I just finished reading another charming new cozy mystery, this one from Random House's new digital-only imprint, Alibi, and you will note that this book meets my criteria (for this blog's purposes) of having something tea-related on the cover.
When Marley McKinney’s older cousin, Jimmy, ends up in the hospital, she takes some time off from her job in Seattle to go to the coastal town of Wildwood Cove and help run his business, a pancake house called The Flip Side. Jimmy is released from the hospital, but before he can even make it back to work, his body is discovered on some rocks at Wildwood Beach, and authorities soon determine he was murdered and left there.
While grieving the loss of her cousin, Marley continues to run The Flip Side but soon learns she has some new decisions to make, since her cousin left his home and business to her in his will. In addition to working at the restaurant, Marley also manages to engage in plenty of snooping since she is determined to find out who killed Jimmy. This cozy has a great cast of supporting characters, including the curmudgeonly cook, Ivan; the beloved waitress, Leigh; and a handsome gentleman caller from Marley's past, Brett.
Fox includes some fast-paced scenes that really ratchet up the tension yet aren't too intense for those of us who prefer these kinder, gentler mysteries. Tea lovers will appreciate the fact that Marley is clearly a tea fan: "I made myself a cup of tea and settled into a chair on the back porch, determined to relax for a few minutes at least. As I sipped my tea, Flapjack jumped into my lap and curled up, purring as I stroked his sleek orange fur."
The author also does a fine job of creating a strong sense of place, and we soon begin to fall in love with Wildwood Cove just as much as Marley does—at least, until she becomes the killer's target herself. A heart-thumping conclusion gives this well-written book a most satisfying end, and I look forward to reading more in this fun new series!
Note: This is a book I discovered through NetGalley, a free service which allows authors and publishers to share their books with reviewers, bloggers, journalists, librarians, and others. Go here if you'd like to check out NetGalley for yourself, something I definitely recommend if you're a big reader who likes to write reviews!