*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
When Barker’s book launch is ruined by the sudden appearance of a decade-old skeleton, Julia finds herself with another cold case on her hands. It quickly becomes evident that the skeleton belongs to Mabel Crump, the former manager of the library, but with Mabel supposedly having fled Peridale for a new life in Spain ten years previously, how did she end up there, and more importantly, why?
With Mabel’s family gathered in Peridale for the ninetieth birthday of her husband, Julia soon realises the Crump family are not all they seem. Did one of the Crumps kill Mabel, or did someone in Julia’s family murder the former librarian? Between the skeleton, Barker’s sudden rise to author fame, and an unexpected love rival, Julia must juggle the different sides of her life to piece together her most challenging case yet. With secrets and lies spanning back ten long years, can Julia crack the case before everything crumbles around her?
Book 12 in the Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series! Can be read as a standalone but will be enjoyed more as part of the series. A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe-owning amateur female sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. Written in British English. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes!
It’s almost unbelievable that we already have twelve books in the series and that this book helds my attention as much as book 1 did. In fact the books are even getting better and better and I really love how established Julia is in her role as amateur detective. So much she is asked for advice even before her fiancé Barker, who’s having the time of the life, living his eagerly awaited dream: being a professional fiction writer.
Barker’s new fame is the reason Julia and he aren’t spending the most of the time together, his life is currently packed with conferences and meetings, interviews and public apppearances; hers is busy with working in her café and solving the murder case.
That a “rival” is making trouble is something Julia doesn’t need and it gave the book a few dramatic events and you really was curious how this ends.
I also liked how the murder case was linked to Dot, Julia’s grandmother, as well as Neil, Sue’s husband, and again we got another insight of the character’s behaviour.
The way how Agatha Frost created the side characters was great and I liked how they were fleshed out; full of problems and heavy shuldering burden over burden.
The book was full of interesting revealings, a few surprising elements and it was spiked with a bit relationship drama between Julia and Barker. 🙂 In the end we have a nice HEA for everyone and I am again eagerly awaiting what we can expect in the next, 13th book in the series. 5 out of 5 stars for this.