Thursday, May 16, 2019

Book Review - In Peppermint Peril

In Peppermint Peril
Author:  Joy Avon
Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date:  November 13, 2018

Callie Aspen returns home to Hearts Harbor to spend Christmas with her great aunt Iphy.  Iphy runs a tea room called the Book Tea Shop, which also offers catering services.  It is a catering job that brings Callie to Haywood Hall.  Callie had spent a lot of time at Haywood Hall as a child, and she has many fond memories of it.  Some of those memories include Leadenby, Haywood Hall’s gardener, whom she runs into while preparing for the party.  Dorothea Finster, owner of Haywood Hall, has gathered family, friends, and town VIPs for a reading of her new will.  A will that is rumored to contain big changes.  Stephen DuBouvrais, the only living relative of Dorothea, along with his wife, Sheila, and daughter, Amber, are also at the reading.  Sheila has her own agenda for the party.  She waylays the reading by setting up a surprise engagement for her daughter and boyfriend.  The engagement is thwarted too, however, by the disappearance of the ring.  Things deteriorate even more when Leadenby is found murdered.  Callie tries to sort through everyone’s movements and motives to figure out Leadenby’ s killer.

Peppermint Peril is the first book in the Tea and Read mystery series.  I was entertained by the book, and it was an enjoyable start to this new series.

I was a little confused at the beginning of the book about the reference to book clues left in the sweet treats that Iphy made.  I felt like I was missing information as if its purpose had previously been described.  Even at the end when they tie up the book clues, I still felt like I was missing something.  The book theme seemed a little weak.

Although Callie plays a major role in the investigation, Deputy Falk is officially in charge.  I liked the way the author handled their relationship.  Callie is not completely honest with Falk in the beginning, and so he initially distrusts her.  He is also offended that Callie is interfering in the investigation as though he is not competent enough to solve it himself.  The relationship starts off rocky therefore making it completely realistic.  As they get to know each other better, their relationship improves.

The plot is both interesting and moves along at an enjoyable pace.  The author does a good job with Callie ferreting out answers from the players in this book, and thus eliminating suspects along the way.  She continues to do so until there is really only one other person left.

The book wraps up with a feel good Christmas spirit.

I plan on picking up the next book in this series, Sweet Tea and Secrets.

Thanks to Net Galley and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC of this book.  #NetGalley #InPeppermintPeril

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