Karen Rose Smith comes to the blog with the fourth book in her Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery Series,
Murder with Cherry Tarts
Complex, clever and twisty: the story is a complete engagement from taste buds to brain! I’m addicted to cozies that feature a ‘foodie’ setting, from vintage to British, to coffee shops. And my first introduction to this series came with a ton of expectation – and all of it was met. Sure, it did take me a bit to get to know the characters as this was the first in this series I’ve read (although I have the earlier books on one of the kindles somewhere!) and I appreciated the bits of backstory and the characters that arrived well-realized to move me along.
With Daisy worried about one of her employees, as well as planning a wedding for her daughter, she’s got plenty to think on – and the “adoption” of Kevin and his young daughter brought a sense of community and village helpers to the forefront, especially after he’s the main suspect in the death of an antiques dealer – bludgeoned with a marble rolling pin. (Oh I love those – my gran had one and it was great for rolling out sticky dough -but I digress). Soon Daisy finds herself in the chair as a ‘helper’ to Kevin through interrogation techniques, sifting through clues to find the “real” culprit, and still managing, somehow, to maintain her shop, work on the wedding plans and a few hiccups in her newly-minted relationship.
Skills and the ability to ferret out the truth have made Daisy a bit careless where her own inquiries are concerned. Not that she’s asking the wrong questions, but she’s not always careful about how close she is to danger – and there is danger about. There’s some friction with the local police investigating the whole thing, and their responses, while understandable when you have a ‘civilian’ discovering more clues and answers – are not always concerned with her feelings OR her safety. Sure – there’s plenty to go around here – from twists, herrings and a few laughs, along with some newly risen issues to sort in her relationship with Jonas, the story is a treat…. Particularly with the desserts shared at the end.