I have followed this series since the beginning. Check out my reviews of the first book in the series, Bran New Death (click here) and the second book, Muffin But Murder (click here). Additionally I was fortunate to have interviewed the author, Victoria Hamilton (click here). See what I thought of the newest addition to the series below.
Copyright: July 2015 (Berkley) 298 pgs
Series: 3rd in Merry Muffin Mystery series
Mystery Sub-genre: Amateur Sleuth, Cozy
Main Characters: Merry Wynter, former Plus size model and stylist, recently inherited a castle
Setting: Modern day, Upstate rural NY (Autumn Vale)
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Merry has rented rooms in her family castle to tenants to fund remodeling in hopes of eventually selling. The problem is the group of elderly women, referred to as the Legion of Horrible Ladies, is more than difficult. Chief cranky and mean-spirited crone is the Englishwoman Cleta Sanson, who loves to collect information (secrets) to use against everybody...especially her friends and her niece. Somebody finally snaps and Cleta is found murdered in a locked bathroom. Meanwhile, Merry and Virgil inch closer together.
Merry Wynter's nerves are frayed dealing with the cranky old ladies...still she tries to adjust since she needs the money they are paying. We see Merry stressed with the entire situation. Additionally, she just might be ready to move on from grieving and is growing attached to living at the castle. Shilo, Merry's dear friend, is married now and we don't see her much in this book. Pish Lincoln, Merry's other close friend, is instrumental in running interference with the Horrible Ladies. Lush, Pish's mother, is the only one of the group of women who is kind and anybody likes. Sheriff Virgil Grace, the potential love interest, has his own baggage that he may be ready to move on from as he hints at liking Merry. Zeke and Gordy are around, but more in the background this outing.
The castle and its grounds offer much to the story. The plot is a locked room murder, but mostly focuses on the who not the how. Plenty of suspects with secrets everywhere to keep your guessing. Only a spot or two had some slight pace slowing, but not for long.
The climax was without suspense, only a good killer reveal close to Ellery Queen style. The wrap-up left me wanting more.
Summary: I like this series for times when I want a mystery that is an easy read without requiring deep thought. I find it entertaining and enjoy the town and people.
Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list
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