Title: Chocolate Cake and Chaos (Peridale Cozy Mystery #4)
Author: Agatha Frost
Published on: 28th April 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Julia and Barker find a funeral wreath at Barker’s door. The wreath says “RIP”. Is this a prank or does someone really want Barker dead? To add to this confusion is the arrival of Jeffrey Taylor – the serial killer whom Barker put away on a murder charge a couple of years ago.
And the chaos just doesn’t end there, does it? Barker is on temporary suspension after helping Julia in solving the murders in Doughnuts and Deception. Jim Austen, Barker’s boss is found dead, with his head coshed in, at Barker’s front door. Billy Matthews, a local teenager thug who lives at Fern Moore Estate, seems to have a grudge on Barker. Did he kill Austen, mistaking him for Barker? After all, the Chief Inspector and Barker looked alike from behind.
Barker takes Sergeant Bradley’s help to solve the case of the wreath. When Austen’s body is found and Barker is now the main suspect, Bradley decides to help Julia in clearing Barker’s name.
With each book, the Peridale Series seems to get better and better. This book gave me the chills, like, seriously! Barker Brown already has a lot on his plate than he can chew. With his job in jeopardy and whatnot, a murder and he being a suspect was something that not only Barker, but even I did not expect!
As I have mentioned in my previous reviews, each book in this series gives the reader a peek at the characters’ personal life. Julia still hasn’t told Barker about her divorce. Barker opens up to Julia about his personal life (love life). Jessie, like any teenager with a raging hormone, is angry and short-tempered and in love! Yes, she is. Though I guess saying this makes it a spoiler of sorts.
Barker’s past comes to haunt him from all sides. Jeffrey Taylor brings back memories from the dark corner of Barker’s past. Julia is her usual nosy self. In spite of Barker warning her not to put herself into trouble, Julia is unstoppable. It even gets her into trouble at the end. Almost like Julia’s been given a second life by the time the story ends.
And of course, the story is incomplete without the mention of Mowgli, Julia’s cat, and Grandma Dot. With reading clubs and gossip, Grandma Dot is now a health freak. Power walks, aerobics, fitness watch and dieting, the eighty-something
old lady young woman is fitter than the fittest! She even calls Julia’s baked goods ‘contaminants’. Well, as everybody knows, this shall pass too, Grandma Dot. This shall pass too!!
The thing I love about Frost’s books is the writing. The language is simple and easy to read and understand. The Peridale Cozy Series is a fun read. Addictive too! If you are looking to start a new cozy series then do not miss to check out the Peridale Cozy series. The books can be read as a standalone. No cliffhangers whatsoever. But it is better to start from book #1 so that you get a hang of the characters and stuff.
The title – Chocolate Cake has got to do with Julia trying to bake the perfect Chocolate Cake. Barker loves his Chocolate cake and Julia wants to bake him a perfect one.