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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Review - In a Peppermint Peril

This new series is advertised as "Perfect for Lorna Barrett and Jenn McKinlay fans, this festive series debut set in small-town Maine introduces book-themed tea party organizer Callie Aspen and her lovable Boston terrier."  Her is a little holiday cheer in February.

Author: Joy Avon

Copyright: Nov 2018 (Crooked Lane Books) 285 pgs

Series: 1st in Tea and a Read Mysteries

Sensuality: n/a

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery

Main Characters: Callie Aspen, tour guide to world's historic venues job visiting her great aunt

Setting: Modern day, Heart's Harbor, Maine

Obtained Through: Publisher NetGalley for honest review

Book Blurb:  "This Christmas, Callie Aspen returns to her childhood hideout Heart's Harbor, Maine where her great aunt runs Book Tea, a vintage tearoom where every sweet treat contains a bookish clue. Upon arrival in the fairy-tale snowy town, Callie is drawn into the preparations for a special tea party at Haywood Hall, the rambling house of Heart's Harbor's oldest resident, rich but lonely widow Dorothea Finster, who invited her estranged relatives, old friends and the elite of the town to make a mysterious announcement about her will.

Believing they can touch a part of her fortune, everybody is determined to come, despite not liking each other or even their hostess. And Callie's old friend Sheila complicates things by using the tea party to announce her daughter's engagement, even though her daughter isn't sure she's in love with the young lawyer her mother thinks so perfect for her.

Catering to people who each have their own agenda isn't easy for the Book Tea crew, especially once the valuable engagement ring goes missing and a dead body turns up in the conservatory. Can Callie and her great aunt use their love of clues to dig into the crimes and show their unhappy hostess and squabbling guests the true Christmas spirit?" 

Callie Aspen is returning to Heart’s Harbor, Maine after leaving years ago because of a broken heart. She is back after leaving her tour guide to world's historic venues job.  Stephen Du Bouvrais, the man who crushed her heart by marrying someone else, is the heir to Haywood Hall where the murder takes place.  Great Aunt Iphy (Iphigeneia) is trying to help Callie heal while getting her involved in the town.  Deputy Falk is the standard cop romantic interest.  Callie's old friend Sheila, who married Stephen, planned the ring in the cake to "nudge" her daughter to marry.  Callie’s dog – Daisy, the Boston Terrier is the breakout character.

The motive for murder wasn't clear at first.  The picture became more clear as the clues were revealed. Subplots of family troubles were woven throughout.  The story enfolded and slowly took hold of me.  It took several chapters before I was vested in the story.

The climax was like a classic "Murder She Wrote" luring the killer out.  Nicely done. The wrap up has a heart warming element that ties up a significant subplot that played into the motive.  I appreciated that.

Callie is barely introduced in the story when a whole bunch of other characters are coming into play and it was a bit confusing of a start.  Other than the daughter Amber and the elderly widow Dorothea Finster, the characters were a little lack-luster.  A lot of potential with this series and I found it a pleasant book to pickup when you want a distraction.

Rating: Good - A fun read with an entertaining story. 


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Mystica said...

and the cover is lovely too.

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