Title: The Birthday Mystery (Jenny Starling #1)
Author: Faith Martin
Published on: 11 December 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Jenny Starling is catering for the birthday part of the posh twins – Alicia and Justin. Soon after the toast is made and champagnes are drunk, one of the guests falls dead while the other is battling for life. And what about the gardener’s help whose body was found in the pond this morning? Was it murder or accident? Who would want to ruin the twins’ 21st birthday party and why?
The suspects’ list is long, police are baffled and so is Jenny. Her reputation is at stake and she decides to clear her name. Jenny won’t stop until she finds the murderer.
The Birthday Mystery is the first book in Faith Martin’s Jenny Starling Mystery series.
What a charming story!! Birthday party, delicious goodies and a murder or two – a perfect combination for a perfectly cozy mystery.
I liked Jenny Starling. A tall (six feet) and well-built woman who found her passion for cooking. Her curiosity in solving the mystery is well appreciated. Jenny reminded me of a young Miss Marple, minus the knitting of course. The other characters namely, Alicia, Justin, Mr, and Mrs. Greer, Arbie and Chloe, Kieth and his wife Margie, Sergeant Mollern and Inspector Mollineaux, Martha the house cook and her help Vera, Mr. Chase the butler, and Daphne the housekeeper – all play a very interesting role in the story.
How did the victim die? The champagne was poisoned with a herbicide – paraquat. The herbicide is no longer in production and Jenny found an old bottle of it in the Greenhouse. But how was the poison administered into the drink? The champagne bottles weren’t opened until the start of the party. Well, that was not only curious but interesting to read how Jenny solved this mystery.
The identity of the perp was unexpected and shocking. The story was interesting, engaging and entertaining. Faith Martin’s storytelling and writing skills are superb. This is the first book of Martin’s that I read and I loved her writing so much that I have decided to read all her books. Yep!
The characters are likable and very well-portrayed. The story is well-paced and smooth flowing. The mystery is one of a kind. This book has made it to my best reads of 2019 so do I have to say more?
Thank you, Joffe Books and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.