Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Cozy Up with these New Mysteries from Kensington…

Murder in an Irish Cottage by Carlene O’Connor
In the fifth Irish Village Mystery Series, Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan plans to spend her holiday with her five siblings in Kilbane, helping to run her family’s café, named after their deceased mother, Namoi; her fiancé, Macdara, is also a Garda, and when his cousin Jane calls for help, he and Siobhan, who is on holiday, go to Jane’s rural village where they find Ellen, Jane’s mother, dead, apparently smothered with a pillow, and perhaps poisoned by tea drunk from a nearby cup in the cottage that is scheduled to be demolished because the local villages insist the cottage, built on a local fairy path, is cursed.  The local Garda don’t take kindly to Siobhan and Macdara’s presence, but when a friend of theirs from school tells them that Ellen was far from the most popular person in the village, their suspect list increases exponentially.  The contrast and interplay between the more outgoing Siobhan, who isn’t ready to rule out Macdara’s cousin Jane as a suspect, and Macdara, who doesn’t want to think his cousin may have been involved in killer her mother, This Irish mystery is sure to charm readers new to the series as well as longtime fans, full of plenty of folklore, and a bit of fairy magic.

Death by Chocolate Frosted Donut Sarah Graves
Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree”, former Wall Street money manager, moved to Eastport, Maine over a decade ago after her bitter divorce, and hoping to get her son Sam away from the bad influences and friends he found in the city where she began to fix up her old house and, with the help of her friend Ellie, solved several murders.  Now Jake and Ellie run the Chocolate Moose, a chocolate bakery on the island, catering to locals and tourists, and currently, a host of pirates, young and old, during the town’s annual Pirate Festival.  In town for the festivities is Henry Hadlyme, an insufferable television food personality who likes nothing, including the Chocolate Moose.  After a very public argument with him, Hadlyme is found dead in the bakery’s basement, dead, run through with Jake’s husband’s sword, making her the prime suspect.  Though local police chief Bob Arnold is fairly certain Jake had nothing to do with the man’s death, she is still the prime suspect, and so Jake and Ellie fine themselves once again sleuthing, and before long, come up with a long list of other people, currently in Eastport, who are also not loosing much sleep over Hadlyme’s death.  Fans of Graves’s first long running series to feature Jake and Ellie, Home Repair is Homicide, will eat up this new series, focusing on the chocolate bakery, but with all the Northeast island charm they’ve come to know and love; readers new to Eastport will not be at a disadvantage, however.  Plenty of chocolate baked goods, impish pirates, and plenty of seafaring, including a mysterious ship firing on the town, add to this cozy mystery.

Statue of Limitations by Kate Collins
The author of the Flower Shop series returns with the first in an all new series with a gardening theme.  Recently divorced Athena returns to her coastal Michigan hometown with her son to work in her family’s garden center.  Alone in the center one night, Athena finds someone trying to steal a life-sized statue of the goddess Athena, claiming that it is his family’s, and that her grandfather had no right to buy it for his Greek restaurant.  Adding to her headaches, all the shops on Greene Street, where her family has their shop, are slated to be torn down to make room for more condos after the project was cancelled by the family’s patriarch, who then suddenly died.  A second murder makes Athena suspicious, and when her grandparents are approached by the developer sweetening the deal for them to sell, Athena kicks into high gear to save Little Greece and keep her family businesses thriving.  Blogging about her family’s antics, who do not realize they are the subjects of the entertaining blog, help Athena work out some of her frustrations and see things in a different light.  With delightful characters and a close-knit Greek community, fans of Collins’s last series will be delighted to see her back.

Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher
The second mystery to feature Nantucket candle maker Stella Wright finds Stella and her mom, Millie, a perfume expert, recently returned from a perfume conference in Paris where Millie wasn’t able to sit on the panel “The Art of Scent Extractions” as it was cancelled after a murder.  Back at home, Stella receives a note threatening her mother who the note’s writer claimed smuggled a secret fragrance formula out of Paris.  A host of zany characters at Stella’s cousin Airbnb, mixed in with the cast of locals, keeps things light as Stella searches for a trans-Atlantic killer as she is about to celebrate a milestone birthday.

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