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A Fatal Twist of Lemon (Wisteria Tearoom Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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--Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, author of Star Wars: Shadow Games
"This book has all the things I like. Setting her mystery in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Greenwood paints a delightful picture of the neighborhood, and peoples it with interesting characters. I especially liked the sparks between Ellen and the detective, as they both legitimately misunderstand the other, but try for fairness."
--Sherwood Smith, author of Crown Duel
About the Author
- ASIN : B008R8FPFW
- Publisher : Evennight Books/Book View Café (July 29, 2012)
- Publication date : July 29, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 2817 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 276 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #613,251 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The main character, Ellen, has just opened the Wisteria Tearoom in a nice area of Santa Fe. The whole point, as far as Ellen is concerned, is to create a beautiful, peaceful, Victorian setting in which people can settle down for a civilized afternoon tea. To this purpose, she offers elegant decor, fresh flowers, and above all delightful food, which incidentally is described in the most mouthwatering terms.
The murder of one of the tearoom’s first patrons is a bit of a setback for establishing the desired atmosphere, as you might imagine. The ghost who sets the bobbles on the chandelier swaying, however, is a nice addition to the decor. I rather enjoyed the ghost.
Since this is a modern cozy mystery, we would expect an important romantic component. Detective Aragón is pretty offensive at the beginning, so much so that I thought it was going to be a bit of a trick to handle the shift, obviously coming up, from annoying-jackass-cop to sympathetic-male-lead. The author pulled it off, though, and rather more effectively than I expected.
In a cozy mystery, one of the challenges is to have the main character, who is not a cop, solve the mystery, without making the cops look like total morons. Greenwood managed this because just about every time Ellen discovered a tidbit of information and passed it on to Detective Aragón, he already knew it. The bit of information that actually solved the crime was reasonably something the police might not have known. The way Ellen put herself in danger at the last minute was intensely stupid, but I suppose not completely unreasonable given the sort of person she is. Though I would have preferred her not to do that. Honestly.
Anyway, I went on and picked up the second book, A Sprig of Blossomed Thorn, which incidentally is a wonderful title. I liked that one, too. We get to see all the characters develop and deepen, which is one of the main pleasures of a cozy mystery series. I’m particularly interested in seeing what’s going on with Kris, the business manager of the tearoom.
Racism plays an important role in developing the plot of the second book, but thank heaven, the story doesn’t come across as heavy-handed Message Fiction, which is actually quite an accomplishment these days, where too often The Message is piled on with a shovel, as though the author believes the point of telling a story is to show off how progressive she is. That wasn’t the case here. The setting really helped with that. I’m still not familiar with Santa Fe, but I can believe that the racial tensions in the area are exactly as portrayed in the book.
I’m going to go ahead and pick up the third book, um . . . okay, An Aria of Omens, and we’ll see where Greenwood takes that one. I will say that if Tony Aragón stops wearing his gun off-duty to please Ellen, I am going to be annoyed. For a different kind of male lead, that might work, but no one knows better than a cop that you *just never know* when a bad guy is going to start shooting up, say, the opera house. I don’t believe for one second that any competent cop would give way to the idea that it’s better to be unarmed in the face of disaster, even if he’s attracted to a woman whose life has been sufficiently protected that she doesn’t really believe violence is possible. Which she should be getting over, what with having had two women murdered in her immediate vicinity in the recent past.
So we’ll see.
But right now, I'm looking forward to starting the third book in the series.
The story developed smoothly and, though I knew Ellen was going to get into a dangerous situation by quietly asking about it, I followed her willingly. I even learned some Miss Manners rules to follow. I like the one quoted:"Courtesy is the best weapon against rudeness."
Yet I was glad when she finally confronted Tony Aragon with "Don't you dare patronize me, Tony Aragon!"
A pleasant easy read that introduced a number of people I liked and look forward to following in the series. Gotta go now, time to buy the next book!
There were also several misspellings or words had letters missing. In chapter 6 Claudia was referred to as Silvia and in another chapter Vince was referred to as her. Unless these are in the hard copies as well it just seems like someone didn't do a great job with the Kindle version
All of that said I did enjoy the story itself, although I'm not a fan of Tony. That might be a personal issue based on previous experiences, but I'm not very forgiving of someone who screams/yells at someone else because of a "chip on their shoulder" even if they are fictional.
Since Ellen was dealing with an historic property she became friendly with Sylvia Carruthers, who was the president and whom was invaluable in helping her to do her renovations and obtain grants. Ellen decided that she should have a "thank you" tea to thank all of those who had helped her along the way or were close neighbors. To her dismay, at the end of the tea she finds Sylvia dead on the dining room floor and it seems as though she was murdered. Although that in itself seems pretty bad, when not only the guests but Ellen herself become suspects, she fears that her tea room will rapidly fail since not many will want to have tea at the scene of a murder.
Ellen deals with an arrogant detective and decides that her best approach will be to see if she can help to solve the mystery right away so that the pall of death is no longer hanging over her business. But could the murderer really be someone who attended the tea that day, that she knows or did someone really sneak in totally unseen at the end of the tea?
This cozy mystery was enjoyable. I loved the descriptions not only of Santa Fe but of the tea room and the food that they were serving. The descriptions were done well enough that you could easily imagine that you were having tea there yourself. Of course, the fact that I am a tea drinker who loves scones didn't hurt in my enjoyment of the story.