Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Book Review: Murder's No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher (Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good plot and fun characters
Cons: Felt like it started slowly to me
The Bottom Line:
Unity candle
Kills an estranged wedding guest
In well-lit debut

This Debut Has My Vote of Confidence

I know I’ve talked in the past about my allergies to pets, but I haven’t mentioned my allergies to candles.  Really, it’s the perfumes in the candles that bother me, but it keeps me away from them.  However, I still found myself drawn to Murder’s No Votive Confidence, the first Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery, and I’m very glad I picked it up.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and it is going to be a busy one for Stella Wright.  Not only does this weekend mean the official start of the tourist season for her home of Nantucket Island, but she is making all the candles for a big wedding on the island.  Her best friend is the wedding coordinator, and Stella has gotten the job of making candles for the wedding and reception, plus the unity candle the couple will light during the ceremony.  Stella has spent a lot of time creating a unique scent for the couple as well as crafting the unity candle into a work of art for them.

The morning before the ceremony, the unity candle goes missing.  When it turns up, it is next to the body of the bride’s estranged uncle who was there to walk the bride down the aisle.  The police are quick to arrest the bartender at the hotel where the guests are staying, but Stella has known him for years, and she can’t believe he’d murder anyone.  With her involvement in the wedding as an in, Stella begins snooping around, hoping to provide the police with better suspects.  Can she find the truth?

I felt like the book got off to a bit of a slow start.  I will freely admit, this might have been me, since I didn’t have as much time to read as I expected for a couple of days.  However, after I got into the second third of the book, I definitely felt the pace picked up and the twists began to come much faster.  The climax was a ton of fun and perfectly melted all the plot elements into a complete picture.

The characters really grew on me, too.  Stella is a fantastic main character who has some unique abilities that contribute to solving the crime.  Her best friend is a hoot.  I also really like her love interest.  Yes, I got the feeling that there is the set up for a bit of a love triangle, but there is a clear winner as far as I am concerned.  The suspects were strong characters and believable as suspects.

I did feel that Nantucket could have come a bit more to life.  Again, maybe that was the fact that my reading time was interrupted as I sat down to read the book, but I was ready to get swept to a vacation paradise, and I never quite got that feeling.  Overall, this is a minor complaint, however.

My complaints with the book really are minor.  Overall, I enjoyed Murder’s No Votive Confidence, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to Stella and the rest of her friends next.

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