Lost and Found by Helena Marchmont

Lost and Found by Helena Marchmont

Like all the Bunburry books, Lost and Found is light and cozy. This time around, Alfie meets his half-sister and his niece. Both are warm, charming women, but the niece has a problem Alfie is determined to help her solve. I should have figured out the answer to the main mystery, it's a short novella and there are only so many characters. I can't say I loved the mystery itself, but I read these more to spend time with the characters than for the plot. Alfie and his friends (and now family) are a delightful, colorful bunch. ...
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Poison Ivy by Helena Marchmont

Poison Ivy by Helena Marchmont

Poison Ivy is the 12th in the Bunburry mysteries and I don't think it would be as good as a standalone - half of the fun is knowing the characters and how their relationships work. I was quite happy that Oscar is in town for most of this one, along with the rest of the usual cast. Emma and Alfie are planning a surprise party for Marg and Liz. At the hotel, Alfie meets a beautiful interesting woman. It turns out she's an old acquaintance of Oscar's and he's sure she's a murderer. This was another good entry in the series. The mystery had a twist or two. The characters are their delightful selves and I like how some of the newer ones have settled into recurring roles. It was a nice way to spend a few hours. ...
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Murder at the Magnolia Inn by Helena Marchmont

Murder at the Magnolia Inn by Helena Marchmont

I really enjoy the Bunburry stories. The characters are fun and quirky and the setting is a typical, lovely small town, with an incompetent police sergeant. This time around Alfie, Liz, Marge, and Emma agree to help the two women who are developing the old manor house into a hotel. At first, they're dealing with vandalism, then a man is killed. The characters are what bring me back to this series. Alfie is funny and in this one his women troubles are mostly set aside. Marge and Liz are smart older women and I wish I had their fudge recipe. Emma is caring and I don't know how/why she puts up with the sergeant. Oscar has an interesting part too. I'm hoping we start seeing him around Bunburry more. The mystery was a bit rushed, but the solution made sense and I liked that it took all of our investigators to find the various bits that came together in the end. I'm looking...
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Sinners and Saints by Helena Marchmont

Sinners and Saints by Helena Marchmont

Sinners and Saints was a fun addition to the series. And do read them in order. They are short and you get to know the colorful cast better that way. Here we get to know a bit more about the vicar, Philip, who has been a good friend to Alfie, but has a pretty big secret. This time around the crime is a theft and vandalism, and while Philip is a suspect, Alfie and the crew can't quite believe it. I don't understand why Harold Wilson is still a police sergeant, he's worse than incompetent. Yes, cozies often need bumbling police, but Wilson is a little over the edge. Thankfully, this series relies more on characters than plot. I was disappointed that the culprit didn't show up at all until the very end. He walks into the scene, admits he did it, and Emma takes care of the situation. Sorry for the spoiler, but you knew the vicar didn't do it....
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Deadlier than Fiction by Helena Marchmont

Deadlier than Fiction by Helena Marchmont

This time around much of the action is center on the new Bunburry public library Alfie has helped set up. It's in the massive home of Mrs. Radford-Jones, who is a wonderful character, caring and proper and rich. A widow comes to the "Bunberry Triangle" convinced her husband was frightened to death, so scared of something that he had a heart attack. Turns out the man was the second member of a book club to die. The story is good and I love the new characters. Alfie doesn't actually do much investigating, more stumbles onto things. And really should stop worrying about Betty, who has still not come back or communicated with him. Liz and Marge have very little to do this time around either. While I loved the new characters, the plot was a bit lacking. There was too much "we just happened to be talking about this yesterday," and "I just happened to wander past her empty cottage." Really...
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Sheep Secrets by Helena Marchmont

Sheep Secrets by Helena Marchmont

In Sheep Secrets, Emma convinces Alfie to join an outdoor survival class in order to help save a friend's good name. A man who was taking the course was found dead at the bottom of a quarry, presumably an accident, but still a threat to the business. I kind of wish Alfie's love life, or lack thereof, were left out of the books. Should he date Emma? Should he hope Betty comes back? I don't really care honestly. The characters and setting are fun and quirky enough that I don't think it needs Alfie brooding about women. I know a budding romance is a feature in most cozy mysteries, but it's also the part that is most likely to annoy me. Oscar gets to help out a bit in this mystery. The dead man had co-workers in London, so Oscar does a bit of talking and digging, which makes a nice addition to the investigation in Bunburry. The mystery was...
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