Tag Archives: cozy crime

#BookReview ‘A Brush with Death’ by @fkleitch #crime #cosycrime

A Brush with Death by Fiona Leitch is the second Nosey Parker cosy mystery and the first I’ve read. Jodie Parker, ex-Metropolitan police officer, and newly single mum has returned home to Cornwall. It’s the week of Penstowan’s inaugural arts festival and Jodie, no longer working for the police, is doing the catering. The festival’s main attraction is painter Duncan Stovall, famous for his Penstowan series of sea paintings. Fiona Leitch
This is a story with instant fizz. Written in the first person, Jodie’s, I loved the sly sometimes saucy asides that pull you straight into the jokes, the personalities and the action. If it were an item of food on a menu catered by Jodie, this book would be a mash-up of a Cornish saffron bun slathered with butter and clotted cream, a mug of steaming tea and a glass of scrumpy. Cornwall is a part of the book’s DNA, not just the dialect of the Penstowan residents or the food but the wonderful descriptions of coastal scenery that make you want to get into the car and head south on the M5.
When a visiting author is found dead at the bottom of the cliffs Jodie can’t resist sticking her nose in and asking questions, much to the annoyance of DCI Nathan Withers and the irritation of Jodie’s daughter Daisy and mum Shirley.
This is a silky read, one of the best of its genre I’ve read. A brilliant community of family, friends and townspeople, a beautiful seaside setting, with a witty detective, plotted on two levels. The foundation is Jodie’s life settling into the town of her childhood, a triangular-shaped romantic entanglement, and her burgeoning new catering business. Overlaying this is the case in which she becomes entangled; the art world, not just the creation of art but the finance, promotion, sales and investment.
I particularly enjoyed the joshing with childhood friends Debbie and Tony, including lots of cultural references from the Eighties that are lightly handled without huge signposts saying ‘laugh here’.
Read it and chuckle.

If you like this, try:-
Magpie Murders’ by Anthony Horowitz [#1SusanRyeland]
A Deadly Discovery’ by JC Kenney [#4 AllieCobb]
Jellyfish’ by Lev D Lewis

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A BRUSH WITH DEATH by @fkleitch #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5lq via @SandraDanby

#BookReview ‘A Deadly Discovery’ by @JCKenney1 #cosycrime #crime

Needing a change one day, as I sometimes crave a calming walk in the green countryside, I picked up cosy mystery A Deadly Discovery by JC Penney. Knowing the book was fourth in a series, I didn’t know what to expect. JC Kenney
Literary agent Allie Cobb lives in Rushing Creek, Indiana where her life revolves around her clients, their manuscripts, taking her cat Ursi for a walk, family and friends. Having previously investigated local murders, and being injured in the process, before this book starts Allie had promised her nearest and dearest that she would drop her private investigating. But when a body turns up in the local woods, everyone wonders if it could be a girl who disappeared twenty ago. As Allie asks questions around town, tensions with the police department arise with suspicions of clues missed at the time of the original disappearance.
This is a different style of whodunnit in that the story is firmly anchored and clues processed in the head of detective Allie. This is a tell-don’t-show style that sinks us into Allie’s daily life and concerns, the reader must unravel the clues from the seemingly ordinary. Of course this is a mystery story so clues, and red herrings, can be anywhere.
Diving into a series mid-way has its benefits and issues. I’m sure I missed lots of references to characters and past stories that would help my reading of Allie’s detecting and understanding of Rushing Creek. From page one a lot of names and relationships are introduced, featured in the previous novels, that I struggled to remember. A character cast at the beginning would help.
Kenney has created a believable small-town world at Rushing Creek where lives, secrets, resentments and loves have been entwined since birth. It reminded me of Charlotte Hinger’s Lottie Albright genealogical mystery series, set in another American small town. When everyone knows everyone else, secrets are not simply embarrassing or shameful. They can be deadly.
An easy, gentle read without a confusing tangle of multiple suspects. I guessed the murderer well before Allie’s big reveal scene, which owed much to the trend of Poirot. I finished it feeling curiously unattached from the people involved, perhaps because Allie dominates the story so thoroughly.

If you like this, try:-
Deadly Descent’ by Charlotte Hinger
‘Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death’ by MC Beaton
Murder at Catmmando Mountain’ by Anna Celeste Burke

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A DEADLY DISCOVERY by @JCKenney1 #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5lg via @SandraDanby