I get quite bored of doing the same things the same way all the time (as evidenced by my very frequent blog changes), so I’ve decided to have a bit of fun with book review writing! I posted the usual review earlier, but wanted to try out this format, too. I’d be so appreciative if you could let me know if you like it or not! Thank you so much!
Looking for a quick cozy mystery? One with food, a grumpy cat, and a cute cop? In a small town in West Virginia? Murder at the Town Hall has it all!
Difficulty: Beginner, though check out the first two books first
Time: Fast-paced, so not a lot – only took me 2 days
1 recently widowed accidental amateur detective who loves to cook named Mallory
1 snarky teen with an incredible brain who’s learning to cook named Amber
1 grumpy cat with a Hunch
1 former crush, now newly minted detective named Alex
1 dead body
1 picturesque small town with more than meets the eye underneath it all
- Send Mallory to a town hall to support a local teacher and her fight to save the local library.
- Have Mallory see a dead body that has fallen from the top of the town hall at a crucial moment in the meeting and grow immediately suspicious because, whenever she brings food there, whether wanted or not, death follows. Gosh, I wouldn’t want to be her!
- Make sure Mallory gets on the case right away, even if the caterer for the meeting looked down on her (delicious) homemade cookies.
- Let Mallory enlist her teen friend Amber and have Hunch force himself along.
- While Alex is doing everything by the book, and sharing information with Mallory to ensure they can work together and solve the murder mystery the legal way, send Mallory, Amber, and Hunch after potential suspects to get information and soften them up.
- Ensure Mallory and Amber discover a terrible problem underlying the entire town. It may be picturesque, but there’s something going on, affecting most of the population. Definitely a problem under the surface!
- Stir in a few red herrings, but make sure Mallory and Amber figure it out quickly, because this is a fast-paced mystery, after all.
- Let Hunch have a spotlight so readers can enjoy a cat sniffing out the most important clues.
- Throw in some tension with something being off with Amber (could it be an unrequited crush?!), so she’s still sharp as a tack, but not exactly as friendly with Mallory.
- Do make sure Mallory helps us poor readers out by making sure we understand everything because Amber, Alex, and Hunch are definitely the detectives and Mallory’s just stuck with them, though she is nosy and tries to keep her friends out of as much trouble as possible.
- Toss in some delicious food, and maybe an unwanted visitor.
- Sprinkle in a bit of romance, but make it sweet and beautiful.
- Enjoy! And check out the recipe at the end.
Title: Murder at the Town Hall (Mallory Beck Cozy Culinary Caper #3)
Author: Denise Jaden
Publication date: January 20, 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Thank you to Denise Jaden for a review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
Get your copy (The Lily Cafe is NOT an Amazon affiliate)