Deborah Garner, Cranberry Bluff (2014)
The new check-ins at adorable Cranberry Cottage B&B are more, ahem, interesting than they might seem. Slightly batty old lady? Honeymoon couple? Reclusive businessman? Author in search of a little quiet? Think again... Plus, they're all here for pretty much the same reason; and some of them have met before (although they're pretending otherwise).
The fun of this book is the ongoing contrast between a cute, boutique-y tourist town and the almost cartoonish scale of intrigue that unfolds. Now, less tastefully written, this could have drawn eyerolls and oh-please's-- but author Deborah Garner plays it out with a light touch that kept me smiling. Not at the edge of my seat (low on suspense); not invested in one character's plight (it's a true ensemble cast); but happy enough to spend a few hours at this pleasant B&B, where kooky characters advance their secret missions. Sadie Kramer was my favorite. (And next time I'm at a B&B, I'll be wondering what all of the guests are really up to!)
Before beginning this book blog I'd never heard the phrase "cozy mystery," but I think that this novel must epitomize it. "Cozy" is certainly the word... Oh yes, and there's lots of food in here, too. Mushroom-and cheese frittatas, Reuben sandwiches, chicken pot pie, cranberry scones, wine and cheese. Read it while you're hungry! A (brief) cookbook is appended.
I purchased this novel through Amazon during a recent $.99 sale.