Tuesday, August 23, 2016
"Death at the Day Lily Café" by Wendy Sand Eckel
I will read almost any book with a teapot on the cover, and as I suspected, Wendy Sand Eckel's newest cozy mystery had plenty of tea-ish moments to keep us tea lovers happy! And although this was the second book in a series, I had no difficulty at all jumping right in with the storyline and understanding what was going on.
The recently divorced Rosalie Hart of Cardigan, Maryland, has just realized her dream of opening her own café when, shortly after the grand opening, her friend and fellow merchant Doris comes asking a favor: Doris's sister has been accused of killing her husband, and Doris wants Rosalie to help prove that the sister is innocent.
This book has a rich and diverse ensemble cast I greatly enjoyed meeting, including Glenn, Rosalie's 72-year-old best friend and right-hand man; her other wait staff member, Crystal, the young "hippie" who makes teas and tinctures; frequent customer Janice, whose hot flashes inject a bit of humor that middle-aged readers will no doubt appreciate; hunky Tyler, who runs Rosalie's farm; Annie, Rosalie's college-age daughter; and Kevin and Jake, a gay couple who find the town surprisingly welcoming— with one notable exception.
Doris's deceased brother-in-law is suspected of having stolen some money from the construction site where he'd worked, and it turns out that plenty of people had a reason for wanting him dead. Eckel keeps us guessing the killer's identity right up till the satisfying end, but best of all, she layers this cozy with some complex, messy, and thoroughly realistic lives that make this mystery a pleasure to read.