Another Review at MyShelf.Com

In Peppermint Peril
A Book Teashop Mystery #1
BY Joy Avon

Crooked Lane
November 13, 2018/ ISBN 978-1-68331-793-7
Mystery/Cozy / Holiday: Christmas

Reviewed by  Laura Hinds

Callie Aspen has gone home to Heart’s Harbor, Maine, to spend the holidays with her Great-Aunt Iphy, who has a vintage tea-room named Book Tea. Every treat the tea-room serves has a bookish clue for patrons to figure out.

Aunt Iphy was hired to prepare and present a special tea party at Haywood Hall, a mansion belonging to Dorothea Finster, age 93 and the oldest resident in town. Callie agrees to help and brings a special cake, tea and cups, and other accouterments befitting the fancy event. Dorothea plans to make an announcement about her will. The wealthy widow doesn’t have much in the way of family and is, for the most part, estranged from the few she does have. Even the mayor and his wife, as well as the president of the chamber of commerce, and the headteacher of the local school attend – most of them angling for a payout in the will.

But each guest has their own agenda. Sheila, the wife of Stephen Du Bouvrais, who is the heir apparent, has special plans for the party. She has put a family heirloom ring in a box that she has Callie place inside a hollowed out section of the three-tier cake. The idea is that Ben Matthews, Dorothea’s attorney, is to cut the cake, find the ring and propose marriage to Sheila and Stephen’s daughter, Amber.

When the ring disappears and there’s a murdered body in the conservatory, there are plenty of suspects and motives.

The Book Tea Room concept is certainly unique, and it was captivating to learn about the hidden secrets of people in small towns. I was unable to ferret out who the murderer was, which always makes a mystery more enjoyable for me. There’s a nice balance of characters, small-town charm and hidden motives to make it a page-turner.

Be sure to get your copy before the holidays so you have a nice distraction for some downtime. It’s always good to get the first book in a series so you can watch the characters develop, too. I’ll sure be on the lookout for the next book!

Reviewed 2018