Hello Readers! Today I’m sharing my review of Murder on the Menu as a part of blog tour for Nosey Parker Cozy Mystery series by Fiona Leitch, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Please check out the book details and my review in this post. Many thanks to Rachel for tour invite and author and publisher for providing e-ARC of this book via NetGalley.
Murder on the Menu (The Nosey Parker Mysteries #1) by Fiona Leitch
Publication Date : January 15th 2021
Publisher : One More Chapter
Genre : Cozy mystery
Pages : 286
The first book in a NEW cosy mystery series!
Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.
But there’s nothing like having your first job back at home to be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your village is. And when the bride, Cheryl, vanishes Jodie is drawn into the investigation, realising that life in the countryside might not be as quaint as she remembers…
With a missing bride on their hands, there is murder and mayhem around every corner but surely saving the day will be a piece of cake for this not-so-amateur sleuth?
The first book in the Murder on the Menu cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.
Murder on the Menu was interesting and fun cozy mystery set in fictional Cornish town that revolved around Jodie Parker, aka Nosey Parker, ex-met settling back in her hometown and get involved in solving missing person and a murder case to save her best friend. It was about settling back in home town, friendship, family, and trust.
Writing was engaging, vivid, entertaining and fast paced. It was first person narrative from Jodie’s perspective. I loved Jodie’s voice. It was refreshing, fun and hooked me to story from the beginning. The setting of fictional Cornish town, Penstowan based on Devon and it’s nearby town in Cornwall, was interesting to read.
Book started with Jodie coming back to her hometown, Penstowan, with her 12 years old daughter after leaving her job in Met in London and her cheating ex-husband. She made her daughter promise she wouldn’t put herself in danger and found a safe profession catering business. As soon as she came back in town she found her first client, her oldest friend- Tony Penhaligon- who was getting married next week. But as it happens in cozy mysteries, just on the wedding day Tony’s ex-wife was found murdered, his bride was missing, and new DCI of the town- DCI Withers- arrested Tony as prime suspect. To save her friend and to live up to her nick name, Jodie poked around her nose to find out what really happened, where was the bride and who killed Tony’s ex-wife.
It was fun to
investigate the case (I shouldn’t use those words as she wasn’t cop anymore but she actually did something like that) solve the mystery along with Jodie. At first it looked simple as there were very few suspects but author did amazing job at confusing and complicating this simple looking case.
Characters were relatable and likable (most of them). They all were developed and made the story fun and delightful. I loved Tony. He was interesting characters and I enjoyed his friendship with Jodie and his lively lovable nature made the story even more interesting to find out if he really was culprit and if not, can Jodie save him or not. Jodie’s mother, Shirley, was seventy-year-old fun natured lady. I loved her for understanding her daughter so well. She made me look old with all her flirting. Jodie’s daughter, Daisy, was developed for her age.
Jodie was forty-year-old ex-cop, amazing cook, daughter, mother, and friend. Her sense of humour was refreshing. I easily rooted for her. Her love for her father and her old job was palpitating. Her father was legend of the town and it was great to read his stories that changed many people’s life and how it inspired Jodie and turned her into who she was now. I admired her spirit and passion for solving the case even though it was making her guilty by breaking promise to her daughter. She was brilliant throughout the book and I loved how she figured things out.
Family dynamic was great and these three Parker ladies brought book to life. They were so much alike. ‘Noseyness’ was running in their genes. I loved the way they loved and supported each other.
DCI Withers (I’m still laughing at Jodie’s comment on last name ‘Withers’) was arrogant, cocky and dishy detective. First impression didn’t make him likable but as the story progressed, I loved how he showed Jodie he was doing his job in right way, talked about his theory and even considered Jodie’s theories related to case even if he could easily dismiss it and keep Jodie out of the case. We don’t know anything about his personal life or even first name until after climax when they solved the case which made him interesting and made me more curious to know more about him throughout the book.
What I loved most was description of Penstown, small town gossips, many other interesting secondary characters, Jodie’s van ‘Gimpmobile’, conversations between characters, chemistry between DCI Withers and Jodie, a cute dog, and so many humorous moments.
Mystery was intriguing and like I said not as simple as it looked. I thought I knew who was the real culprit but didn’t know how and why, Jodie’s theories made me rethink my guess, and then there were other clues and I thought I’m sure who did it, then came the biggest twist at climax… I felt like I should leave all the guessing and figuring out things to experts- author and her characters.
All twists and turns were brilliant. Climax was surprising and shocking. It was thrilling to read that last action scene. End was just perfect. I can’t wait to see in what new case Jodie will get herself into.
Overall, Murder on the Menu was light, delightful, relaxing and interesting cozy mystery with many lovely characters and intriguing mystery. It was a perfect escape to Cornish town.
Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. Her debut novel ‘Dead in Venice’ was published by Audible in 2018 as one of their Crime Grant finalists. After living in London, Hastings and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters.
What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book or any book by the same author? Which is your most favourite cozy mystery?
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