Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com
Noelle chose to read and review Murder At The Lighthouse by Frances Evesham
Book Review: Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham
Murder at the Lighthouse is a frothy confection of a short, cozy mystery. This is one of a series of short tales of murder, and I’m looking forward to reading more of them.
Libby Forest was trapped for years in an abusive marriage, and after her husband dies, she takes some of the money from the sale of their house and buys a cottage in Exham on Sea, a small inbred coastal town. She is determined to become part of the local community and hopes eventually to open a patisserie and chocolate shop. In the meantime, she is writing a cookbook, on the verge of being overdue at her editors, and is working part time in local bakery.
One night, dog-walking walking along the beach near the lighthouse, Libby discovers the body of a woman, whom the police believe to be a suicide. The woman, Susie Bennett, has deep ties to Exham by Sea, and Libby has a suspicion it wasn’t a suicide. When an older woman, who knew Susie and her secrets, is found dead at the bottom of her stairs, Libby becomes convinced this was also a murder, and the game’s afoot. During her investigation, Libby, as an outsider, has the predictable run-ins with the locals and finds her husband left her one last nasty gift.
Exham by Sea is populated with wonderful characters, among them: Mandy, the teenage Goth who works at the bakery; Bert Parson, her abusive father; Detective Sergeant Joe Ramshore, pompous and opinionated; his father, the secretive Joe Ramshore, who could become the love in Libby’s life; Samantha Watson, the town’s snobby intellectual and a fashionably dressed solicitor; Bear, an enormous Carpathian sheepdog; and Libby’s own Fuzzy, a marmalade cat who takes an unusual liking to Bear. There are more, but I will leave you to discover them.
Along with her cakes and chocolates, Libby discovers for the first time her talent for solving mysteries, and the killer was not guessed by me until the very end (and I pride myself on guessing whodunits).
The only drawback to this truly cozy read was the fact that the story jumped in time and place without either fleurons or introductory phrases to indicate the jump. This left me rather confused at first, until I was on the lookout for them. Overall, a minor flaw.
Short, engaging and challenging…I highly recommend Murder at the Lighthouse.