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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Review - No Mallets Intended

I have reviewed this author's work from the Muffin Mysteries with #1 Bran New Death (click here) and  #2 Muffin But Murder (click here), and we were delighted to have Ms. Hamilton write a guest post (click here).  Now let's take a peak at her newest release in the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries.

Author: Victoria Hamilton

Copyright: Nov 2014 (Berkley) 432 pgs

Series: 4th in Vintage Kitchen Mystery series

Sensuality: N/A

Mystery Sub-genre: Amateur Sleuth Mystery

Main Characters: Jaymie Leighton, Vintage cookware and cookbook collector

Setting: Modern Day, Queensville on the Michigan-Canadian border

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

Jaymie Leighton is helping to restore the kitchen at the recently acquired Dumpe Manor to its prior glory.  The Queensville Heritage Society is hoping to open the Manor for the holidays.  While Jaymie is working late one night, she is struck by somebody using a vintage wooden mallet she had collected. Nothing was taken, so the reason for for attacking Jaymie is unclear, so the theory is a homeless person who was accustomed to using the Manor when it was empty.  Before long, a controversial person in town is murdered at the Manor and Jaymie finds the body.  This character is not overly nosy, just what you see in any group of people who talk about what is happening and ask questions.

Jaymie, is a curious person by nature and deals with relationship troubles on top of the murder.  She has an authentic quality that I find kept me reading.  Detective Zack Christian, who relocated, reaches out to her, but is it as a friend or is he wishing for more?  Wealthy Daniel Collins, kinda sorta boyfriend, gave her a deadline to decide if she wants to be with him on top of.  Hopalong, or Hoppy, Jaymie's three-legged Yorkie Poo is the quiet star of the story.  Her friends Bernie (a local cop), Valletta, and Heidi are the sort of great friends we all want to have.

The Queensville Heritage Society Manor house is the setting for a good portion of the story and lends a nostalgic and eerie air.  The plot revolves around the house with a controversial history supposedly being written by the murder victim and an heir deciding to fight the historical society from keeping it now that they have sunk money into it.  Those are feasible, but the plot gets more involved than even that. 

The pacing went along at a good clip for a cozy, with clues dropped throughout.  The climax took some unexpected turns and delivered a great ride.  The wrap-up delivers closure on several fronts and a tantalizing promise for Jaymie's future. 

This was my first adventure with Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and I was delighted to find it everything you look for in Cozy with some well placed surprises too.  Kudos Victoria Hamilton.

Rating:  Near Perfect - Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.

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