Author: Emily James
Series: Maple Syrup Mysteries #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Book Blurb: When struggling criminal defense attorney Nicole Fitzhenry-Dawes inherits her uncle’s maple syrup farm in Michigan, she thinks it might be time for a career change—hopefully one that allows her to stay as far away from murderers and liars as possible.
She couldn’t have been more wrong.
Her uncle’s suicide quickly begins to look like it wasn’t a suicide at all, but the chief of police is reluctant to investigate it as a murder and soil the reputation of his serene little tourist town. Nicole has no choice but to search for the killer on her own.
And as she closes in, she not only risks becoming the murderer’s next victim, but also starts to wonder if knowing the truth is ever worse than believing the lie...
Again, I hated this cover. It put me off reading this book - but I'm glad I gave it a chance.
This was a solid first in a series. What a gem. The writing was tight and flowed nicely. I've complained in the past that some cozy mysteries lack depth. As a result, sometimes I can't fully engage with the story. Not so here. Nicole is a solid main character- flawed and unsure of herself, but stubborn and determined once she finally sets her mind to it. You see the potential for growth.
This tourist town has some interesting characters, but uh not very many women apparently as Nicole seems to mainly interact with men. Thus the half star ding. It was my one beef and one I didn't notice til the end. I do want to see if the author remedies this in her next book.
The romance was the weakest point. Not because of how it was written- that actually wasn't bad. But I made it almost halfway through the book excited cuz there was no love triangle and then... suddenly... there was. A weak one at that. Sigh.
There are other mysteries lurking in the background, the minor characters have some real history going on. I'm looking forward to answering some of the questions raised.
I am cautiously optimistic about this series. This is an above average cozy outting, so I would recommend.