Title: In Peppermint Peril
Author: Joy Avon
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Page Count: 285
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
Joy Avon’s festive series debut featuring a book-themed tea party organizer will be tons of fun this Christmas for Lorna Barrett and Jenn McKinlay fans.
In the run-up to Christmas Eve, organizer of book-themed tea parties Callie Aspen and her lovable Boston terrier will have to conquer threefold trouble—a mysterious will, a missing heirloom and a dead body—to restore the festive spirit to their small town.
This Christmas, Callie Aspen returns to her childhood hideout Heart’s Harbor, Maine where her great aunt runs Book Tea, a vintage tearoom where every sweet treat contains a bookish clue. Upon arrival in the fairy-tale snowy town, Callie is drawn into the preparations for a special tea party at Haywood Hall, the rambling house of Heart’s Harbor’s oldest resident, rich but lonely widow Dorothea Finster, who invited her estranged relatives, old friends and the elite of the town to make a mysterious announcement about her will.
Believing they can touch a part of her fortune, everybody is determined to come, despite not liking each other or even their hostess. And Callie’s old friend Sheila complicates things by using the tea party to announce her daughter’s engagement, even though her daughter isn’t sure she’s in love with the young lawyer her mother thinks so perfect for her.
Catering to people who each have their own agenda isn’t easy for the Book Tea crew, especially once the valuable engagement ring goes missing and a dead body turns up in the conservatory. Can Callie and her great aunt use their love of clues to dig into the crimes and show their unhappy hostess and squabbling guests the true Christmas spirit?
In Peppermint Peril by Joy Avon is the first book of the new cozy A Tea and a Read Mystery series. This is a small town cozy mystery in which the main character has returned to work with her aunt in a bookish themed business.
Callie Aspen had left Heart’s Harbor, Maine main years before after nursing a broken heart when her long time crush married another friend. This Christmas however she’s returned to visit her aunt and volunteers to help with her aunt’s business, Book Tea.
Callie finds herself among those she had left behind when she ends up working a special party at Haywood Hall owned by the town’s richest widow, Dorothea Finster. Dorothea had intended on making an announcement about her will but the party was overtaken but Sheila, Callie’s old friend, who had set up her daughter’s surprise engagement much to her daughter’s dismay. But things really go wrong when a dead body is found and a murderer seems to be on the loose.
In Peppermint Peril is one of those books that really tried to come in with a bang and it felt a bit like being dropped into a situation I should have known more about. Callie is barely introduced herself in the story when a whole bunch of other characters are coming into play and it was a bit confusing of a start.
Once settled in though I felt there still seemed to be a lack of depth to the characters to let them stand out more on their own. There’s not much told about the business, how Callie came about her travels, the other folks in town other than a brief what happened. I think if things had more depth this one would have really stood out as the small town vibe and the Christmas events going on seemed fun but with it hard to connect to anyone this first book was just an alright read.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Find this book online:
About the author:
A lover of books, tea and sweet treats, Joy Avon decided to combine these in a mystery series about an organizer of the book-themed tea parties Joy herself would love to attend. When not writing or reading, Joy can be found buying bonbons, fluffy socks or notebooks with pretty patterns to write down her next idea. This is her first Tea and a Read mystery.