The second book in the series sees roving caterer Jenny Starling taking a Christmas booking at a remote farm run by Stan. He’s an aggressive bully who rules with a rod of iron, keeping the rest of the family in check. His brother, Sid, who’s the rightful heir to the farm, is ill and in no position to fight.
When Sid’s found dead with a knife in his chest, the police arrive to investigate. The local inspector finds himself out of his depth and reliant on help from Jenny Starling, who’s already solved a few murders along the way.
It’s a very cosy mystery that’s well told with the usual red herrings and false trails to keep the reader guessing. Jenny Starling holds centre stage, slowly piecing together the clues to identify the killer. There’s a healthy helping of humour to lighten the mix and some well-drawn characters.
One of my pet peeves is police officers shown as incompetent or behaving unprofessionally to allow an amateur sleuth to shine. While it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story, I felt the portrayal of the police could have been handled better.
Jenny Starling is spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional food she loves. But the family she’s working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. In fact, they seem to hate each other.
On Christmas Eve, someone is found dead on the kitchen table. And the head of the family is blaming Jenny!
But with an incompetent detective called in, and seemingly no motive for the murder, Jenny will have to give the police a hand.
She will stop at nothing to clear her name and find the real murderer.