Sunday, April 16, 2023

A Doomful of Sugar - Maple Syrup Mysteries #1

A Doomful of Sugar is the first Maple Syrup cozy mystery by Catherine Bruns. Released 25th Oct 2022 by Sourcebooks on their Poisoned Pen Press imprint, it's 336 pages and is available in mass market paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

It's nice to find a new series by a popular and prolific author. This is a fun small town farm cozy set in Vermont set in and around protagonist Leila's family's maple sugar farm. She returns to her hometown to try to help her family after her father's violent death. Things aren't on the level and when suspicion falls on her brother, she determines to get to the bottom of the mystery before anyone else gets killed.

This is a fun, very light, well written murder mystery with an intelligent young female protagonist. In small-town cozy style, the book is peopled by characters who are by turns nosy, exasperating, fun, or just odd. It's a nice distraction to figure out "whodunit", and the plot moves along at a good clip and doesn't drag or hiccup. The story is lighthearted and flows well. The language is clean and the violence occurs off-page. 

The author has also included some maple syrup themed recipes in the back of the book.

Four stars. Very fun. It would make a good selection for public library acquisition, home use, or possibly a buddy read.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.     

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