Harper Lin returns to the blog today with the sixth in her Cape Bay Café Mysteries, narrated by Marguerite Gavin. Please read on for my review of
Cremas, Christmas Cookies, and Crooks
It’s Christmas and we all know it wouldn’t feel like the season without another murder that Fran has been asked to investigate. The death of the high school’s drama teacher didn’t hit the residents of this little town with any particular emotion, she wasn’t well-known or particularly well-liked, but the main suspect, soon arrested by the able policeman Mike, Fran’s ‘right hand girl’ at the café is devastated. Convinced that her beloved former drama teacher could NOT have murdered the victim, Sammy is on mission to beg, plead, cajole and convince Fran to investigate. Reluctantly, Fran agrees – sending up a series of issues between she and Matt, and angering a student’s mother enough that she complains to the police, resulting in another series of tensions and words with her friend Mike.
Starting with a gentle introduction, soon the story is off into a fast-paced, never ending series of twists, turns, and tensions between Fran and Matt, Fran and Mike, and Sammy’s determination to protect and defend the suspect’s innocence to any and every one who will listen – but most frequently to Fran. And she’s torn. Sure, things seemed to be a bit too neat, and there are some new people that are introduced who may hold answers to questions yet unasked, or clues to the real culprit – a culprit that was reasonably easy to spot out despite the other character-driven issues and moments sprinkled throughout. Far from ruining the story – my early suspicions were always in doubt, as different possibilities cropped up, only to be dismissed, and kept me wondering if I was really right until the end. Here in the sixth book, there is a sense of knowing these characters, and it is credit to Lin’s writing and interactions that we see the changes in their relationships: changes often long in the making, as fractures of what was once accepted, perhaps grudgingly, become more apparent and seem to be hiting their tipping point. Best read in order, the characters add to the story and the difficulties in finding proof of a murderer, often adding to the confusion and tension in the search.
Narration is again provided by Marguerite Gavin, and it’s as if she knows these characters personally: continuing with the little tics and subtleties that were established in the earlier books, giving listeners a sense of familiarity with the characters from book one. It is apparent that she both understands the characters and the plot, with moments inserted that allow for tension or confusion to build, never over-stepping emotional moments, and managing to insert just the ‘right’ bit of emotion, tone and pace that would reflect those particular emotions in real life. A lovely performance and combination of story, intent and performance.
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration 5 Story 5
Title: Cremas, Christmas Cookies, and Crooks
Author: Harper Lin
Series: Cape Bay Cafe Mystery #6
Also in this series: Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys, Lattes, Ladyfingers, and Lies
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Published by: Self-Published, Tantor Audio
Published on: 24 January, 2018
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 4 Hours: 52 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
From USA TODAY Bestselling Author Harper Lin: the 6th cozy mystery in the popular series set in a charming beach town!
It’s almost Christmastime in Cape Bay, and another murder has everyone in town talking. A despised new drama teacher at the local high school is killed in the school’s parking lot. The police arrest a beloved teacher, Mrs. Crowsdale, but everyone else thinks she is too nice to murder anyone. Mike, however, says they have solid evidence that proves she did it.
Sammy is particularly devastated. Mrs. Crowsdale was her favorite teacher and still her hero. Sammy begs Fran to find the real culprit. Fran isn’t so sure. Mike would be angry with her for butting in on another case. And what if more danger befalls her? After all, there are some pretty dangerous people in town…
Includes 3 special recipes!
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.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: