Birthday Cake and Bodies is the ninth book in the Peridale Series.
The story starts with Julia feeling guilty about lying to Barker. What has she been lying about these past few days? It’s Barker’s birthday and she’s planning a surprise for him. The (dysfunctional) Brown family is coming to Peridale to celebrate Barker Brown’s birthday!!
Minutes before the celebration is supposed to begin, Katie (Julia’s stepmother) calls her to say that Luke has been found dead in his room! The Brown family were housed in Peridale Manor – the huge mansion where Katie and Brian(Julia’s dad) live. Barker cannot involve in the case as the murder suspects are his family. But he is adamant. He promises to catch the killer before daybreak – a good way to celebrate a birthday, eh?
If I ever make a list of ‘Best of Peridale Cafe Series’ then this book is going to be on that list! What a story! The suspense and emotions! Aggie, you are the best! 😀
Jessie and Billy’s relation’ship’ is ‘sailing’ in troubled waters, Barker’s nephew has been murdered, Julia feels bad for having spoiled Barker’s birthday surprise ( although it is not her fault!) and the dead man’s phone has a picture of a bum!
The ‘bum’ part of the story was hilarious. When Julia shows the photo to Billy – just to get an extra opinion, he says – Is this Barker’s bum? Everybody seems to be thinking about the bum! Okay, not really, but the case of ‘mysterious bum’ seems to keep everybody thinking. Okay, enough of bum now, let’s move on with the story. 😛
Solving a case overnight is something that even Barker hasn’t done in his entire career. (Probably!) And though it is always Julia who solves the case before Barker, she doesn’t let the rest of Brown family know that. Barker brings in Julia and asks her to give him her opinion. DS Christie (no, this one wasn’t called Agatha!) is initially not happy with Julia being involved in this case but he soon learns about her sleuthing skills and lets her proceed with finding clues.
Her Quirkiness, Grandma Dot is at her quirkiest most! It’s snowing and freezing outside and the old lady climbs into the bathroom through a rickety ladder! Three cheers for Grandma Dot! The Brown family are a quirky lot – quirky in a weird way. Julia has never met them before and neither has Barker spoken about them. She learns a lot about the ‘famous’ Brown family. As the story ends, some of the family members change for good. 🙂
It goes without saying that Julia puts two and two together and identifies the killer. His motive for murder is spine-chilling! So far, I have rated all the Peridale cafe books a 4.5 or 5. This is one of my favourite series. If you haven’t given this series a try, then you are missing out on some serious fun and excellent amateur sleuthing. (and delicious cakes) Julia bakes a coconut cake for Barker and I couldn’t stop thinking about coconut cake since I read this book. So I went ahead and baked one – turned out to be delicious. 😀 😀
Writing Style: 4.5/5
Character Development: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Title: Birthday Cake and Bodies (Peridale Cafe Mystery #9)
Author: Agatha Frost
Published on: 17th October 2017
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Purchase Link: Amazon.com