Sunday, 22 September 2019


Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Published:  11 December 2018

The Birthday Mystery was first published as Birthdays Can Be Murder under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato

Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These classic-style mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective.

Jenny Starling is catering the twenty-first birthday party of a pair of posh twins, Alicia and Justin. But when she arrives at their parent’s country house, she is immediately met by the police. A young man has drowned in the pond. Was it an accident or murder? 
Then just after midnight everyone gathers for a champagne toast. But one of the guests falls down dead. 
The police are baffled and there is a whole party full of suspects. 
But when it comes to someone adding the extra ingredient of poison to her own precious recipes, Jenny isn't going to take it lying down. She has a reputation to protect. Jenny Starling won't stop until the murderer is found.

The Birthday Mystery is the first in a new series of cozy mysteries and features caterer Jenny Starling who travels around cooking for whoever employs her.

Arriving in her old red van, she is tasked with carrying out the catering for a wealthy family, who already have a murder in the grounds of their stately home, which is full of tension and strife.

When another murder is committed and her food is implicated, Jenny is determined to clear her name.

Jenny is likeable, she has a quick mind, a kind heart, and is perceptive.

This is an enjoyable, complex, but not complicated, mystery with several suspects, a good assortment of characters, some likeable, some disagreeable.

Although I enjoyed this story, my only gripe would be the many references to Jenny's size which got slightly tiresome after what felt like the hundredth time, such as this quote

Like many before him, Keith was beginning to suspect that this strange, large but sexy and deeply enigmatic woman saw a whole lot more than you wanted her to .......

Yes, Jenny is a buxom lady in her late 20's but do we really need reminding of this in every chapter!

However, I am always on the look out for more good new cozy mystery series and in Faith Martin's new series I think I've found another one to add to my favourites!

My thanks to publishers Joffe Books and Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel

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