Murder at the Blueberry Festival
- Author: Darci Hannah
- Genre: Cozy Mystery
- Publication Date: July 26, 2022
- Publisher: Kensington Books
- Series: Beacon Bakeshop #3
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CONTENT WARNING: murder, death of a parent, grief
After a career on Wall Street, Lindsey is making a different kind of dough in a pretty lakeside village, and the upcoming blueberry festival—including the pie-eating contest her bakery is hosting—is the highlight of the summer. But soon Beacon Harbor runs into a patch of trouble.
A local real estate agent gets pranked. A parade float gets pelted with water balloons. It’s all laughed off until the stunts start escalating—and looking more like sabotage. As the event turns into a debacle complete with rampaging goats, Lindsey’s sweetheart, a former SEAL, starts investigating. But the juicy mystery takes a bitter turn when a man—dressed up as a Viking—is found dead in a boat, and it’s no longer mischief but murder . . .
It’s no secret that I love this series, and I look forward to each new book release, not just because it gives me an excuse to read through all the previous books. Each time I read these, I fall in love with the characters and the town of Beacon Harbor a little more.
Darci Hannah has built an adorable little small town with Beacon Harbor, Michigan, complete with historical lore, quirky characters, and bustling little shops that have plenty of charm. Not to mention the festivals. This type of town wouldn’t be out of place in a small-town romance, but it’s also the perfect setting for a cozy mystery series like this one.
The characters are what makes this story. Yeah, I adore the main character, Lindsey Bakewell and her crew: her ex-Navy SEAL boyfriend Rory Campbell, her influencer best friend Kennedy Kapoor, her former model mother Ellie Montague Bakewell, and of course her adorably goofy Newfoundland dog Wellington (also known as Welly). But the rest of the characters are pretty awesome as well. In this story, her parents have moved to the town to be close to Lindsey, although they live in Florida during the winters.
I especially enjoyed that we learn more about Rory in depth a bit more. He’s struggling to adjust to civilian life after his time in the military, and it offered his character more depth, which was refreshing.
While cozy mysteries are known for being light, fun, and relatively fluffy, this one talks about a more sensitive issue that is increasingly prevalent. Hannah handles it in a sensitive way, and I thought she managed it very well. I can’t talk too much about it, because it’s somewhat of a spoiler, and you know I don’t do those, but just know that it’s handled beautifully.
As for the central mystery, I honestly tried my best to figure out who it was behind the pranks and the murder, and couldn’t figure it out. The story is fast paced and has a lot of red herrings throughout, but all of my guesses were wrong until everything was spelled out for me. Although there weren’t a lot of gasp-worthy moments in the story, I was absolutely hooked, and read this book in a single sitting. I flew through the read, and enjoyed every single moment of it. There’s a lot of cute, funny moments, but prepare yourself and have some baked goods on hand, because you’re definitely going to get hungry while reading.
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: 4
Categories: Book Review
I appreciate cozies that tackle more difficult issues but in a cozy way and it sounds like Hannah did a great job with that in this book!
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She really did! This is one of my favorite cozy series.
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