The Glitter End – Vivian Conroy

“‘Watch out for the top of the door!'”

We first met Delta Douglas back in Last Pen Standing, when she moved to a sleepy former Gold Rush town to open a craft supplies shop with her best friend. We rejoin them, two murders later (!), as the tourist town of Tundish hits the slow autumn/winter season. Trying to boost visitor numbers, Delta has invited famous miniatures artist, Tilly Tay, to display her latest work – a historical diorama of the town during the gold rush heyday – in their store. She soon starts to regret the decision, though, when bodies start showing up – first in miniature, then in real life!

After many cosy mysteries set in libraries or bookstores, I was happy to branch out into another love of mine – paper crafting. Despite the craft store setting, however, there isn’t a great deal of that going on here. It is lovely imagining the tiny version of the town, lovingly crafted, but the story itself all but ignores it to switch between crime – appropriately –  and unfortunate unrequited eyelash fluttering.

The latter actually got on my nerves quite a lot. The story is told in third person, but very much from Delta’s point of view, and I found her mental chatter about whether or not the bloke she fancies likes her or is having a relationship he hasn’t mentioned, or any number of angsty moments, all very irritating. It reminds me a lot of being a teenager, but I was all but screaming for this grown woman to grow up and just *act*. Argh!

For me, too much ‘romance’ always spoils a cosy mystery, and this alas fell into that category for me. The actual crime and mystery also wasn’t helped by the main suspect – Tilly the artist – acting in her own worst interests almost all of the time. Other ‘clues’ are just a bit too… well, I mean the shadowy ‘Deep Throat’-esque figure just didn’t work for me at all!

It wasn’t a bad read, and I did enjoy the light diversion between more serious tomes, but overall I’d have to say I was a bit disappointed with this one.

NetGalley eARC: 288 pages / 21 chapters
First published: 28th September 2021
Series: Stationery Shop Mystery book 3
Read from 2nd-6th July 2021

My rating: 5/10

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