25th June 2021.
Jenny Starling is catering for a 21st birthday party for twins Justin and Alicia in their parents’ country mansion in the Cotswolds. On the day she arrives, a worker from the estate is already dead, having drowned in a pond.
It soon becomes clear that all is not well in the house or between the twins, whose bitter rivalry and fighting comes under the spotlight when one of the guests dies at the party, poisoned by weed killer. The police arrive and begin an investigation, aware that Jenny is no slouch when it comes to solving murders.
Will she solve the case before the police, or will she hamper their investigation and land herself in hot water?
This light-hearted cosy mystery begins slowly, setting the scene, introducing the characters and the key relationships. Whether Jenny Starling is in the garden gathering herbs, checking out her sleeping accommodation in the house, or simply enjoying the country air, she’s never far from trouble, eavesdropping like a young Miss Marple to gather vital clues.
While some of the main characters seemed a little caricatured at the start, the story soon settled into a steady, entertaining rhythm, with plenty of humour to season the mystery. The competition between Jenny and the detective leading the enquiry was an enjoyable battle of wills as the cook pieced together the clues to solve the case.
This is an enjoyable first book in a series that features an excellent amateur sleuth, who’s more than a match for the police and killers. I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Jenny Starling is catering the twenty-first birthday party of upper-class twins, Alicia and Justin.
She arrives at their parents’ country house and is immediately met by the police. A young man has drowned in the pond. Was it an accident or murder?
But the birthday party goes ahead. Then just after midnight, everyone gathers for a champagne toast . . . and one of the guests falls down dead. The police are baffled and there is a whole party full of suspects.
When it comes to someone adding the extra ingredient of poison to her own precious recipes, Jenny isn’t going to take it lying down. She has a reputation to protect.
Jenny Starling won’t stop until the murderer is found.