Victoria Hamilton comes to the blog today with the eighth book in her Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, this one narrated by new to me narrator Emily Woo Zeller.
Breaking the Mould
The second that I’ve read in this series – it’s set in a small town in Northern Michigan, in one of the islands overlooking the Canadian border. Jaymie has built a successful café that specializes in vintage recipes with a twist, and her décor and much of the items for sale are also vintage kitchenware. Fitting nicely into the town, Jaymie is now gearing up for the Dickens Days celebrations, during the run-up to Christmas. With plenty of clever characters, the puns run amok in this when the town scrooge, Evan Nezer is found dead, his head bashed with a vintage pudding mould covering his head. Of course, Jaymie is a suspect as he was found in her diorama by her cider stand, with a vintage kitchen gadget making it seem as if only she could have done it. But, with her reputation for solving rather than perpetrating the crimes in Queensville and the Dickens Days celebration put on hold until the perpetrator is found, she puts aside her plans for a cookbook, juggles her marriage and stepdaughter and steps into the fray.
Loaded with red herrings, plenty of puns and lots of characters that live in town, many of whom have connections to Jaymie and Evan, with few having reason to actually feel badly for Evan’s death, the potential for culprits is vast, or is it? Cleverly plotted, with plenty of input from Jaymie and her relationships with friends and family as he the story unfolds is lovely, and while those unfamiliar with this series may find this a bit difficult to pick up at first due to all the characters, it’s still a very solid story with a wonderful surprise culprit bringing the story to a climax and allowing the Dickens Days to commence with plenty of Christmas-style revelry and fun to be had. The frequent references to Dickens-like characters, puns and clever depictions allow the place and scene to come alive and while there aren’t quite as many scenes set in Jaymie’s shop, there are enough references and moments to keep that ‘vintage’ feel.
Narration for this story is provided by new to me narrator Emily Woo Zeller, and her ability to voice Jaymie and the multitude of characters we encounter was splendid. Moments where the story and the puzzle of the murder become primary are allowed to take their place, while the offhanded moments of ‘comment’ to a character’s personality or the description of a scene all had their place. It was easy to follow along as the plot unfolded, and while the culprit was ultimately revealed, her tone and presentation didn’t give the story away. A lovely introduction to a narrator I will be eager to listen to again.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: Breaking the Mould
Author: Victoria Hamilton
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Food / Recipes, Holiday Themed, Small Town
Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller
Published by: Self-Published, Tantor Audio
Published on: 12 March, 2019
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 14 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Grater Danger, when the town’s resident Scrooge is found dead, Jaymie says Bah humbug! to murder . . .
Now that Thanksgiving’s behind her, vintage cookware enthusiast Jaymie Leighton Müller is excitedly making plans for the upcoming Dickens Days festival—the town’s month-long celebration leading up to Christmas. With a hot cider booth on the village green to warm the hearts and bodies of the townsfolk and a diorama featuring a scene from A Christmas Carol, things are shaping up for a festive season—until the town’s local Scrooge is found murdered, a vintage pudding mould covering his cracked skull.
Nearly everyone had a reason to dislike Evan Nezer—either for his bullying ways or his obnoxious arrogance—but with his body being found in Jaymie’s diorama, she’ll have to figure out who hated him enough to see him dead. With many suspects and even more secrets coming to the surface as she investigates, Jaymie feels buried by a blizzard of clues. But with Dickens Days on hold until the police can nab the killer, she’s determined to catch the culprit so the ghost of Evan Nezer doesn’t cast a pall over the whole Christmas season.
Includes a vintage recipe!
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.