A Kenneth Mayhew Mystery
by Melanie Jackson
This would have made a nice, cosy Christmas read, had I realised it was set around Christmas. Never mind, I still enjoyed it, in spite of it being September with warm, sunny days while I read it.
Kenneth Mayhew usually is rather reluctant when it comes to returning to the family mansion for gatherings and festivities, but when his elderly aunt, whom he is very fond of, requests his help, he is soon on his way.
It turns out that someone or something is playing tricks at the big house, with some of the staff ready to quit for fear of the "ghost" they suspect being behind it all. Kenneth's aunt does not believe in anything supernatural going on, but she wants the house safe and quiet again for the upcoming Christmas celebrations, with friends and family expected to arrive any day.
With the help of his trusted manservant and one or two others, Kenneth solves the mystery, and finds romance along the way. Nobody comes to much harm, no blood is shed, and in the end everyone is ready to celebrate Christmas together.
It was a nice, cosy, relatively short read with a fun cast of characters, and there was suspense without turning to violence. It is # 1 in a series (and was a free download from the kindle shop), and should I happen to come across more of it, I will read it.
The author's website is here, if you are interested - she has written more than 100 books, but admittedly, I had never heard of her before.
# 21: Vanilla Bean Vengeance
Claire's Candles Cozy Mystery series
by Agatha Frost
The author's name was enough to make me download this free ebook some time ago - doesn't it instantly conjure up an evening spent in your favourite armchair, reading a cosy mystery while a mug of steaming hot tea is never far from you?
Claire has been living in the village of Northash all her life, and like almost everybody else, works at the local candle factory, while dreaming of one day opening her own shop, selling her own creations of scented candles.
Then the largely unloved owner of the factory is killed, setting in motion a chain of events that could leave the village without its main source of income - and Claire on the brink of either losing or winning it all.
With the help of her Dad, a retired detective, and a few close friends, Claire sets out to solve the crime, restore peace in the upset village again and maybe - just maybe - make her dream come true at the same time.
A really good read with enough twists and turns to keep the mind engaged without overwhelming it; credibly portrayed characters and an untypical heroine, plus the story being set in a Yorkshire village - what more could I want from a cosy read! As far as I can tell, there are four books in this series, but the author has written others that look like more of the same. A complete list can be found here.