones, sandy beaches, long evening walks in the warm summer breeze type of cozy. After all, it does take place in Cape Cod, and before your ice cream cone starts to melt, a murder takes place.
When the West London Museum suffers extensive damage from a fire (Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop just happened to be walking her dog Violet when she noticed smoke and quickly alerted the fire department), the shop owners along Baker Street decide to hold an auction to raise funds for its re-build. When the museum chair, Kathy Lamb, is found dead in the back room of Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room just as the auction is about to begin, Gemma is forced to help find the killer when the prime suspect begs her to do so.
There is no shortage of suspects and Gemma must untangle multiple webs created by both the innocent and the guilty in order to bring the culprit to justice.
Delany provides a nice little mystery that will help push away the winter blues – at least for awhile.
FICTION CAN BE MURDER by Becky Clark
When Charlee Russo’s literary agent is murdered using the same method that Charlee used to kill off one of her characters, she quickly goes to the top of the suspects list. Determined to clear her name, Charlee begins her own investigation to find the murderer. When her car is struck from behind and then later almost T-boned by the same dark coloured SUV, she begins to think that someone doesn’t want her to continue with her investigations. The novel continues in this pattern until the denoument where, unfortunately, Clark loses all credibility by a glaring misrepresentation of some basic science. I was stunned that this passed the editorial process, and though trying to remember that this is a work of fiction, I just can’t let this fact go. Clark is definitely off my list of authors to read in the future.
THE LIAR IN THE LIBRARY by Simon Brett
“Pompous author is murdered after giving a book talk to an audience of interested readers”. This could be a genre all by itself, though Brett handles the premise a bit better than some of the other books I’ve recently read (i.e. Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany) which utilize the same theme. Giving a nod to the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, Brett provides some colour to this almost formulaic mystery. With a pinch of humour here and there he moves us towards the “who dunnit” part of the novel where the motivations of the murderer come as quite a surprise. This is the 18th in the Fethering Mystery Series and I’d be quite happy to read another of these cozies by Simon Brett.
The latest in the Tea Shop Mysteries is pretty much standard fare for this series.
Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop, is asked to investigate the murder of a financier, shot with a crossbow during a public event. There are the usual twists and turns involving the colorful characters who people Charleston and Theodosia is confronted by more than a couple of the less pleasant ones.
This is a “cozy” is all senses of the word. I was constantly compelled to “put the kettle on” every time pots of tea were being prepared in the tea shop and only regretted that I didn’t have any scones to go along with my cuppa! Childs provides a good little mystery along with some delicious recipes. The perfect combination for a pleasant summer’s day!