Title: A Cornish Christmas Murder (A Nosey Parker Cozy Mystery #4)
Author: Fiona Leitch
Published on: 29 November 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is back!! This time, a catering gig takes her to a 13th century abbey on Bodmin Moor. Shirley(Jodie’s mum), Daisy (Jodie’s daughter), Debbie (Jodie’s new best friend) and Germaine (the dog) accompany her on this trip. It’s been snowing heavily and by the time the gig is over, they are snowed-in. The roads are blocked and traffic has come to a standstill. This means the guests at the mansion -a rich IT mogul named Isaac and his son Joshua, his right-hand-man James and Jodie and her gang are stuck at the mansion overnight. They also have Steve – the man who played Santa throughout the gig – with them.
Four Japanese girls take shelter at the mansion after their car skidded into a ditch. Then came two more people – they look a little shady and do not seem like a ‘couple’ but then Jodie knows better than to judge them.
The next morning, everybody except one arrives for breakfast. Well, the ‘missing’ guest would never have any breakfast because they are in their room, lying in a pool of blood. The local police are informed but due to the current weather conditions, their arrival will be delayed. Do you know what this means? Jodie mustn’t poke her nose where it does not belong… but, Jodie is an ex-cop and sleuthing literally runs in her blood (her dad was a copper too). And we wouldn’t be calling her Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker if she didn’t poke her nose into someone’s beeswax, would we?
I have been waiting for the next installment of Nosey Parker Cozy Mystery series for over six months now. Boy, was I excited when I received an email from Sara @OneMoreChapter with a pre-approved NetGalley widget to the book. Yassss!!!!
It’s been two months now since Jodie and Nathan are dating. They first met when Jodie was a suspect in a murder case and Nathan was the new DCI of Penstowan. Nathan and Jodie were frenemies – Nathan did try his best to warn her to stay away from solving cases or trying to play amateur sleuth. Well, ‘amateur sleuth’ might not actually be the right term here as Jodie is an ex-cop. After a terror attack in which Jodie had to tackle the perp on her own, she decided to give up the police job and took a training in catering. After separating from her good-for-nothing husband Richard, Jodie moved to Penstowan with her daughter Daisy. Though Jodie and her mum Shirley live in separate houses, Shirley is often found spending the night with her daughter and grand daughter.
A Cornish Christmas Murder begins with Jodie, Daisy, Shirley, Debbie and Germaine going in Jodie’s Gimpmobile (the van with a kinky decal) to a 13th century abbey. It’s been snowing heavily but a gig is a gig, right? Lily, Jodie’s childhood friend looks after the mansion along with her boss Trevor. A rich IT mogul named Isaac is hosting a charity event at the mansion and Jodie is doing the catering. After the event, the guests (Isaac, his son Joshua and his right-hand-man James, and Jodie and gang) realize the roads are snowed in and the traffic has come to a standstill. This means they all have to spend the night at the mansion.
They also have Santa Steve (the hire-a-santa-guy) with them. Soon, four Japanese tourists join the gang – their car skidded into a ditch – and then two more arrive. the next morning, everybody except one arrives for breakfast. The one who ‘missed’ breakfast is lying in a pool of blood in their room.
Daisy finds a vital clue that begins the case – there are no footprints leaving the mansion so this means they have a murderer in their midst. Well, well, Daisy might just be thirteen but sleuthing is in her blood. After all, her mum’s an ex-cop and her gramps was a copper too. Sleuthing in the DNA, yeah?
Speaking of 13th century abbeys, this one has a lot of unexplored secret passages. Now, doesn’t this add a twist to the mystery? We already have a locked room mystery, the snow adds a dash of gloom to the mystery and the secret passages are an icing on top. Call me impressed!
I absolutely loved (and enjoyed) every bit of this story. We have quirky – ooh, Shirley is at her all-time high ‘craziness’, a dash of romance and some emotional-stuff too (not giving away spoilers here) and of course, whole lotta fun!
I couldn’t guess the identity of the perp nor the way in which the murder was committed. We also have a twist halfway through the story – this takes the mystery to a whole new level! The local police’s arrival is delayed, thanks to the snow. So, Debbie, Daisy, Shirley and Lily decide to form an amateur sleuthing team and solve the case before the local coppers arrive. Well, Jodie is also in their team – she’s like…um, their manager? So, Famous Five reinvented!
If you are like or Shirley and prefer action over Christmas romances, you might want to read A Cornish Christmas Murder by Fiona Leitch this Christmas!
Extras: If you have missed reading my reviews of the first three books in this series, you can read them here:
Book #1: Murder on the Menu
Book #2: A Brush with Death
Book #3: A Sprinkle of Sabotage
I received an ARC from One More Chapter and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.