Jenny Starling is doing the catering for the village cricket match. But she’s not expecting one of the players to turn up dead. Everyone from the village has turned out to watch the match, and with this being the club’s centenary, Jenny Starling has been hired specially to provide her stunning food for the event.
Then the next man up to bat, Tristan Jones, is nowhere to be found. He is discovered behind the pavilion, murdered by a blow to the back of the head with an old cricket bat. The handsome twenty-something had a reputation as a Lothario, with an appetite for married women. Did a scorned woman or a cuckolded husband kill him? However, he’d annoyed other people too. He was a stockbroker who took big risks with other people’s money and lost their life savings. Soon another body turns up and Jenny Starling is going to need all her cunning to crack this complex case.
This is the sixth in a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page.
JENNY STARLING In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother. Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.
I received a copy of this book from Joffe Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
A quintessentially English murder mystery, set in a sleepy village, where a cricket match is taking place between two rival villages. Jenny Starling, the travelling cook is preparing the ‘Cricket Tea’. A special occasion as it is the cricket club’s centenary, and they decided to splash on a professionally prepared tea.
The plot is quite slow-paced, in keeping with the village cricket, and the first murder victim is not really a surprise, he is a careless man, who steals hearts, and wives and behaves recklessly with other people’s money. The choice of the victim may not be surprising, but the murder is.
It seems like everyone has a motive and an alibi. The police are not quite as bumbling, as they are usually portrayed in the Jenny Starling mysteries. Indeed, there is a grudging admiration between the cook and the detective inspector, that provides some lighter moments amid, the murders.
The plot twists are cleverly written, and the final revelation by the amateur sleuth, plausible. The story has plenty of visual imagery, so it’s easy to imagine the character and setting. Not my favourite Jenny Starling mystery, but a lovely way to relax in the sunshine for an hour or two, maybe at a village cricket match?