Slow-Paced Cozy Mystery Also a Character Study of a Village
If you’re accustomed to frenetic-paced thrillers or even get-to-the-point-fast cozy mystery novellas, this book requires you to slow down and take in the scenery. On a cold winter’s day, pour yourself a cup of your favorite hot beverage and dig in. Jenny Bradshaw is returning home to Swansneck, a small English village, after her grandfather dies and leaves her a home that she cannot sell or rent for three years. Leaving London and her stressful personal assistant job is not something she is in favor of it first, but her pending divorce doesn’t make it wholly a bad choice either. In her first days back, she resumes working in her family bakery, but in discussion with a good friend, she realizes that she needs to carve her own path in the village if she is to maintain her sanity. Her friend suggests buying a hat-renting business, which she does.
The book meanders for a while. As Jenny gets accustomed to the changes to her hometown, we learn about its past as well as the changes seen through Jenny’s eyes. Jenny keeps busy, opening her new business, relaunching a village newsletter, and taking part in the biggest wedding the community has seen. The murder doesn’t actually take place until well into the book. Much time is spent in setting the scene for the entirety of the community, gaining an understanding of Jenny’s quirky neighbors as well as getting glimpses of her new life. When the murder occurs, Jenny is drawn in, hoping to assist a friend who can be considered a suspect. Strange notes are left, and Jenny is drawn deeper into the world around her, learning more about her neighbors and the strange happenings, which only seem to give her more questions.
The book is refreshingly free of grammar, punctuation, and usage issues. If you enjoy slow-paced cozy mysteries with offbeat but intriguing characters and a strong sense of place, you will most likely enjoy this story. I am looking forward to the next book of the series.