Grandma Dot, Julia and Sue’s grandmother, wins an all-inclusive 5-day stay at a spa. Dot takes her granddaughters for a much-needed girls-only vacation. Barker, Julia’s boyfriend promises to look after Jessie, a homeless girl that Julia took in a couple of months ago.
As the trio reach the McLaughlin Spa and Hotel Retreat, they are greeted by flying clothes and suitcases. The owner of the Spa, Henry McLaughlin his furious with his fourth wife , Mary. He forcibly throws her out of the Seirbigh Castle (Spa). Charlotte, Henry’s daughter welcomes the ladies. The next day, a wiry-looking young girl of nineteen, Blair, introduces herself as the cook and takes their breakfast orders. Within minutes of arrival of breakfast, the ladies hear a gunshot followed by a scream.
They find Henry at the stairs with a gunshot wound to his chest. Mary is standing beside him, crying. Charlotte seems cool about the situation and calls the police. DI Fletcher interviews the ladies. He says he’s heard of Peridale and a DI getting suspended because of a baker helping him with a case or two. Julia refrains herself from saying anything more about her association with Barker or the murders that she’s solved so far.
Julia befriends Blair and is introduced to Blair’s brother Benjamin. But Julia cannot keep her head off the murder. Spa or not, she wants to solve this case because she doesn’t believe that the baby-faced DI Fletcher is good enough to solve it.
Yes, it is confirmed! Haven’t you heard? The Peridale series is one of the best cozy mysteries out there! I am so addicted to this series that I have decided to binge read them. So, for the next couple of days, do expect reviews on the other books in this series.
Julia and Sue’s sisterly bond is well portrayed in the book. Sue has a secret to share and it was kinda obvious as to what the secret was as she was suffering from a bout of what looked like morning sickness. Grandma Dot is at her all-time weirdness in this book. Her quirkiness, Grandma Dot, cannot let food go waste. Murder or not, she is busy enjoying herself with the facials and massages and binge-eating delicious cupcakes.
From Peridale to beautiful Scotland, I loved the change of scenery that Frost has brought about in this book. The mystery behind the murder and the identity of the murderer was unexpected. Just when you think, Hah!, there you go, I know who the killer is… Julia proves you wrong. I loved the ending. With Blair and Sue and Barker, the ending was charming and it makes you go awww!
Agatha Frost is a brilliant author. This is the fifth book in the series and I am pretty sure that the other 10 books ( as of 3rd March 2019) are equally interesting as the first five books. I have heard that Frost has no plans to stop writing Peridale Series. Yay! The best thing about her books is the writing. With no violence or gore, as it is in all cozy mysteries, and written in simple English, one can read the book in less than two hours. Once I start the book, I do not put it down until I finish it. This has happened with all the books that I have read in this series so far. Be it the writing or the story, it keeps one hooked on to the book till the end.
Shortbread and Sorrow is an entertaining and engaging cozy mystery by Agatha Frost. You can read this book as a standalone. But, if you ask me, I recommend you to start from book #1 – Pancakes and Corpses.
Character Development: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Title: Shortbread and Sorrow (Peridale Cafe Mystery #5)
Author: Agatha Frost
Published on: 23rd May 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Available on Kindle Unlimited | Amazon.com
Featured Image Credits: Goodreads
Read my reviews on the first four Peridale Cafe Mysteries here: