Title: Murder on the Menu (A Nosey Parker Cozy Mystery #1)
Author: Fiona Leitch
Published on: 15th Jan 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A brand new cozy mystery series featuring an ex-cop-turned-caterer Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker. Jodie moved to Penstowan with her twelve-year-old daughter Daisy after the jackass-of-an-husband left Jodie for a younger woman!
Jodie goes to the only store in the village to buy a new sofa and ends up meeting her childhood friend Tony (he owns the store). Tony is getting married to Cheryl next weekend and their caterer cancelled at the last minute. Jodie tells them she can take up a contract with them. The evening before the wedding, Mel, Tony’s ex-wife and Cheryl get into a cat fight. Meow!!! The next morning, Mel is found dead and Cheryl’s gone missing.
An ex-cop-turned caterer who might end up being a not-so-amateur-sleuth, well this is a first in a cozy mystery! Quirky, cheesy, wacko and totally hilarious, Murder on the Menu is definitely my kinda cozy read!
You remember the good ol’ high school days when you thought one of your classmates looked like a Greek god? You were crushing on him super bad and wished you would marry him? Well, Jodie had a crush of that sort on Callum. Twenty years later, he’s at the wedding and she hardly recognized the Greek god who now has a paunch belly and almost bald head. Oh-hum! Sweet teenage love!!
Speaking of which, Callum’s wife Debbie and Jodie get along really well. In fact, Debbie goes all ‘wink-wink’ when Jodie’s around DCI Nathan Withers. Jodie, her mum (Shirley) and daughter (Daisy) are a fun-loving, wacky trio. We have Jodie’s mum trying to set her up with the handsome hunka-hunka DCI Withers. But Jodie thinks Mrs Jodie Withers is not so nice a name… Daisy is as nosey as her mum – call it hereditary!
Then comes the wacky, hawt van that Jodie purchased second-hand. How can a van be ‘hawt’ you ask? Well, the van’s previous owner owned a kinky shop at Penstowan. He realized the townspeople are not comfy with ‘experiments in the bedroom’. Ahem! Daisy has named the van – Gimpmobile. With a naughty decal of a woman holding a whip, hmm, the Gimpmobile is a perfect vehicle for a … caterer!!!
Well, well, let’s talk about the murder now. Mel was killed – unless she magically happened to hit her head at the front and back at the same time (something like the magic bullet, we have a magic head here, people!) Tony is arrested for the crime – it’s always the ex, eh? Jodie does not think so. The guy who fainted while dissecting an insect at Science class wouldn’t murder someone, would he? But DCI Withers believes in ‘Guilty until proven Innocent.’ Oh, boy!
The storytelling is excellent. I knew this would be a new favorite when I read the first paragraph – it’s got to do with the writing style and of course, the quirk factor. I found myself giggling as I read through. Plenty of quirky humor to brighten up your day. Also, as her name suggests, Nosey Parker doesn’t take no for an answer; ‘No’sey – get it? Not even when DCI Withers (the annoying git!!) warns her not to interfere in an ongoing case as she’s no longer a cop. How dare he!
The identity of the murderer was unexpected and surprising. The reason for murder was something I did not expect. Red herrings galore and try not to don your detective hat because you are sure to go off track here! The beautiful Cornish setting surely increases the charm factor of the story by a dozen or more. We also have some mouth-watering delicacies prepared by our Jodie, of course – recipes at the end too for all the cooking enthusiasts.
Overall, Murder on the Menu is a promising debut. Totally entertaining, engrossing and hilarious cozy mystery. I cannot wait to read the next book!
Many thanks to One More Chapter for the ARC.