Title: Blueberry Muffins and Misfortune (Peridale Cafe Mystery #12)
Author: Agatha Frost
Published on: 8th May 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
The oven at Julia’s cottage has gone kaput and she’s already late for Barker’s book launch at the Peridale Library. She’d promised to bake 200 blueberry muffins for the occasion… Jessie barges in with a bag full of store-brought blueberry muffins. Julia has no option but to pass off these muffins as her own.
There’s a long line at the library and Julia finally gets to meet Barker’s publicity manager Izzy. Now Izzy is what grandma Dot calls a shark. Julia feels a pang of jealousy when she see’s the beautiful Izzy giving Barker ‘the looks’. The book launch goes as planned until a part of the ceiling collapses – and with it comes down a mummified body wrapped in a rug. Oh boy, here we go again!
I really like the twist we were all introduced to in the previous book of this series. Jessie has an older brother. After her parents accident leading to their deaths, Jessie and Alfie were sent to separate foster homes. Alfie was ten while Jessie was just a three-month-old baby. When Alfie was out of the system, he searched high and lo for his baby sister. A couple of months ago, a building contract at Peridale brought the two siblings together and the duo have a lot of catching-up to do.
In this story, we have a new twist – Julia seems to have some competition in the love department. Barker is very busy shuffling his time between police duties and book publicity, he has no time for Julia. Remember the shark? Well, the shark/Izzy and Barker even shared a room in London – he claims to have slept on the couch while Izzy slept on the bed…
Not straying away from the main story which happens to be the dead body in the library. Grandma Dot takes one look at the dead body and identifies it as her dear friend Mabel Crump. Mabel was the main librarian and Dot’s best friend. Ten years ago, she decided to go to Spain and spend the rest of her life with a young Spaniard. The Crumps are a weird lot. Mabel was not the ideal mother a child could hope for. Her children turned out to be good-for-nothing. Mabel did not have a good relationship with her husband either. We see that each one of them had a motive to kill Mabel.
One of Mabel’s granddaughter claims she knew of her grandmother’s claim to move to Spain and even saw her off at the airport. If Mabel really did go to Spain, when did she come back? Most importantly, whom did she meet once she came back? Her killer?
Frost has once again written an entertaining and engrossing murder mystery. I enjoyed reading Blueberry muffins and misfortune. The family angle into the murder is no doubt the best part of this story. Dejected children of a rude and arrogant mother – hmm. Not all families are happy families, right? Dot plays a vital role in this story. A twist halfway through puts one of Julia’s relative in jeopardy.
Unexpected and mind blowing ending. Excellent character portrayal and story line. Engrossing mystery that keeps one guessing till the end. I absolutely recommend this book. Blueberry muffins and Misfortune can be read as a standalone but I recommend you to start this series from book #1 so that you have a detailed picture of the story and the characters so far.
You can read my reviews of rest of the books in this series here.