My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Book Review: Tapas, Carrot Cake, and a Corpse by Sherri Bryan


Synopsis (From GoodReads):
Charlotte Denver runs her marina front café in the bustling fishing town of St. Eves, nestled in the south-west corner of England.
While she loves the tranquility of St. Eves, where crime is almost unheard of, and nothing really exciting ever happens, her good friend, Chief Inspector Nathan Costello, is longing for a good, juicy felony to get his teeth into.

When the arrival of newcomers to the community of St. Eves triggers a chain of events that end in tragedy, Nathan relishes the thrill of investigating his first murder, while Charlotte unwittingly turns amateur-sleuth to help solve the case and restore peace and harmony to the town as quickly as possible.
Twists and turns abound in Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse, the first book in the Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery series.

My mom was an avid reader, leaving books around her apartment like little treasures.  When she entered a room, she would start reading that book.  It was like channel surfing on a television, but with novels.  She loved reading mysteries most of all.  Sadly, my dear mom passed away four years ago.  Since then I have become a ferocious reader, but I have resisted reading mysteries (perhaps because I associate them so closely with my mom?).

Recently though, I have started reading more books from this genre, and I am really starting to enjoy them (oh God!  I AM becoming my mother!) Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse was a fun start to this series written by Sherri Bryan.

What I Liked:
Charlotte Denver has a bit of a tragic past, but finds comfort in running a cafe that has been embraced by her small seaside community.   I enjoyed that Charlotte was interested in the murder, but didn't think she just had to solve the case.  I think in older mystery books, the main character artificially insert themselves in the investigation.  I loved that Charlotte didn't do that.  Although she did solve the case, she didn't do it completely on her own.

I appreciated that the police detective, Nathan, was not some bumbling cop.  He was good at his job, but wasn't seeing the whole picture, as Charlotte did.  He also didn't act condescending towards Charlotte when she made suggestions.  He was mostly concerned with her safety.  I also think the budding romance between Charlotte and Nathan was cute.

I want to move to this wonderful town described by Sherri Bryan!  I love books with a small town setting, and I grew up in a similar kind of place.  I remember all the tourists that would come to my hometown on the weekends, shopping and eating out.  You could tell them apart a mile away!  When the weekends were over and they left, we enjoyed the peacefulness of our quiet community, again.

Minor Characters:
Because of it's setting, there were ample opportunities for lots of fun minor characters.  I really like this aspect of the book.  The group of old guys who always populated the restaurant were particularly fun with their little quirks and commradery.  

This Was A Clean Book:
Lots of books, like The Girl On The Train, try to make the book more gritty by adding scenes of abuse and clinically accurate sex scenes.  I often feel like I am emotionally blackmailed into caring for these characters after what they have been through.  Sherri Bryan never resorted to those kind of tricks in her novel.  These were normal people dealing with an abnormal situation.

What I didn't like:
There were a few minor clues that were obvious, that I was surprised that the detective didn't find and follow up on.  But I think the point of the book was that these kinds of details can be overlooked by the police.
This was a fun mystery that included recipes!!!  I will be trying out the carrot cake (maybe for Christmas Day), and looking forward to the next book in the series. 



 *Strangely, this book was not available at Book Depository!


Release Date:  May 24th, 2015

Genre:  Mystery

Source:  Bought by me

Format:  Kindle E-Book

If you enjoy this genre, you will have fun with this book.
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