A Cornish Christmas Murder
reviewed by Pam Guynn
A Cornish Christmas Murder by Fiona Leitch brings a death, but also some humor to the fourth book in the Nosey Parker cozy mystery series set in a 13th-century abbey on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, England. Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker has moved back to her home town of Penstowan after leaving the London police force.
She has retrained as a caterer and started Banquets and Bakes, her own catering company. With three days before Christmas, she’s been asked to cater a children’s Christmas party put together by Isaac Barnes. He’s a multi-millionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Jodie has enlisted the help of her mom Shirley, her daughter Daisy, and her friend Debbie. As they are cleaning up, things get complicated when roads are closed due to a snowstorm that strands them along with 8 others plus the owner and his two employees. When one of the guests is found dead, Jodie puts on her investigation hat.
With this fourth book, it now seemed like I was visiting with old friends. Jodie’s sense of humor and warmth continues to shine in this story. She was a likeable and friendly character with a need to investigate that I continued to connect with. The secondary characters continue to develop. In this case, we saw more growth in Daisy and Debbie, but I missed seeing Tony. While Nathan only showed up at the end of the novel, his and Jodie’s interactions continue to be varied and range from witty to serious. Instead of only quaint characters, this cozy has several realistic characters that add to the depth of the story. Pomeranian Germaine was along for the trip and added cuteness and stress relief at various times.
The writing style continues to flow well and take this reader to Cornwall. The author did a good job of transporting me to the ancient abbey with ‘showing’ versus ‘telling’ which made the novel more enjoyable. The story had several twists, a couple of surprises at the end and gives readers food for thought. A possible ghost, a priest hole, a sordid history, and a hidden library add ambience. Additionally, having a sleuth that was not an amateur continues to bring depth to the novel that is often lacking in cozy mysteries.
Overall, this was a story that quickly drew me into Jodie’s world. It was a fun, appealing and entertaining read with a solid mystery to unravel and a fresh take on the protagonist. All of the major plot points were resolved satisfactorily, the atmosphere was just right. Themes include friendship, parent-child relationships, alcoholism, grief, secrets, and death. Relationships continue to play a major role in this series.
I recommend the novel to those that enjoy the genre. It was a fun and relaxing read and I can’t wait for the next book featuring Jodie and her family and friends. For more enjoyment, the books are best read in order, but they can be read as a standalone.
HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter and Fiona Leitch provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for November 29, 2021.
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