Peridale Cafe 1-3 (Peridale Cafe Mystery #1-3)

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When Julia finds one of her regulars murdered in her own cottage while visiting, she goes to the top of the suspect list. The new detective in town, Barker Brown, has his eye on her. Julia works to find the killer of the least popular woman in town before she pays the price.

Ugh, I’ve been having a lot of luck not getting books where the cop is a hardass at the beginning. Well, my luck ran out with this one. This is one trope in the cozy mystery genre that I hate. I’m sure as the series goes on he will become a much more likeable character as they all do. Julia was an interesting character, and I must say I do enjoy the 1940s aesthetic that she’s going for. She was developed nicely and allowed us to actually connect with her.

The story was the perfect one to introduce the history of the town, and introduce a large number of characters in one sitting. The English town slowly filled out throughout this book. Even as a Canadian, I was able to envision this little town in England. It also helps that I watch far too many British TV shows.

The mystery was a little interesting, there were a few twists and turns throughout the book. Julia actually took a lot of care while looking into the case, which is nice for a cozy mystery. I will say that though there was a curveball at the beginning, around the time that Julia figured out the crime so had I.

I really enjoyed this book and found it was a good beginning of the series… even if there was a nasty cop turn nice on it.

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Out of the blue Julia is invited to her father’s estate for a big announcement. However, when his wife’s brother is murdered at the garden party things goes from bad to worst. Julia is now in the middle of another investigation even though she promised Barker that she wouldn’t investigate it. How can she not? After all her father’s in the middle of it.

Barker was more likeable in this book like I expected. He’s very human in this book and very cute with Julia on the date that they go on. We get to learn a bit more about Jessie, the homeless girl that Julia took in, however, she is still relatively closed throughout the book. Julia is pretty much the same this book to last. We found out a little about her past, which gave her some depth as a character this time.

The mystery was interesting, I didn’t figure out who the murderer was until the very end. I blame it on me being too focused on one character throughout the book. It was a complex mystery with a large number of people who would want the victim dead. Barker is a little more open with Julia about the investigation though I’m not sure he should be.

Overall I enjoyed the book.

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Julia is faced with Jessie’s reality from before she came to live with her. Together they go to give some food and coffee to appease Jessie’s mind. However, when they find out that some of the homeless are being murdered they start looking into it. Julia and Jessie start looking into it when the police are noticeable ignoring all of the warning signs. It will put them in the middle of a very dangerous situation.

I actually really enjoyed this book. I do like how Julia is not very forward until the end but work on figuring out what is going on. Barker helps as much as he can, however, as it’s not his case, he can’t help out as much as normal. Julia and Jessie are relatively careful when they are looking into everything. Most of the information that they use comes from Jessie’s friends, and from the internet as well.

I did find out that the mystery was a little obvious to me, but I’m going to blame it on already seeing this type of murder style in a previous book. I still enjoyed finding out more information about the murderer, as well as their background. You get to understand why they started their murder spree which makes me view them as more human than most murderers in cozy mystery books.

I really enjoyed learning more about the town that the book is set in, though we all know that Jessie was homeless, as no other homeless people are mentioned it seemed a little odd. It helps build the world more, and we get to find out more about Jessie in this book.

I enjoyed the first 3 books of this series, so I’m excited to continue reading the next books.

 

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