Book Review

Murder On The Menu

Murder on the Menu

  • Author: Fiona Leitch
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2021
  • Publisher: One More Chapter
  • Series: The Nosey Parker Mysteries #1

Thank you to NetGalley and One More Chapter for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

CONTENT WARNING: infidelity, murder, blood

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The first book in a NEW cosy mystery series!

Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing like having your first job back at home to be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your village is. And when the bride, Cheryl, vanishes Jodie is drawn into the investigation, realising that life in the countryside might not be as quaint as she remembers…

With a missing bride on their hands, there is murder and mayhem around every corner but surely saving the day will be a piece of cake for this not-so-amateur sleuth?

The first book in the Murder on the Menu cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.

I’ve been reading more cozy mysteries lately, and this was definitely one of the better ones. This was written with a bit more Cornish/British slang than I’m used to, so I definitely learned some new words, but it didn’t make this book any less enjoyable for me. And I loved the use of humor throughout the story, which kept me glued to the pages and putting off the start of a buddy read that I was scheduled to begin today. Oops!

It hit all the typical notes for a cozy mystery, but with an interesting twist — the main character is a former police officer. So rather than Jodie being a bumbling civilian, she actually has a good understanding of police procedures, even if she isn’t exactly affiliated with the police force. And since her own police career took place in a completely different area, she doesn’t have strong connections with the village police. However, on account of her father being basically a legend among the police force in town, she does have a little bit of pull with the local cops. 

This one hits all the major expected points in a cozy — adorable dog? Check! Awkward potential romance? Double check! Getting involved in a crime to clear her friend’s name? Absolutely check! And being an unstoppable sleuth despite the DCI in charge not exactly thrilled about her participation in what he clearly sees as “his” case? Oh yeah. 

I loved Jodie’s personality right off the bat, and she’s hilarious. Smart, loyal, and willing to go to bat for the people she cares about. She’s trying to start over after divorcing her cheating ex-husband, who she may or may not still have some lingering anger about, she quits the Met Police and decides to start a catering business in her hometown. And things are going well when she gets a last-minute job catering her old friend’s wedding. Until everything and anything goes wrong. Including a missing bride and a murder. 

The writing style is fun, and Jodie’s narration lets us have some insight into what she’s thinking and feeling, while also giving us side notes that lets us know that she is aware of an audience. It’s not just fun, but it’s funny as well, especially when super-hot DCI Withers steps into the picture. Jodie gets flustered, but isn’t willing to back down from what she knows to be true. She’s stubborn, and it just made me love her more. And while Withers initially seems like a total jerk, he actually wound up growing on me over the course of the book.

While the plots in cozies sometimes fall flat, I adored this one. There aren’t usually many gasps involved with this type of book, but I was pleasantly surprised for this one. And the mystery was cleverly disguised, with little hints dropped here and there, but it wasn’t easy to figure out. I loved that I was surprised by the ending, and how things worked out. Plus, one of Jodie’s recipes is included after the end of the book, which is an additional little perk. I’m super excited to read more of this fun series!

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 6

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