Murder with Clotted Cream
Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery #5
By Karen Rose Smith
Author’s website: karenrosesmith.com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
A catering job has come in for Daisy’s Tea Garden in Pennsylvania’s Amish country–but death will be served before dessert . . .
Margaret Vaughn has hired Daisy to provide afternoon tea for her theater group. A local girl who left long ago for an acting career in New York, Margaret has returned home–with a multimillionaire husband in tow. But while Daisy bustles around Margaret’s historic farmhouse, she senses that there’s tension behind the scenes. Then she discovers the hostess on the floor of the pantry–dead and covered with clotted cream.
Barely recovered from her previous sleuthing adventure, Daisy joins forces with the former detective she’s been dating to help solve the case. Should she cast suspicion on the stars of the upcoming play? Can Margaret’s sister shine a spotlight on potential culprits? Or are there clues to be found in the victim’s past? With plenty of family stress of her own to deal with, all Daisy knows is she better act fast.
Daisy finds herself up to her neck in cream and death in Murder with Clotted Cream, the fifth book in the charming Daisy’s Tea Garden Mystery Series. With lots of emphasis on family, it is sure to please series’ fans who have come to love the characters and readers who enjoy a culinary theme.
Former actress Margaret Vaughn has returned to her hometown with her rich husband with aspirations of opening a community theater. Relations are tense among the cast and crew of the premier production, but Daisy convinces Margaret to continue with her planned afternoon tea with hopes of bringing everyone closer together. When Daisy discovers Margaret in the pantry stabbed and covered in clotted cream, she has no desire to get involved with the investigation. After all, her last inquiry left her with symptoms of PTSD, and she has a new grandbaby on whom to dote. However, people and circumstances keep pulling her in, and she cannot help but want to uncover the secrets of Margaret’s past and unmask a killer.
There are plenty of suspects to consider and information to ferret out. They mystery is well plotted and executed, but it takes a back seat to everything going on with Daisy and her family. The story is not balanced, and the mystery suffers a bit in my opinion. This is not to say that I do not enjoy Daisy’s personal life because I do. The characters make the series, and the author deals with some difficult subjects with a deft hand. The realities of adoption, PTSD, and post partum depression are handled with respect and care. I vacillated between the suspects, and the killer’s identity did not become clear until the very last moment.
As always, there is a lot of emphasis on food and all things tea, and I greatly enjoy the tea shop theme. The genteel act of taking afternoon tea mimics the pace and atmosphere of the book. In an ever busy world, there should always be time for a cup of tea and scone, right?
I liked Murder with Clotted Cream. It is full of emotion with family the focus and heart of the story. It has all of the elements that cozy fans seek out in a good read.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*