This is another first in a series by Leena Clover. I read these 2 back to back as they were part of a boxed set to try the first books in her series. This one is set in northern California on the coastal town of Dolphin Bay. The setting and it's descriptions definitely make me miss living in CA.
Unfortunately, much like the Strawberries and Strangers book (see blog review) included in the box set, the main character was annoying. I found her to be rude and abrasive at time, although Anna Butler was a little more appealing than Jenny King.
Anna can relate to the young man whom she is helping to clear from suspicion of murder. She herself is under unfair scrutiny for the death of her husband a few years prior. I do find the degree to which the mayor is pursuing revenge against her a bit much.
I also find Anna's daughter, Cassie, to be a bit all over the map. For a grown woman she still acts very immaturely. The relationship between mother and daughter is probably portrayed fairly given the circumstances of Cassie's lack of motivation and the fact she is living at home again. The dynamics of this relationship will need to progress in the series to make the story realistic.
The actual murder mystery itself is a bit unrealistic. Small town life is portrayed as everyone in everyone's business when it comes to Anna's relationship with the mayor and how it influences townspeople. Contrastingly the fact the victim was with another suspect and no one has noted this and reported it to the police seems to be inconsistent with the portrayal of Dolphin Cove.
I hope the mysteries and personalities are tightened up as the series progresses or this may be one that I do not pursue past the next book.
Raspberry Chocolate Murder by Leena Clover
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I liked this story but I am hoping I grow to find the main character less irritating as the series goes on. She was a bit short tempered which is probably realistic given everything she’s going through but I don’t think friends and Associates would behave that way. I did think the mystery had a good storyline even if the ending was a bit abrupt. I will continue with the series
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The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
- Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021 Book #55
- Back List Reader #Backlistreader Book #65
- Calendar of Crime #CalendarOfCrime2021
- Cruisin thru Cozies free choice 26
- Cloak & Dagger #CloakDaggerChal Book #49
- Craving for Cozies Book #42
- The Unofficial Magnus Archives Challenge #36. Basira: MC is a bookworm
- Medical Examiner Challenge 1 Toe Tags
- Beachcomber Challenge
- Crime Scenes
- Row 1
- Pathway or forest
- Row 2
- Rock, brick, blunt object
- Detectives- Anna Butler