Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review - Bowled Over: A Vintage Kitchen Mystery

Bowled Over: A Vintage Kitchen Mystery

By: Victoria Hamilton
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0425251928
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: April 23, 2013

Jaymie Leighton never figured that a hobby could turn into such a lucrative and fun job. She collected vintage kitchenware and cookbooks and whipped up a recipe for a successful business combining the two. People could picnic with a passion the old-fashioned way when they rented one of her themed picnic baskets filled to the brim with old dishes and a picnic with all the fixins. It was a blast to the past that even Lily Haxworth Wallace, vintage cookbook author, would give thumbs up to. Even curmudgeon Mrs. Trelawney Bellwood finally had to admit that the old stuff was better. One blast from Jaymie’s not-so-grand past walked into the Queensville Emporium to pick up a rental.

It was Jaymie’s old nemesis from Wolverhampton High, Kathy Cooper Hofstadter. Blast was the word for it when she tried to make small talk. “The fact that you can stand there,” she snarled, “and claim not to know what you did just astounds me.” Huh? True that Kathy was “the queen of holding grudges,” but seriously not knowing what she did was insane. Jaymie was going to the St. Clair Regatta to picnic with Daniel Collins even though she was secretly pining for Joel Anderson. Daniel just could be her “someone like you,” but she had to give him a chance. Looked like Kathy wasn’t giving anyone a break because she decided to lambaste Johnny Stanko for the heck of it.

Jaymie had nicknamed Kathy’s then future husband “Pooper Cooper” in high school, but that couldn’t be it. The St. Clair regatta had once again drawn to a close and the fireworks were over. Jaymie’s sister warned her about going into the disgusting public restroom, but she couldn’t have foreseen what she was about to find. “You found another body,” Detective Zachary Christian exclaimed. “What are the odds, in this fly-speck town, that one woman would find two bodies?” Things weren’t looking up for Jaymie because someone clunked Kathy over the head with a bowl of potato salad ... hers. The cause of their “subversive feud” would remain a mystery, but she had to solve this one or she just might be singing the blues behind bars.

Jaymie Leighton is really under pressure to find Kathy’s killer when it looks like she did it. Kathy Cooper Hofstadter is hotter than a pressure cooker ready to blow and even after her murder things are explosive in Queensville. This mystery has just the right mix of small town romance, a lost love, and those long, but not forgotten feuds that made it really interesting. Of course there were the small town characters that we all know, characters who just could have done it, including those mean gals in high school. Anyone could be toast in this one because Jaymie can’t seem to figure out whodunit until the very end. A fun cozy, but you sure won’t catch the killer unless Columbo is your middle name!

Quill says: If you want a cozy mystery with a lively vintage feel, Bowled Over is the perfect addition to your collection!

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