Another in the long list of titles that got missed along the way (sigh)- entirely my fault. This series of Bookstore Café Mysteries by Alex Erickson are just the fun sort of cozies, set in a dream location for me, that pique interest. Apologies to the author and the publisher for this delay, and please read on for my review of
Death By Pumpkin Spice
I grabbed this title simply on the title – who could resist a bookstore café protagonist embroiled in a mystery? And it was intriguing enough from the mystery perspective, if a little busy and all over the place in terms of the protagonist, Krissy. In fact, she was almost completely without redeeming qualities as a heroine: moody, self-absorbed, immature and more than slightly TSTL. And I don’t (and still can’t) see the draw that she held over the two very nice men she was playing.
But, enough about Krissy – the set-up in that a Halloween party at the local mansion has her nervous and over-compensating. Her date, Will, is a really nice guy – and he fits into the mix at the party. She just doesn’t. And things only get worse: she’s had a crush on Paul for a long time, and when he walks in with a date – a gorgeous woman, she’s completely obsessed with a notice me. Until the body arrives. And Paul, knowing her ability to solve mysteries, asks for her help.
There were so many lost opportunities in this story: developing a character with at least a few redeeming features – just having her riddled with self-doubts didn’t explain her behavior, and no reasons that were viable ever presented themselves. A party at a mansion built specifically to honor Halloween, with plenty of super features – but those were all left in the background – as was the café, the bookstore and an overall attention to the plotting of the story that did not involve the mystery itself. I wanted to like this far more than I did – and while I think the author crafts a clever mystery thread with some unique ideas, too many were left as just ideas and not developed for me to love the story, or to be intrigued in reading more.
Title: Death By Pumpkin Spice
Author: Alex Erickson
Series: Bookstore Cafe Mystery #3
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Holiday Themed
Published by: Kensington
Published on: September 27th 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Bookstore café owner Krissy Hancock would rather spend Halloween serving pumpkin goodies than wearing costumes with Pine Hills’ wealthiest at Yarborough mansion, especially when the soiree shapes up to be more trick than treat . . . As if a run-in with an old flame and a failed marriage proposal weren’t enough to horrify Krissy for one night, a woman is found strangled to death in a room filled with ominous jack-o’-lanterns. All signs suggest a crime of passion—but when the hostess’s jewelry disappears, malevolent intentions seem way more likely . . . With the estate on lockdown and a killer roaming the halls, Krissy must help Officer Paul Dalton investigate each nook, cranny, and guest for answers—while also confronting a few demons of her own. Someone has lots of skeletons in the closet, and Krissy better tread lightly to expose them . . .
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.