Stroke of Death by Agatha Frost
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
Liz Jones moved to Scarlet Cove six months ago for a fresh start away from her detective life in the city. In that time, she has opened an arts and crafts shop, adopted a dog, made friends, and even found a farmer boyfriend. When she takes on her latest project of forming an art group, she does not expect it to land her back in the middle of another murder investigation, but that is precisely what happens.
With the gallery’s tyrannical owner, Katelyn Monroe, on holiday, Liz’s best friend, Nancy Turtle, suggests they host an exhibition of their work in her absence. When Katelyn returns from her holiday early and shuts down the exhibit, it immediately results in her murder. With all of Liz’s newly formed group, including Nancy, in the frame, she feels obligated to uncover the truth behind the killing. Between fake paintings, secret love affairs, and bitter rivalries, it seems every one of Liz’s art students has a motive for killing Katelyn, but can the retired detective put her retirement on hold long enough to uncover the truth before a second slaying?
Book 3 in the Scarlet Cove Seaside Cozy Mystery series! Can be read as a standalone, but will be enjoyed better as the 2nd book in the series. A light, cozy mystery read with an art-loving, craft store owning, retired female detective, in a small fishing town on the British South Coast. Packed with quirky neighbours, a handsome love interest, and an adorable rescue dog! Written in British English. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes (but maybe includes a body)!
I was really engrossed by this third book in the Scarlet Cove Seaside Cozy Mystery series & it had a slightly different touch to the other books.
I really liked the refreshing focus on Liz’ hobby, her painting, and that it was marvelous mixed with the crime case in this book.
The book had a lot of twists and turns, the suspects weren’t clear & I had a difficult time to decide who’s the murderer. The book also focused on the individual characters more, especially Liz’ past was more revealed, her feelings in her new relationship, and it was more connected to her second passion, her art, and how well she adjusted into the village after her moving.
I also adored that we had a cross-over with the stand-alone series Peridale Cafe Mystery by Agatha Frost with the appearance of Brian South, Julia South’s father and the mentioning of the events of Espresso and Evil. It gave the book a new layer, was also a charming interwining & I hope that some day, Liz and Julia will investigate together. They would be an amazing duo and her partners would get along pretty well I guess. 🙂
The book had a great entertaining, thrilling plot, I was hooked from the first page and I loved how the relationship between Liz and Simon were deepend within the book, how their bond was expanded and that they had a few scenes where they could be the charming lovebird we saw a glimpse of in the last book. 🙂
I was also very moved by the events around Christopher and how this was mixed with the crime case, two different topics but so well interwined and solved at the end. 🙂
A solid, entertaining read, a great character development and drive as well as charming quirks in the character’s behaviour. There is also a bit tension between Liz and Nancy due to the crime case but what exactly I won’t say, because I don’t wanna spoil the fun in exploring it by yourself. 🙂
I am really looking forward to read the next book in the series, to see what other crime cases Liz, the retired detective and now crafts shop owner has – suprisingly but not involuntarily – to solve. 🙂 I’m also super excited to read Agatha Frost’s next – and already 11th book!! – in her Peridale Cafe Mystery series with Julia and Barker again. 🙂