Title: Wreath Between the Lines
Series: Cookbook Nook Mystery
By: Daryl Wood Gerber
ISBN: 1946069833 (ISBN13: 9781946069832)
Author’s Website: http://www.darylwoodgerber.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
The holidays are Jenna Hart’s favorite time of year, but just as she’s decorating the Cookbook Nook for all the festive events, her imperious older sister makes a surprise visit, anxious that her husband’s been more naughty than nice. To make matters worse, her father’s good friend Jake shows up on her doorstep with a frantic report that his friend has been murdered—trussed with Christmas lights and impaled with a tree star.
Worried that Jake was the intended victim, Jenna makes a list of suspects and checks it twice. Swapping her Santa’s hat for a sleuthing cap, she gets busy investigating Jake’s long-lost sister, his Grinch of a neighbor, and a stamp collector who covets Jake’s most treasured piece. When Jake himself is poisoned and nearly dies, Jenna knows she’ll have to do whatever it takes to corner the culprit before it’s lights out for Jake . . . (Goodreads)
Wreath Between the Lines is the seventh book in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber. I think this is one instance where starting this late in the game may have been a negative. I have loved Ms. Gerber’s writing in the past… and don’t get me wrong…. I enjoyed this book, but I felt like I was missing something.
We begin the tale with Jenna Hart driving around to various neighbourhoods (five to be exact) looking at the houses decorated for Christmas – with her ginger cat – Tigger sitting in her lap. Now that would definitely be a feat in my world as my cat is totally frightened of riding in a car and would not wait patiently looking out the window. But, this is fiction and I love that Jenna takes her cat out to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas (after all – during this hour long ride Christmas music is playing on the radio).
Jenna co-owns a culinary bookstore with her aunt, called the Cookbook Nook. I thought it quite clever that Ms. Gerber introduced real book titles and authors well known to the cozy mystery genre.
All is well in Crystal Cove as its residents are preparing for the annual Crystal Cove Christmas Festival (this years theme is…wreaths). Loved the descriptions of the unique wreaths displayed at each of the individual shops in Fisherman’s Village (including the Cookbook Nook).
Before long, there is a murder victim, who is trussed up in Christmas lights and impaled by a tree star. As usual with cozy mysteries, the protagonist (Jenna) works through all the potential suspects (and a couple I did not even anticipate). The story was easy to read and follow, except I did find maybe one or two too many sub story lines so that while it did fuse together in the end, it did seem a bit much. A few twists and red herrings to make it interesting. Guessing whodunit was not too difficult, though the motive was, especially when there were so many suspects to choose from (some with possibly stronger motives?).
I quite enjoyed the cover art. Very eye catching with lots of detail to look over.
I will rectify my slight feelings of discontent by going back and starting the series from book one and when I get to book seven – I may well re-read it the title again ☺