review: Murder’s No Votive Confidence (Book #1: Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery Series) by by Christin Brecher

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Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .

Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptial promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot, tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.

When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police Captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be cancelling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.

Source: Purchase Rating: 4/5 stars

Stella Wright absolutely delights in her work.  She’s a candle maker with a small store in Nantucket.  While her store does well, it’s her specialty work that pays the bills.  Stella has knack for understanding scent and scent combinations which means she can produce absolutely unique products for specific clients.

Stella’s latest client is a bride-to-be and Stella’s creations for her wedding are beyond anything she has ever produced.  The scent is unique and perfect for the couple and will certainly be a highlight of their wedding.  In addition to the unity candle, Stella has created a whole host of candles in a variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and scents that will compliment every aspect of the wedding weekend.

And then there’s a death in the family, he’s the one member no one liked, and his death is caused by Stella’s beautiful, one-of-a-kind unity candle.  WOW!!  From one moment to the next the perfect wedding and weekend has turned into a nightmare for all involved.  The bride can’t understand what’s going on and if her fiancé may be involved, the bride’s mother is nearly giddy at the death, a world famous actress has conveniently come to town and is somehow linked to the whole sordid affair, and Stella is determined to figure out the whole hot mess.

Though Stella wouldn’t normally become involved in something so serious and scary, her reputation is on the line, and more importantly, one of the town’s locals has been arrested and there’s not a chance he’s responsible.  Stella is bound and determined to clear his name and, in the process, ensure the bride has the wedding she spent her life dreaming about.  With each new discovery, Stella becomes convinced that solving the crime is going to be far harder than she originally imagined.  There are people involved with secrets they don’t want exposed and will do anything to keep those secrets dead and buried. 

The Bottom Line: I found Murder’s No Votive Confidence to be a solid start to this new series.  I won’t lie, I picked this series because I liked the idea of a candle shop and all the details and description such a character would entail.  I wasn’t disappointed on that count and got a good story to go along with the smelly bits.  Outside of the candles, I quite liked Stella and the circle of blue hairs (the Candleers) who frequent her store, and the mysterious little cat who seemingly knows the answers to everything even before Stella does.  In all, I got a good cozy mystery, a wonderful little group of characters who should prove quite entertaining in editions to come, and a primary setting that is enchanting.

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