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Murder at Peacock Mansion (Blue Plate Cafe Mysteries) (Volume 3) Paperback – November 3, 2015
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The life of main character Kate Chambers -- and really, the whole book -- circulates around one stability, Kate's small town café and the three squares a day that are served there. Food is a big part of the story, and by the end of the story, readers will be ready to find some of that yummy home cooking for themselves. Fortunately, author Judy Alter is kind enough to include some of the recipes at the end of the book.
In and out and around the café, readers meet both the usual and unusual suspects, and the author offers plenty of twists and turns and foils so that readers can't easily figure out whodunit. The writing flows very naturally, as does the dialogue, but there are some typos that need correction -- which may or may not bother readers.
Judy Alter has found the right formula and created characters that readers will enjoy visiting again. Thank you to the author and Lone Star Literary Life for providing me an eBook copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give. If you like this review, visit my blog Hall Ways for book views, reviews, and news you can use - or not. http://kristinehallways.blogspot.com
For another thing, Kate Chambers has a work experience that provides her with more knowledge than usual, as well as a lawyer lover who gets into the hunt, especially since, in this case, he is the lawyer for the individual most involved with the murder... Kate is also not so obsessed that he does not forego her personal safety...too often...in order to find another clue... On the other hand, because she'd been brought into the mystery right from the beginning, she soon became one of the many targets as an underlying cold case murder comes to the front again! No tea and slowly sinking into this one...it's sit tall and be on the alert to watch for anything and everything that is happening... I didn't have a clue for the majority of the book--or until the author starts to reveal more... I really loved it!
Still, there was a little bit too much chicken-fried meals for me...LOL... steak, pork, chicken... Whew! Seriously, it didn't affect how I thought about the mystery; however, given the series title, I did notice that there was not much a variety of foods at the cafe, which created considerable redundancy, especially since the author included recipes at the end, none of which were mentioned in the book... OK, I admit it, I've never tried chicken-fried anything, except I've eaten a lot of fried chicken which didn't happen to be called chicken-fried... Fun stuff you can find in cozy mysteries!!! But I wasn't convinced I'd want something chicken-fried. LOL...
Back to the review! When an individual within a small town becomes known as somebody who has solved a mystery, the news gets around quickly. But it was still a surprise when a woman who had become a recluse after her husband was murdered 30 years ago, came to Kate's cafe, to seek her help. She believed somebody was trying to kill her. The first attempt had been a wire placed across the main staircase at her home...
Kate at least was curious enough to learn more, and she had turned to her computer to learn about the death of her husband, because, of course, the spouse is always the first person suspected. Then she spent more time with Edith Aldridge to learn more about the children of her first husband. According to Edith, they should be considered the probable involved individuals... And coincidentally, it seemed, that all three children were in the area when things started happening at Edith's home. One of them was even staying in town under a different name (and loved the chicken-fry!) It was a surprise, though, for Kate to learn that her David had been Edith's lawyer for a number of years!
Edith had been given living rights by her husband for the rest of her natural life, and all the children were old enough to think their inheritance would never occur. But what was part of the mystery was that more than Edith was being targeted. David's home was burnt down, with David almost dying if Kate had not gone hunting for him. And then animals belonging to Edith and one of the children had been killed (two of the blue peacocks!) Then disturbances occurred at Kate's home and one of her cafe workers was knocked out with the safe being robbed... Then, finally, a man who had tried to get into the cafe, supposedly to talk to Kate and David, was killed...the body moved...and found again near Kate's house!
The variety of incidents causes the mystery to be very complex in trying to pinpoint whodunit! But it certainly is a worthy mystery for readers to strive to figure out! As I mentioned, this is stronger than the average cozy mystery sub-genre and if not for the setting and style of writing, could easily fall into the murder mystery genre. This is my first book by this author, so I don't know whether she is limiting her writing to cozy mystery, but I'd like to see her expand into a more traditional mystery some time...
In the meantime, I certainly can recommend the book for your consideration!
Ebook provided for Review
Most recent customer reviews
I’m not a big mystery reader but I’ve always been that person who saw the ending a mile away.Read more
MURDER AT PEACOCK MANSION is my first book by author Judy Alter, but certainly won’t be my last.Read more
I loved this book, and now I want to read the whole series.