The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder by Marla A. White The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder by Marla A. White
Series: Christmas Cookies
Published by The Wild Rose Press on November 9, 2021
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 97
Format: eARC
Purchase at Bookshop.org
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four-stars

After injuring herself on the job as a Los Angeles cop, Mel O’Rourke leaves the force battered both physically and mentally. Looking for a fresh start, she moves to a quiet mountain town and opens the Babbling Brook Inn. Excited for her new life, Mel decides to participate in the town’s holiday cookie contest, but her newfound joy goes up in smoke when one of her guests turns up dead in her lobby.

Mel is tempted to attribute the death to natural causes but when another guest dies, her cop instincts kick in. The local Sheriff tells her to stand down, but Mel can’t let it go. With everything on the line, she has to push through her fears to catch the killer before more bodies drop, perhaps even her own.

Mel is a former cop, now the owner of the Babbling Brook Inn. When she finds a guest dead in front of the fireplace in her lobby, her instincts won’t let her believe it was a simple heart attack.

The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder is a fun, Christmassy novella. Mel is a good character, smart, tenacious. She’s afraid the death will scare guests away from her inn, so decides she has to do some investigating with the help of a local restaurant owner, Jackson, and the town doctor. At the same time, she’s trying to perfect her grandma’s cookie recipe for the town’s contest. A good cozy mystery sleuth always has to juggle real life and solving the crime.

I was suspicious of the killer pretty quickly and it turned out I was right. That didn’t stop me from enjoying the book though. The clues are well-placed and the story moves along quickly. We had a couple of suspects and Mel tries to stay suspicious even of the people she likes.

I love a good Christmassy novella, especially one that involves a murder or two and cookies. I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a starlight mint surprise cookie. I may have to try making them, but maybe leaving off the walnut. I did find one recipe that calls cornflakes instead, so I might try that.

About Marla A. White

Marla is a television development executive with experience producing prime-time series and award-nominated television movies in multiple genres. She is also the author of mysteries cozy and otherwise.

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