Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse by Sherri Bryan
Small-town murder was never so calculated.
On a peaceful morning in an English coastal town, a handsome stranger meets a gruesome end.
As café-bar owner Charlotte Denver takes up the challenge to help find the killer before they strike again, she uncovers a shocking plot that rocks a close-knit community to its core.
There's amateur sleuthing, engaging characters, and recipes to try for yourself in Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse, the first book in the feel-good Charlotte Denver Cozy Mystery Series.
More of a novella than a novel, this book is a really quick read. It started off with too much backstory for my liking, and at one point there was backstory within the backstory. I felt less wouldn't have detracted from my understanding in any way, and I did become a little bored with all the setting up - most of it was unnecessary
When the story eventually got round to the actual plot, it was quite entertaining, with a rather old-fashioned tone and feel. The main character was pleasant enough, even if she did come across as rather middle-aged in her thought processes and attitude.
A nice twist to the end, but the reveal was a little unbelievable, with all the characters gathered in one place and Nathan, the policeman and the love interest, reminding me of a "Miss Plum with the candlestick in the library" moment. In real life the police would have quietly arrested the culprit, and performed the questioning at the station. Still, that's why I read fiction - in order to suspend disbelief, and all in all, I spent an enjoyable hour or two reading it.
About the Author
One day, long ago, in a land far, far away, Sherri Bryan sat at her wooden desk. Day after day, she sat, wishing she had some magic beans which would help her write a story that would be loved by all who read it. Not just any story, though. It had to be a mystery story. And not just any mystery, of course. It had to be a Cozy Mystery. Unfortunately, the magic beans never arrived but the Cozy Mystery stories did. Four of them, with one on the way. Sherri loves her Cozy Mystery stories -- she hopes there will be many more to come. Until then, though, she sits at her wooden desk and wishes for captivating plot ideas and engaging characters to visit her in her dreams. Sherri hopes that she, and her Cozy Mystery stories, will live happily ever after, just like the characters in her books. The ones that don't get bumped off, that is.