Peridale Cafe 4 – 6

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Barker is still on leave when a funeral wreath was left on his doorstep. He reaches out to a friend on the force to look into it. However, when a body of a man who looks similar to Barker is found the next day, Julia’s worst fears are confirmed. Since Barker is still on suspension, Julia must work harder as neither of them can get any information from the police.

I really enjoyed this story, it wasn’t as straightforward as you would expect. Though I probably should have seen it coming because the story was really focused on making one of the characters the bad guy. I will be honest, I didn’t see the twist coming until Julia did which is really rare for me. I’m not sure if it was because I wasn’t paying attention, or it was just really well written.

This book did give a lot more background to Barker then we had before. We learnt a lot about his past and everything that happened before he came to Peridale. Since they get to spend so much time together, we really get to see Barker and Julia’s relationship grow. It was nice to see them working to see them working together on the case.

Peridale also expanded with the addition of the Ferne Moore Estate and the people that live there. We got to find out more about the kids who are always getting in trouble and their lives.

I really enjoyed this book.

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Dot managed to win a trip for the family together to have some bonding time. However, just the day after they arrive, the owner of the castle that they are staying in, is shot to death. Now, in another country, Julia is stuck in the middle of another murder investigation. Meanwhile, her grandmother and sister are pestering her to relax and enjoy the trip.

Though the mystery was interesting, it was a little hard to follow. There was actually 3 stories going on and they were all intertwined. Though once an important tidbit of information was given you can figure out who the murderer is. However, with so many storylines going through the book, it gets really muddled. I did figure it out a little before Julia, or where I assumed Julia figured it out.

We actually learnt a lot about the characters in this book. You get a really good background to the castle’s staff. We got to learn more about Sue in this book before she was just this character that existed in the book series but didn’t have any good background. I normally really enjoy Dot, however, in this book I really disliked her in this book. Dot was just so annoying and I really want her to go back to normal. We don’t really get to see Barker and Jessie in this book, however, I really do enjoy how close Barker and Jessie had become. It seems like Julia’s little family is coming together.

I really enjoyed this book.

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When a big box coffee shop has opened up in Peridale and it’s causing strain on Julia’s business. However, when Julia finds the owner dead in the middle of the night, all fingers point towards Julia. Barker can’t even help Julia out with this case, as it’s not his course, as he is too close to the prime suspect. Now Julia will need to work hard to clear her name.

It was a really interesting mystery that wasn’t completely straightforward. It was, however, very interesting. If you don’t pay attention it could be very confusing, similar to the last book. It was interesting how Julia worked the case without Barker as she doesn’t want to get him in trouble again.

This book was filled with character development and character building. Brian actually comes into play in this book as the murder victim is his old business partner. We get to see him actually trying to show Julia that he does actually care and love her. We met Jerrad after hearing so much about him in the previous book. I don’t really get Barker’s reaction to Jerrad’s appearance after all the information that Julia has told him over the few months. Sue is in this book again and we get to see the insecurities that she has when it comes to Katie and her father. Though we could say she is just being over emotional, however, it was obvious in the previous books as well.

I really enjoyed the book, and it is a great continuation of the series.


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

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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.