A Date to Die For by E.V. Hunter

It’s my stop today on the blog tour for A Date to Die For by E.V. Hunter. Many thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.

Title: A Date to Die For (Hopgood Hall Murder Mystery #1)

Author: E.V. Hunter

Published on: 3 February 2023

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Buy on Amazon

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Date to Die For is the first book in E.V. Hunter’s Hopgood Hall Murder Mystery series.

Alexi Ellis falls victim to job cutbacks and her career as an investigative journalist comes to a standstill. She plans to head to Hopgood Hall with her anti-social feral cat, Cosmo, to sulk. Hopgood Hall is a boutique hotel run by her old friends, Cheryl and Drew Hopgood.

But when she arrives, she learns Cheryl is worried about her close friend Natalie Parker. Natalie is single and attractive. She is quite rich too and often falls victim to men who love her money. Alexi is pretty sure Natalie must have zoomed off to a cozy destination with her latest beau. She still decides to poke her nose around and see if someone knows of Natalie’s whereabouts.

She meets ex-met Police detective turned private eye, Jack Maddox, at Natalie’s cottage. Natalie was using his sister’s online dating agency and when another client complained of Natalie missing their date, Jack’s sister asks Jack to investigate.

Alexi and Jack decide to join forces – Cosmo is included too – and find out what happened to Natalie. But as they dig deeper into Natalie’s personal life, they make a shocking discovery.


What a fantastic cozy series debut! Evie Hunter, please write more of this series ASAP. I won’t take a NO for an answer. I will provide unlimited supply of chocolate cake if necessary.

First things first, this didn’t feel like a series debut. With just the right amount of character introduction, scene-setting and series-plot setting, we readers are taken right into the heart of a mystery – a mis-pers case.

Alexi and Jack are thrown in together… ahem 😉 Well, don’t look at me for being a hopeless (or is it hopeful?) romantic. Alexi and Jack are attracted to each other. They are good sleuths too. Then there’s Cosmo… he likes Jack better than Alexi’s ex. Do I need to say more, eh? Cats know who’s best for their hooman butlers.

So, Natalie’s gone missing and it might have something to do with her being financially good enough. Maybe one of her dates kidnapped her on the pretext of a romantic getaway. Or, she might have gone on a romantic getaway with ‘The One.’ That doesn’t explain why all her gadgets are missing from her home, right?

Soon, Alexi and Jack learn something about Natalie – something to do with her past. Jack works as a PI at his ex-wife’s best friend’s agency. Cassie and Jack are friends all right. But Cassie is a helicopter boss. She wants Jack to work on the agency cases and not go dancing with some new-found pretty-looking investigative journalist. Ooh, something’s burnin’.

I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down until the end. I loved every bit of this story – characters, scene, plot, mystery and the cat-dog camaraderie. Turns out, Cosmo the feral cat is quite sweet on Cheryl’s dog Toby.

No story is complete without a blast from the past. And when that blast from the past is a pain in the bum, the story gets really interesting. *wink wink* Alexi’s ex-boyfriend was her co-worker. When she was shown the door, he was given a promotion. And that jackass knew Alexi would be made redundant, yet he didn’t tell her about it. Some true love this!!!

Things get murky in the second half when Alexi and Jack find themselves knee-deep in the investigation. The local police aren’t interested in finding Natalie but Alexi and Jack are now sure that Natalie’s not disappeared on her own.

A shocking discovery leads Alexi and Jack to the doorstep of a main suspect. But the suspect denies any involvement. Clues are all there, though. Then comes a shocking twist – which leads Alexi right into the hands of the perpetrator. Oh-oh!

The identity of the perp was shocking and unexpected. I loved the ending – unexpected developments, yes. But it made me say “All’s well that ends well.” *sighs in relief*

A Date to Die For by E.V. Hunter is a super entertaining and super engrossing cozy mystery. A perfect series debut and I cannot wait to read Alexi and Jack’s next sleuthing adventure.


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