Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Fatal Twist of Lemon

First Paragraph:

"The first day my tearoom opened was wonderful- mostly. Funny how life can go swimmingly one moment, and fall to pieces the next."

Blurb from

"Cops drink coffee. They don't belong in Ellen Rosings's Victorian tearoom. But when her opening day thank-you tea ends in the murder of the president of the Santa Fe Preservation Trust, the police invade her haven. Enter Detective Tony Aragon: attractive and unsympathetic, with a chip on his shoulder that goes beyond the murder investigation, and Ellen's delicate bone china cup is full. Is the murderer one of her honored guests, or the ghost rumored to haunt the building? Will Ellen solve the mystery, or will the Wisteria Tearoom's premiere turn out to be its - and Ellen's - finale?"

A Fatal Twist of Lemon by Patrice Greenwood is a light, quick and pleasant read. Set in Santa Fe and starring Ellen Rosings as the owner of a new tearoom that falls on some very hard luck just before the grand opening, i.e. the murder. Determined to find the truth about the murder and clear both the reputation of her business and of herself and staff, she assigns herself a temporary detective and goes about trying to solve the case, much to the annoyance of the actual detective.

I enjoyed this little gem. There are subtle aspects of many different genres and styles interlaced in the writing, such as traditional murder mystery novels, e.g. Agatha Christie and Poirot, but in a modern setting. It's just a whisper, but some of the characters have the same formalities. Mixed in with the murder is a little romance and a hint at the supernatural (without ever being unrealistic).

The dialogue was a little predictable at times, but overall I was happy with this book. At under 300 pages, it can be read in a day and makes for a great "Sunday Afternoon" read.

While the entire plot is based around a murder and its consequences, the actual investigation (though continually mentioned) feels like it takes a backseat. It's almost a murder mystery without the murder. It was just a necessary plot point to gather the characters together, which actually works well.

There were a couple small unexplained aspects, but nothing too blaring . Overall, a good start to a new series. I'll be looking forward to the next volume of the Wisteria Tearoom Mysteries and I recommend this book to anyone who loves the Victorian era, tearooms, flowers or light-hearted murder mysteries.

Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the LibraryThing Early Reviewers. This is not a sponsored review. I'm not being payed for my opinions. All opinions are my own.

If you would like to become a member of LibraryThing Early Reviewers, it is a public group. Simply go to their website and sign up (it's free) and you could be getting advanced copies of novels too. It does take a little while for them to choose to send you one of the free books (you have a choice of hundreds and you can request as many as you'd like). It took me a couple of months. My advice is to start with requesting any e-books that catch your interest. I'm normally against e-books, in favour of having an actual physical copy, but it's a place to start. You are required to provide a review on their website, one that is 100% your own opinion. You don't get payed for your reviews, but you do get a free book out of it.