Title: Strawberry Sin (Mission Inn-possible #2)
Author: Rosie A. Point
Published on: 25 February 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A spy-in-hiding, Charlotte Mission, is determined to stay under the radar until her ex-husband-turned-rogue-agent Kyle is arrested. The last thing she wants is to get caught in another murder investigation. Well, ‘another murder investigation’ because last time, Charlie became a main suspect when a man died after eating a cupcake that she had served. Getting arrested on the first day of the job for a crime she did not commit was not how Charlie imagined it would be.
Gamma Georgina, Charlie’s grandmother (and also ex-spy), ‘recruited’ Charlie as a second chef at her Gossip Inn. The town is called gossip, the commercial buildings are called gossip (Gossip Inn, Gossip Hotel, Gossip Library…), the local newspaper is called Gossip Rag, and the residents indulge in juicy gossip.
Charlie wakes up to hearing a noise in her room. There’s someone in her room! She fights with them and they fight back. It must be Kyle, Charlie is quite sure of it. Turns out, it is Smulder – the agent in charge of keeping Charlie safe. He gives her the bad news – Kyle is still on the run and after how things went the last time (Vanilla Vendetta), Smulder is going to be around Charlie the whole time.
It’s valentine’s day and Gamma wants Smulder and Charlie to date. She readily gives him a room at the Inn – right next to Charlie’s.
Gamma picks up a fight with the local librarian for returning the books late. Gamma is warned that there won’t be a next time. As the granddaughter-grandma duo are browsing the shelves for their next read, they hear a thud. They find the local librarian stabbed. The town police are called in. Charlie and Gamma return to the Inn.
After a couple of hours, Gamma is taken to the station for questioning. Gamma and Charlie do not want to involve themselves in the investigation but with Gamma being the main suspect, they have no other choice. Smulder warns them to keep low or they might have to move to agency-operated safe house.
First things first, the only reason I have decided to continue reading this series is because of the story – Charlie is in hiding and I am curious to learn if her rogue ex-husband will finally catch up and kill her or whatever it is that rogue agents do. There are many discrepancies in the story and typos. Honestly, these are a little off putting so fingers crossed I won’t give up on the series because of the errors.
So, Smulder (no relation to Agent Mulder of X-files) is in Gossip and will continue to stay until Kyle is arrested. The first day, he’s introduced as a guest (to the chef and other guests.) From that afternoon, he becomes a handyman – and nobody questions this sudden change of roles. Charlie is downright rude with Smulder while Gamma is sweet on him.
The victim’s sister Abigail has all the men in town following her. She’s rich and pretty so men dance to her tunes – say what now? Jenna (Abigail’s friend) is in town, wanting to support her dear friend. But Abigail has no time for her (spending time with the men who dance to her tunes is more important, you see.) Seriously, this was a big eye roll moment! Who does Abigail think she is? Helen of Troy? *eye roll*
Coming to the errors – quite silly things which could have been corrected, you know? Like, Gamma and Charlie find a blood-crusted ring in the scene of crime. When they show it to Lauren (the Inn chef), she says ‘mental of the ring…’ *one minute silence* Similarly, Jenna’s conversation with Charlie where Jenna says Abigail called her but she or Jenna’s parents have no time for her. Huh? Jenna is an outsider and has no relatives living in Gossip.
The arson bit was quite interesting. The local pub is first burned down to ashes by the arsonist. Their next target is Gamma’s Gossip Inn. Thankfully, Charlie and Gamma got the guests out in time and called the fire brigade. The mystery around the arsons might be connected to the murder – at least, that is what the initial assumption is.
Overall, this was an okay read. I certainly hope things improve in the next book!