Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.
Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident—or did someone even the score?
Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.
SERIES: Food Lovers’ Village Mystery #4
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
RELEASE DATE: June 8, 2017
Other Books In This Series
“Blame it on the rhubarb.”
Fair warning: Don’t read this book while you’re hungry, unless you have some good snacks close at hand. With a series called the “Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries”, one would think this might be self-explanatory but I don’t want anyone to say I sent you in unprepared 😉
This is the 4th book in the series, but the 1st one from its new publishing home so it can easily be read as a standalone. The references to past books are mostly spoiler-free but still whet my curiosity to go back and catch up on the first three when I have time.
Erin is a great heroine/amateur sleuth, and I really like her character, her family, her business, her boyfriend… even her cats (just don’t Zuzu). They all have solid relationships with each other – not much drama, which is so refreshing. The drama is reserved for the murder and the jazz festival, and the copious amount of suspects in play. In true cozy mystery fashion, the town is full of people who had motive for murder. Some had opportunity, too. Solving the case kept Erin – and me – busy and engaged throughout the novel.
A sweet (tear-inducing) subplot gives Treble at the Jam Fest a bit more dimension than the typical cozy, and I’m interested in future books in the series to see how that all progresses. This subplot is meaningful in the little things, and the author has done a great job – through small gestures and little scenes – of conveying warmth and affection and friendship. Without making it seem that the main plot is conflicting at all with this subplot… or vice versa.
Bottom Line: Sweet and tart, just like a good strawberry-rhubarb jam, Treble at the Jam Fest is perfect for longtime fans of the series as well as newcomers who aren’t yet sure what to expect. It’s not as quirky as some cozy mysteries; instead, it’s warm and (gasp!) cozy with mouthwatering food to send you in search of the nearest specialty food shop. The mystery is well-plotted and the solution is not immediately obvious. While it might be a bit slow in places, overall this is a very enjoyable read and a series that’s now on my radar!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Great book!
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that this book does contain some mild cursing and implications of intimate activity.
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.
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What about you? What’s your favorite flavor of jam?