January isn’t the season for the seaside, but the big Fire and Ice festival is keeping bookstore owner Addie busy. Amid the plans for a fireworks display and an ice-carving competition, she’s also dog sitting for a friend in the hospital. When Addie goes to her friend’s house to gather supplies, she notices an interesting item on the nightstand which belongs to her shop assistant, Paige: a very valuable copy of the beloved children’s book The Secret Garden.
But Addie’s blood runs cold when she finds something else: a dead body behind the bakery next door to her shop. Martha, the bakery owner, has no alibi–and has been seen in a heated argument with the victim. And the next thing Addie knows, that first edition has gone missing. Is there a connection between the body and the treasured tome? If there is, it’s up to Addie to find a killer with a motive as hidden as Frances Hodgson Burnett’s famous garden…
Source: NetGalley, Kensington, and Purchase Rating: 4/5 stars
The Bottom Line: One of the hallmarks of good series (for me!) is being away from the series for a while and falling right back into the latest book like you never left! Addie, her cozy little town, and her wonderful bookstore all fit the bill of a welcoming old friend and I was delighted to return to this series after time away.
Like so many others, Addie doesn’t go looking for trouble, but it certainly knows where to find her. In the short time she’s lived in town, Addie has solved several crimes and the locals now know they can count her to dive into any mischief. Chief among those residents is Addie’s work neighbor, Martha, the surly baker who would make a good suspect for nearly any crime committed within city limits. Getting Martha off the hook isn’t going to be easy when the victim is known jerk hellbent on hurting Martha’s daughter and granddaughter. I still love all the twists and turns in this series and how every book has a bookish twist. Addie is one of my all-time favorite cozy mystery characters and I don’t ever seem to get enough of her sleuthing, her delightful town, or her circle of friends who always seem to step up when Addie needs them most. The real sense of community is one of the things I love most about this series and that shines through once again in this book. There are even a few little bits at the end that has me wondering about future plotlines and character development. All very good signs for the continuation of this series.