My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Christmas cheer has sent the griddle into overdrive at Robbie Jordan’s popular country store and café. And this year, there’s a new seasonal special to feast on: murder!
As December sweeps through South Lick, Indiana, Robbie’s life seems merry and bright like the string lights glistening around town. But strange happenings signal a bumpy ride into the holidays. First a man raises eyebrows at Pans ‘N Pancakes when he claiming to be the long-lost half-brother of Robbie’s assistant. Then a fire destroys the home of a controversial anesthesiologist, exposing skeletal remains in his attic. Helplessly intrigued, all Robbie wants for Christmas is to stop her winter wonderland from becoming a real nightmare. With a decades-old mystery taking shape, can she run as fast as she can in pursuit of a killer who’s harder to crack than a stale gingerbread man?
Includes Recipes for You to Try!
I received a free copy of this book through the publisher on Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
Candy Slain Murder is the 8th book in this series. This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series and I am always happy to be back in South Lick for another mystery. Even more so this time as the previous book took place in another setting and it felt great to be back in the familiar setting again. This was again a great read and I really enjoyed it.
One of the things I like about this series is seeing main character Robbie going through her normal every day life of managing her store and restaurant as well as solving the mystery. Most of her sleuthing is done by talking to people in her restaurant when she can or going for short trips after the store closes. I like how her job comes first and how the author still managed to strike a great balance between her normal every day life and solving the mystery. There’s something comforting about picking up another book in this series and spending some time with Robbie in her restaurant.
The mystery in this book had a very interesting set-up. Not only is a cold case opened again when the bones of person are found after a storm hits a house, but a new case quickly follows when a women is found death in her house. I thought the combination of a cold case and a new case that might or might not be related was quite interesting. The way the mystery developed was a bit of on the slow side with only rarely new clues surfacing, but there still was some progression and I liked how Robbie discovers some important clues and how she makes sure to pass those along to the detectives. There are a few potential suspects and the reveal of who the murderer is wasn’t too surprising, but it was a good mystery all around.
This book had besides the mystery some interesting plot lines involving the characters as well. A young man arrives claimed he’s the half-brother of Robbie’s assistant, Dana. They never knew she had a half brother and there’s a bit of uncertainty about whether he is who he claims he and how the characters deal with this new revelation. There also were a few more Abe scenes and we saw a bit more of his son Sean as well. I don’t think we’ve seen much of him before this book, so it was nice to see more of him here.
Then there is the usual, by now large cast, of side characters that all play a role in the story, from the detective Buck, to another detective Octavia that’s back in town to solve these mysteries. Then there is Robbie’s aunt Adele and her partner Samuel. We see quite a bit of Dana’s mother Corinne too. And then there are the persons of interest in the mystery as well. This book also has a mild Christmas/ holidays theme, which was subtly done, but still added some holiday cheer to the book.
To summarize: Another great read in this series. This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series and it always feels so comforting to return to South Lick and Robbie’s store in another book. The author has a great balance between Robbie’s daily life and side character related plot lines as well as a solid mystery. I liked reading about Robbie’s restaurant and store and have a great mystery as well. This mystery had an unique set-up with both a new murder and a cold case, which might be connected or not. The mystery progressed a bit slowly, but it was interesting to follow along and I liked Robbie’s role in finding some important clues. The reveals of who the murderer was wasn’t really a surprise, but I didn’t really mind too much. It was a solid mystery. I also like seeing more of the side characters and some plot lines related to those. Another great read and I hope there will be more books in this series!