Title: Murder at Mile Marker 18 (A Mallory Beck Cozy Culinary Caper #1)
Author: Denise Jaden
Publisher: Denise Jaden Books
Publication Date: October 21, 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
An unlucky amateur sleuth, an adorable cop, and a cat with a hunch…
If anyone had told Mallory Beck she would become Honeysuckle Grove’s next unschooled detective, she would have thought they were ten noodles short of a lasagna. Her late husband had been the mystery novelist with a penchant for the suspicious. She was born for the Crock-Pot, not the magnifying glass, and yet here she is elbow deep in fettuccine, cat treats, and teenagers with an attitude, the combination of which lands her smack-dab in the middle of a murder investigation.
Maybe she should have thought twice about delivering a casserole to a grieving family. Maybe she should have avoided the ever-changing green eyes of her seventh-grade crush—now the most heart-stopping cop in town. Maybe she should have stopped listening to the insightful mewls of her antagonistic cat, Hunch, who most likely wants her to be the town’s next murder victim.
Whatever the case, Mallory Beck got herself into this investigation, and she has a distraught teenage girl counting on her to deliver the truth.
Why This Book
The main character in this cozy mystery series is Mallory Beck, who is more newly widowed caterer than amateur sleuth. But, when a good deed (bringing food over to a grieving family) introduces her to teen Amber, she gets herself wound up in Amber’s plot to prove her father was murdered. Definitely more sleuth than high school student, Amber has an amazing head on her shoulders, but she needs Mallory’s adulthood and experience just as Mallory needs Amber’s natural sleuthing abilities to crack the case. From this encounter, a friendship begins to flourish between these two unlikely females, creating a strong bond that will help both through trying times and challenging cases.
My review: “Overall, Murder at Mile Marker 18 wasn’t a terribly complex mystery, but absolutely was fun with its share of twists and turns befitting a cozy. It was a fun push and pull between a dogged teenager and a cautious widow who is definitely not one of her late husband’s detective characters”
Readers’ Favorite gave this 5 stars, saying “Amber is reminiscent of a Nancy Drew type as she’s a young teen that is driven, impressionable, and fearless as she jumps headfirst into the investigation without a thought to her own safety. She’s an idealistic teenager but her drive and her grief give her a commonality with Mallory who lost her husband and has the same headstrong attitude. The two have a sweet pairing with each filling a void for the other – an unexpected combination that makes for a winning team and lighthearted comic relief in a bantering connection that has the teenager keeping Mallory on her toes”
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