The Teatime Mystery is the sixth book in the Jenny Starling series. If you have been following my blog for some time now, you would know that I have been following the Jenny Starling series since the beginning of this year. The first six books in this series were published between 2014 to 2016 and are now republished by Joffe Books. The seventh book, The Country Inn Mystery is a brand new book in this series and will be released sometime this month.
Enough of chitchat, let’s get on to the review. So, as I said before, I have been following this series, blah, blah, blah and having read the first five books, here’s the brief idea of how the story usually proceeds: Jenny Starling is a Junoesque, travelling cook. She’s tall, well-built and travels around in her cherry-red van. But wherever she goes, crime seems to follow her – mostly murder. The police are now aware of her amateur sleuthing. In fact, they allow her to solve the crime – yeah, you read that right, she solves it before the police do.
In The Teatime Mystery, Jenny is called to cater for a village cricket match. As soon as she reaches the venue, she hears some gossip about extramarital affairs and so on but Jenny doesn’t bother much about it. Soon the match starts and people are busy with it and so is Jenny, busy with her cooking. After the break, the team continues to play. When one of the players, Tristan Jones, is found missing, the remaining players search for him. Tristan Jones is found dead, his head is bashed in. Tristan was known for being a ladies man and not just that, he’s also responsible for a stock-trading gone bad that resulted in many losing their life savings. The police are called in. They are aware of Jenny and her previous adventures so when Jenny tags along, they do not mind. An hour or so later, another body is found in the vicinity.
You know, sometimes you keep a lot of expectations from a series and when things do not go as expected, you are bound to be disappointed. The first three books in this series were good. I even gave one of the books a rating of 5! But I am sorry to say that I am disappointed! From the past two books, Jenny’s turned a tad lazy. Yep, she has. I don’t see her doing a lot of chitchatting and digging for information. I don’t see her doing a lot of cooking either. Plus, the story now seems to revolve around the suspects and police and gossip and Jenny hardly plays a major role in the story!
Mentioning her well-built figure is okay – you can read it once or twice in the story, but every person Jenny meets gives her a head-to-toe survey, nope! Not the kind of thing that I would want to read. Also, when Tristan meets Jenny before the match, he looks at her lustily. I read a similar instance in one of the previous books where one of the suspects mentally undresses Jenny. Ugh!
The pacing is way too slow. If I have to compare it to the previous books, I see this slow pacing as a trend since book #4. The characters were well portrayed. There are quite a few names in here and you might not remember them all but as the story proceeds only a few of them stand out amongst the rest. The identity of the murderer was unexpected. I really liked the ending. At least, in this case, Jenny proved that her amateur sleuthing skills have improved.
I have really had high expectations from this series but somehow, from book #4, I see that my rating is going down. I already have the seventh book – The Country Inn Mystery in my kindle. Given that the first six books were published a couple of years ago, I hope things have improved in the new book. If I am not happy with the seventh, maybe it’s time to say sayonara to Jenny Starling series.
Character Development: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5
Title: The Teatime Mystery (Jenny Starling #6)
Author: Faith Martin
Published on: 24 May 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Joffe books in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.