Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Book Review: Murder on Cape Cod by Maddie Day (Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong start delivers on the series premise
Cons: Some of the supporting characters will need to be developed in future books
The Bottom Line:
Some cozy lovers
Are caught in real mystery
Each page a delight




Tourist Season Kicks Off with a Murder

It's been a while since author Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell) announced the premise of her newest series.  Set on Cape Cod, the main characters belong to a book group that reads nothing but cozy mysteries.  I love series set in resort areas, and I would love to join a book group like this one.  Obviously, I was sold right away.  Now that I've read Murder on Cape Cod, I'm already ready for the sequel.

After several years away, Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida has returned to her home town of Westham, Massachusetts, and opened a bike shop.  Between rentals and repairs, her business provides enough income during the summer season to support her year-round.  And she's part of the local Cozy Capers book club that gets together once a week to discuss cozy mysteries.

Returning from her book club meeting one foggy night in early June, she literally stumbles upon the body of Jake Lacey.  Jake didn't have the best reputation in town, always needing money and never being able to hold down a job.  Mac herself recently hired Jake to make repairs on her roof only to find he did a poor job.  It is quickly clear that Jake didn't die of natural causes when the police find a knife sticking out of Jake – a knife belonging to Mac's brother Derrick.  The Cozy Capers jump into action, figuring that their knowledge from the books they read will help them solve the mystery.  But this is real life.  Will their knowledge of cozies translate to a real crime?  Will Mac be able to figure anything out?

Between Mac's family and the members of the book group, we are introduced to a lot of series regulars here.  It took a bit of effort to keep the Cozy Capers all straight initially, although as the book went along, it became easier.  It's just a hazard of having this many characters.  A few certainly have room for development as the series progresses, but that’s just an observation.  There isn’t room in one book for everyone to be fully fleshed out yet.  Mac's family, on the other hand, has already become solid characters I love.  The suspects are all distinct enough that I had no trouble keeping them straight.

As any fan of this author's previous books would expect, the plot is strong.  Jake has some secrets, and the suspects fit into the plot quite nicely.  The trick is to determine which secret provided a deadly motive.  The clues are all there, so when Mac reaches the climax, things click into place for her and us quickly.

And yes, the setting was very appealing.  I've never been to Cape Cod, and now I really want to go visit.  Westham might be fictional, but I'd still love to take a trip through the region, maybe on one of the many bike paths talked about in the book.

Since Mac reads cozy mysteries, there are occasional references to the sub-genre we love so much and how that relates to real life.  They are infrequent, but these meta moments certainly made me smile because I would probably be having the exact same reactions that Mac did if I were in her shoes.

While this is not a culinary cozy per say, we are treated to four recipes at the back of the book, ranging from pizza to a drink.

Kensington has partnered with Barnes and Nobel for this release.  It is currently only available in print and from that retailer either on line or in their stores.  Look for it to be released to a wider market and in digital in a year.  Look for more first in series from some of Kensington’s top authors to follow this schedule in the months to come.  (And the purchase links in this review currently take you to bn.com.)

Murder on Cape Cod gets this series off to a fantastic start.  Any cozy lover will be glad to snuggle in and meet these delightful new characters.

NOTE: I went sent an ARC of this book.

5 comments:

  1. I am delighted you loved the book, Mark!

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  2. Thanks for the review! I have been waiting for this book to be released since Edith first talked about it.

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  3. Thanks for the review, Mark! I love this book setting and am looking forward to reading this.

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  4. I’m hoping this will be available in CD or MP3 format but I don’t want to wait much longer. With vision problems audio books are best for me but I love Edith’s/Maddie’s series so much that waiting is soooo difficult!!!

    Cynthia

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