“Sometimes chocolate is the only thing standing between me and murder.”
What a fab opening quote! 🙂
Librarian Amy Webber is in the final stages of wedding planning when a guest turns up dead at the party thrown for the couple by the enigmatic Kurt Kendrick. His shady past isn’t quite a secret and yet shrouded in mystery. So when the dead man turns out to be a rival art dealer, with both men bidding for the same ultra-rare book, there’s one obvious suspect.
But that isn’t the end of the tangled web, with some dodgy strangers in town, and tensions between Kurt’s sort-of supporters and the friends and family who seem involved in investigating him. One of these is Amy’s brother, who might or might not be hiding his real career working for the government!
I’ve enjoyed this series to date, finding the writing flows well and the main character’s involvement in the crimes not too ridiculously far fetched. It’s a bit less cheesy than some cosy mysteries, too. This latest volume shares those strengths, but adds a few weaknesses for me.
First off is really just a personal disinterest in weddings, so as that’s the main sub plot and a large amount of background padding, it’s already got me a bit inattentive. And secondly, there was a weird feel of trying to draw together a whole pile of past loose ends – is the author trying to tie up the series? So there’s plenty of mentions of Amy’s uncle, Andrew, and the drugs ring that appeared a few books back, and of course all the characters we’ve had to date. I think it was meant to create a familiar tone, but it felt more like a slightly shallow ‘greatest hits’ effort that didn’t quite capture my attention.
Still, it’s a pleasant enough read. Peril is present, and happy endings abound – no spoiler, as that’s just how the genre works!
NetGalley eARC: 258 pages / 30 chapters
First published: December 2020
Series: Blue Ridge Library mysteries book 5
Read from 1st-7th December 2020
My rating: 5/10