A Cornish Recipe for Murder
reviewed by Pam Guynn
A Cornish Recipe for Murder by Fiona Leitch brings a death, a baking show, and some humor to the fifth book in the Nosey Parker cozy mystery series set mainly on the grounds of Boskern House in Cornwall, England.
Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker has moved back to her home town of Penstowan after leaving the London metropolitan police force. She has retrained as a caterer and started Banquets and Bakes, her own catering company. When her boyfriend Detective Chief Inspector Nathan Withers shows up at her door with an envelope in hand, Jodie’s mom Shirley and daughter Daisy get excited. The three of them have entered her into a popular television baking contest and she’s been selected as one of five contestants to compete to represent Cornwall. However, things don’t go smoothly. From sabotage to a host with secrets to a dead body, Jodie can’t help but spend time investigating along with Nathan.
Once again, I enjoyed 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 Nathan. His and Jodie’s interactions continue to be varied and range from witty to serious. The chemistry between them creates a fun dynamic. Instead of only quaint characters, this cozy has several realistic characters that add to the depth of the story. Spotlighting their individual traits made it easy to connect with them. Their Pomeranian Germaine continues to add cuteness and stress relief at various times.
A well-plotted story with characters that feel emotionally rich draws readers in and doesn’t let go until the final word in the book. The author did a good job of transporting me to the baking contest tent, which made the novel more enjoyable. The story had several twists, a few red herrings, a couple of surprises at the end, and gives readers food for thought with a question left unanswered. As always, having a sleuth that isn’t an amateur continues to bring depth to the novel that can be lacking in some 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. All of the major plot points were resolved satisfactorily, and the atmosphere was just right. Themes include friendship, parent-child relationships, romance, competition, and death. Relationships continue to play a major role in this series. A recipe for one of the competition cakes is included at the end of the book.
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 this 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 August 18, 2022.