Title: 15 Minutes of Flame (A Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery #3)
Author: Christin Brecher
Published on: 25th August 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
My favourite author is back with a masterpiece! 😀 I am simply amazed at the stories the readers are introduced to in this series. In the previous book, we saw a spy angle and this time, we are in for a lore-ish surprise.
Stunning Stella’s amateur sleuthing revives a hundred year old lore. An abandoned home becomes the spotlight for the Girls Scout’s annual Halloween fundraiser. Stella stumbles across a hundred-year-old candleers sign in the shack. She tries to retrieve it from the wall and ends up unearthing a skeleton.
The archeological bigwigs are called in. Meet Solder, a famous archeologist, and Leigh, his lover/assistant. The local historian Bellows wants his piece of fame too but the poor chap is snubbed by the bigwigs. The skeletal remains is that of Patience Cooper – one of the Petticoat Row ladies. Nancy, her best friend, was thought to have committed suicide by jumping into a well. The well is currently located in Old Holly’s backyard.
Digging Nancy’s remains is planned for the next day. The shrubs around the well is cleaned up; Solder and Leigh are ready to go in. Before Leigh could come up, a tree falls over. Stella goes in to rescue Leigh and finds Solder dead. Someone has murdered the famous archeologist.
15 Minutes of Flame is the perfect combination of lore, love triangle, murder mystery and quirk. The humorous bits are sure to make you ROFL. That’s pretty obvious right, especially when you have a quirky yet intelligent protagonist like Stella Wright. 😀
Stella stumbling upon Patience’s skeletal remains surely opens up a Pandora’s box. Jedidiah Cooper had sailed to Nantucket and soon gained the attention of two ladies from the Petticoat Row. Nancy and Patience were the best of friends and both of them had their eyes set on Jedidiah. Jedidiah ended up marrying Patience soon after Patience’s dad’s death, thus inheriting the money and house.
Nancy and Patience had planned to invest in the whaling ship. Patience chose to take the collections and deposit. The same evening, Jedidiah announced his wife was attacked and robbed. He left for mainland with his wife, leaving Nancy penniless. Nancy ended her life soon after by jumping into the well.
Fast forward to the present, Solder is lying dead amongst the fallen branches. Stella’s curiosity gets the better of her and she wants to know who killed the poor chap. Fontbutter, a local docu-film-maker is in town, wanting to film the events. Meanwhile, Bellows is bellowing steam at being snubbed by the archeologist. Brenda, a local claims to have spoken to Patience’s soul.
Red herrings are plenty and the list of suspects is long. Quirky and humorous doings of our very own Stella is sure to throw you in a laughter riot. We also have Tinker, Stella’s pet cat/thinker/star-of-the-story.
In the previous book, we saw Stella and Peter finally striking the romance chord. In this book, we see Peter being supportive of Stella’s adventures. Andy, the local police and Stella’s best friend, knows better than to stop Stella from investigating. I will let you in on a little secret. Though Stella and Peter are an item now, I really wish it was different. Stella and Andy make a good pair – they are best friends and seem to understand each other very well.
Have you heard of Candle Clocks? Stella Wright runs Wick and Flame, the local candle shop in Nantucket. She also hosts a series of candle-making classes. For this Halloween, she’s going to revive the Candle Clocks – these were used as alarm clocks. How interesting is that!
The ending is superb. We have Stella catching the killer red-handed in Classic Poirot style. Oui Monsieur. I cannot stop gushing about this book. 15 Minutes of Flame has made its way into my Best reads of 2020 list. Do I need to say more?
INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTIN BRECHER
Hello Christin and welcome to my blog The Book Decoder. Please tell me and my readers about yourself.
Thank you so much for having me! I’m talking to you today from NYC where I was born, raised and still reside. That said, I spent a tremendous part of this year in Nantucket, which is the inspiration for The Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries. The island was an incredible safe harbor for us when the City was struggling mightily with Covid, and I will forever be grateful to the kind people of the town and to my parents for taking us in. These days, while I’m writing in one room of our apartment, my daughter is in school remotely in another room. Our dog, Bandit, wanders back and forth to keep us company all day. Go, Bandit!!
What are the Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery series all about?
The series follows Stella Wright, a native of Nantucket Island which is known for its history in whaling and candle making, its beautiful shingled houses and cobblestones, and its strong community. Stella is a small business owner, a master craftswoman, and an active member of her town’s community. She knows who she is and appreciates the good fortune of her life. And she’s not afraid to step into the unknown when she’s called upon to catch a killer. As part of a closed-knit, local community she easily picks up information around the island; at the same time, tourists focusing on their vacations drop their guard around an “invisible” local to drop clues.
The third book in the series 15 Minutes of Flame released this August. Can you tell us more about it?
In Stella Wright’s latest case in the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries, she is on the trail of two murders, one from the past and one from the present, all while helping the island’s Girl Scouts prepare for their Halloween Haunts fundraiser.
What was the most challenging part of writing 15 Minutes of Flame?
This book was an absolute delight to write. I spent a lot of time delving into the history of Nantucket’s women, as Stella, in her search for answers to a 19th century murder, connects with the women who ran businesses on what was then popularly referred to as the town’s Petticoat Row. In a town where the men embarked on whaling voyages that would last months and even years, and where a Quaker work ethic pervaded, Nantucket women ran businesses, assumed leadership roles in the community, and even led the household’s investment decisions when necessary, all, of course, while managing homes and raising children. It is no surprise that when Stella discovers a link to these women in her investigations, she takes the challenge of solving a cold case murder of over one hundred years personally. For one thing, her candle store, the Wick & Flame, is located on Centre Street, which was the actual location of Petticoat Row. Like her predecessors, Stella runs a business, follows her passions, thoughtfully cares for her friends and family, and isn’t afraid to jump in to the unknown. She is a quintessential cozy mystery heroine, but I also I think of her as a modern-day woman of Petticoat Row. I love that she is, even if fictionally, part of their sisterhood.
What are you currently working on?
In addition to Stella’s next adventures, I have enjoyed smaller writing projects with the goal of staying connected with readers during these challenging times. For example, last spring I reached out to the readers on FB to stay connected, creative and cozy. Readers sent me words to challenge me, and I included all of them in a short story called Don’t Wine, which you can find at https://christinbrecher.com/connected-cozy-creative/. It was a group project we all enjoyed!
How does a day in Christin Brecher’s life look like?
It’s never the same, especially these days. Yesterday, I cleaned the grout in my bathroom with my new power scrubber, which probably sounds like supreme procrastination but I really think freed up my imagination while I’m working on new story ideas. Ok, maybe it was supreme procrastination but my bathroom looks great! My husband and I also started watching Schitt’s Creek last night, which is hysterical.
If you like to win a copy of 15 Minutes of Flame, do enter the giveaway. Details are here.
Many thanks to Lori for the blog tour invite.