Review: Murder at the Taffy Shop (Book #2: Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery Series) by Maddie Day

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When your mother is an astrologist and your dad is a minister, you learn to keep an open mind. Which is just what Mac loves to do–exercise her mind by puzzling out fictional clues in the mystery novels she reads and discusses with her Cozy Capers Book Group.

But now Mac’s friend Gin has found herself in a sticky situation. After wealthy genealogist Beverly Ruchart is found dead outside Gin’s taffy shop, the candy maker becomes a person of interest. When it’s revealed that Beverly was poisoned the night Gin brought a box of taffy to a dinner party at Beverly’s house, she’s bumped to the top of the suspects list. It’s up to Mac and her Cozy Capers crime solvers to unwrap this real-life mystery. But this time they might have bitten off more than they can chew…

Source: NetGalley and Kensington Rating: 4/5 stars

Beverly Ruchart is not known for her winning personality.  In fact, with the exception of just a handful of people, Beverly isn’t really liked by most people in her sleepy little seaside town.  Her prickly personality has made her something of a recluse so when she winds up dead outside the local medical clinic, there aren’t many in town who are surprised.

The two who are surprised are Mac Almeida and her best friend, Gin.  Shortly before their morning walk, Gin and Mac find Ms. Ruchart crumpled on the sidewalk with no obvious explanation for her passing.  Though Gin and Mac only found the body, it soon becomes clear – evidence! – that Gin is the prime suspect on the short list held by the police.  Gin will be the first to admit Ms. Ruchart wasn’t her favorite person, but she certainly had no cause to murder the poor, old lady. 

Once again, Mac and her cozy mystery group are drawn into the investigation to save one of their own.  What the group quickly finds is that not only was Ms. Ruchart generally not liked by the community, but she was also disliked by most of her remaining family.  What’s more, the dearly departed was in possession of quite a large estate which always brings out the vultures and exposes motives.  With just a few pokes and prods, Mac and her friends find there are motives galore for the death of Ms. Ruchart and sorting through the mess is going to take real skill and determination.

The Bottom Line: I had a bit more fun reading this book than the first as all the groundwork was already in place.  The characters and the setting were already familiar making those details a garnish rather than the meat of the story.  I did quite like the plot of this story, but I also found myself very invested in one of the smaller plotlines, Mac’s relationship with her boyfriend.  On top of trying to solve a murder, Mac also has to deal with some hard questions that have arisen in her personal life.  While I liked all these things, there was one bit of this book that had me absolutely in stitches . . . . Belle the African Grey parrot!  Belle is a delight throughout the book, but that last scene or two at the end really brought everything together in a most hysterical way.  If nothing else, I am coming back for book three because of the bird 😊

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