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Murder in the Cookbook Nook

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Murder in the Cookbook Nook (2021) Ellery Adams (Book Retreat Mysteries)

Murder in the Cookbook NookJane Steward runs Storyton Hall–a retreat for book lovers in a small town in Virginia. A cooking show is going to be recording episodes–and basing the challenges on favorite books and stories of the host.

I picked this up because I’ve been enjoying the Secret Book and Scone society series, so picking this up on sale seemed reasonable–even if it is book seven in a series.

The positives: I had no trouble jumping into the story, even though plenty has obviously happened in the past. I found some aspects of the setting a bit much, but that was okay, because it’s a cozy mystery, and full of book references.

Another major positive: Jane is not stupid, and she doesn’t take stupid risks.

Jane took out her phone. With her thumb hovering over the red emergency button, she entered the break room.

The problems came from the mystery, and some of the characters. The murdered man was really to over-the-top awful. Yes, there are people like that, but the rationale for having him on the show felt weak, regardless of how many times it was repeated.

I also felt like the story ended up being more of a soap box for the issue that became a big part of the story, than a point that made sense with regard to the characters. It was a lot to believe that events happened for the reasons stated, and that people behaved as they did for the reasons they gave.

Even for a cozy the resolution was entirely too pat. And the concluding chapters were definitely for long-time readers of the series, rather than new readers. Which is fine, since I could easily skim those parts.

But the mystery didn’t hold together for me, and that made the other weaknesses I saw far more glaring.

Publisher: Kensington Cozies
Rating: 6/10

Categories: Cozy, eBook, Female, Mystery
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