Title: The Country Inn Mystery (Jenny Starling Mysteries #7)
Author: Faith Martin
Published on: 20 June 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Jenny Starling, the Junoesque travelling cook is working at The Spindlewood Inn for the weekend. The Inn’s hosting a Regency Extravaganza and involves historical costumes, a drama and loads of food!
Rachel Norman plays the leading lady in the enactment of a noblewoman who was wronged for no fault of hers. The noblewoman ended her life by drowning. Rachel plays the last part really well, perhaps a tad too well because she never comes out of the pond alive!
Tension seems to be brewing at the idyllic country inn. And Jenny is not new to murders or solving them. And the police know that too, so they let her in on the case, after all, she was an eyewitness to the murder and so were the others who stood by the pond, watching Rachel drown.
The Country Inn Mystery is the seventh book in Faith Martin’s Jenny Starling Mystery series. After my rant about the previous book in this series, I must say this book was far better.
The writing and the story development reminded me of the first book in this series – The Birthday Mystery. Until the first 25% of the story, there is no crime. But somewhere deep in her mind, Jenny knows that something is going to happen but she cannot really say when or where.
Jenny’s love for cooking is well described in the first half of the story. The delicious food that she prepares makes everybody happy. But once Rachel is found dead, Jenny’s attention is diverted and she wants to solve the case – the food/cooking comes second here!
The pacing was a bit slow but when compared to the last three books in this series, it was better. The plot development was good too. Jenny is actually enthusiastic to solve the case and makes an effort to gather some gossip… ahem… clues. The identity of the killer was unexpected until Jenny lays out all the clues in front of the police. Unlike the previous stories where Jenny says something like, “Oh? I thought you knew, Inspector. I know who the murderer is, but what I am not sure of is the motive for murder”, in this case, Jenny sits with the police and reveals it all, the identity of the killer and the motive for killing Rachel Norman.
Rachel was found floating in the pond. After the post mortem, it is revealed that she was killed. But how is that possible? People were looking at her as she walked into the pond (part of enactment). They might have been distracted for a minute or so, but the victim surely would have created a commotion if she was about to be killed with spectators around. Jenny gives a very good explanation as to how Rachel was killed.
Overall, this was a pretty good read. However, I might not look forward to reading more from this series. My only issue is Jenny being objectified as a sex symbol of sorts. I do not like it! She’s tall, curvaceous, okay, no issues but why keep pointing that out always? Also, one of the characters doesn’t notice her “curvaceous figure” so Jenny thinks he’s gay!! Really?? Then there is this old man who offers to buy Jenny a drink because he thinks she’s all curves in the right places!!!! Jenny readily agrees, after all, “any kind of praise is praise!” Ugh!! I don’t agree!
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Joffe Books in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.