The Killing in the Cafe: A Fethering Mystery. Severn House Publishers. March 2016. 192 pp. ISBN#: 9781780290812.
Polly’s Cake Shop is a village bakery shop that is pure delectable muffins and pastries and a comforting place to spend some time with several cups of tea and one of the desserts. It now appears it’s up for sale and it’s owner is the epitome of apathy when it comes to the sale of the shop, seeing it as time to end the financial venture and get out with as much money as she can get from the sale.
The end of this business winds up compelling many residents of the town to form an action committee to save the shop, lest a commercial Starbucks wind up replacing the cozy little restaurant. It’s a bizarre bunch of characters comprising this venture, but their goal is to have a group of volunteers take over running the same cake shop business as a community venture. As members vie for control, the committee and other town residents are shocked to find a murder has occurred in their village. Jude winds up being snagged to run the shop and Carole has mixed feelings about the whole affair. This is the 17th mystery that Jude and Carole, two friends of opposite character types, set out to solve.
Rather coincidentally, along comes an unknown business entrepreneur who volunteers to cash the renovation necessary for the project. At first, the murdered man with a bullet in his temple is unknown but very quickly is identified and our two heroines begin to explore his background, as well as the original owner of the cake shop and some other connected characters.
The Killing in the Café… is an old-fashioned, clever mystery that keeps the reader guessing all the way to the end. The quirkiness of the characters lends to the intrigue of it all and the who-done-it, eerie quality remains to the very surprising end. Relationships run awry motivate the crime and provide a satisfying end that is ironic indeed! This is a stand-alone story but will make many readers want to read the other mystery novels in this series! Nicely plotted, Simon Brett.