Thank you to Jill Burkinshaw for oganising this blog tour and to Faith Martin and Joffe Publishing for an ARC copy to read in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is.
Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective.
Please note this book was first published as “AN INVISIBLE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.
Jenny Starling has her dream job cooking for Lord and Lady Avonsleigh in a genuine castle.
Then one of the castle’s treasures, a fabulously jewelled dagger, is used to murder a staff member. The victim is found stabbed through the heart in the conservatory.
Lady Avonsleigh insists that Jenny help the police find the murderer.
But how can Jenny solve this case when the murder was committed in front of several reliable witnesses, none of whom saw a thing?
This is the fourth of a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page.
Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis.
Meet Jenny Starling
In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch, and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother. Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van, and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.
Each time a new Jenny Starling tour arrives in my email I get really excited. Faith Martin never fails to impress me with her lighthearted writing style and her lovable characters. With The Castle Mystery she’s more than done it again. I have to say that this one is my favourite so far.
Jenny arrives to a more permanent position than usual working as a cook to the Avonsleigh family. It doesn’t take long before Jenny begins to notice a little tension amongst the staff and surprise! surprise! Before long there’s a seemingly unmotivated murder! Using her usual charm, wit and instinct, Jenny sets out to solve the murder by looking closely at all the suspects and so finds not everything is as it seems. With many suspects having motive and an impossible task of figuring out the how, can Jenny solve this one?
Ms Martin always chooses the most beautifully English settings for her novels and it’s one of the reasons I love this series so much. I love the insight into the lives of castle dwelling, boat owning people and the settings are describes so well, I am always transported there. This book is no different and for a few hours – I lived in that castle amongst the works of art, the grand halls and the beautiful surroundings.
The Lord and Lady are such likable and mischievous characters I fell in love with them easily. There’s nothing as fun as mischievous older characters with a bit of a spark. Jenny of course is such a brilliant woman, down to Earth and no-nonsense with a talent for cooking the most mouth-watering meals to the point that I often sit daydreaming about her dishes in the middle of reading.
I had great fun contemplating all the little clues that are scattered throughout the story. There are so many red herrings to work through it’s almost impossible to fully work out the who, the why and the how until it is revealed but it’s rare to actually have so much fun reading a book – it becomes a very interactive experience.
If you love a good cosy, locked room mystery then I highly recommend this series. They don’t need to be read in any order so check out the one that tickles your fancy the most and start there.
I’m wondering now where Ms Martin will take us for Jenny’s next adventure.
Read my reviews of the other books in the series.
Faith Martin was born in Oxford, and has spent all her life within twenty miles of the university city, even working at Somerville College for five years before turning to writing full-time. The author of the popular DI Hillary Greene novels, she also writes more classic-style ‘whodunits’ under the pen name Joyce Cato, but began her writing career as Maxine Barry, winning an award for penning romance novels! A popular writer for over 25 years, she has had nearly 50 novels published so far. Her hobbies include walking her now ageing dog, wildlife-watching, reading and (reluctantly) gardening.