original Juno might have been a real goddess, but Juno Browne
is a domestic goddess. Her job takes her all around Ashburton
in Devon looking after the elderly, cleaning, walking dogs
and helping Ricky and Morris in their theatrical costumiers.
Her latest commission is helping Russian ex con Old Nick,
a rather shady antiques dealer. Through him she gets to meet
the attractive Paul, and also learn a lot about antiques.
This comes to an abrupt end when she discovers his dead body,
and the police start viewing her with suspicion…
the death of a rather loveable character this cozy is a relaxing
and enjoyable read, a bit like Heartbeat meets the Midsomer
Murders. I’m hard to please about books set in Devon
as I live there and know the town of Ashburton, but her portrayal
of the town is not too far off, if a little generic. She manages
to get in some lyrical descriptions of Dartmoor which are
more accurate and clearly knows about the antiques trade.
As a series debut I enjoyed the way it hit the ground running
and Juno makes for a good narrator, being a likeable character
it is easy to root for. I guessed whodunit early on and although
it is an exciting, well paced story future entries in the
series might opt for a less linear plot with a few more suspects
and a sub plot or two. On the plus side the story manages
to stay a whodunit all the way through and does not veer off
into romance territory, nor are we given a potted history
of Ashburton or endless facts about the antiques trade. Everything
that happens is germane to the plot and there are several
amiable characters that are obviously going to be part of
the series and are fun to read about. As a cozy mystery it
is a success, and I look forward to reading more about Juno
and her friends.