My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
There are lots of reasons why I choose a novel. For instance, I won a giveaway last year for the second book in the Hamptons Murder Mystery series written by Carrie Doyle and enjoyed reading it. Given the author doesn’t live too far from me in NYC and I’ve been to the Hamptons where the books take place, it felt like a good match… so I’m reading the series from the beginning starting with the first one, Death on Windmill Way. 4.5 stars to this wonderful gem that helped me jump out of a small reading slump last week where I tried three books and couldn’t get into any of them. This one left me excited to read again, and I’ll soon be picking up the next in series to keep moving forward.
Antonia moved to the Hamptons ~8 months earlier on a whim. She’d been in an awful relationship, lived in California, and needed a fresh start. She purchased an inn (sight unseen) based on a friend’s suggestion and immediately remodeled it. When the book kicks off, she’s just re-opened post-summer season to good reviews but is still struggling to make ends meet. Antonia slowly learns of a curse haunting past owners of the inn which steers her in the direction of researching the history she should’ve learned about before buying the place (she knows she messed up, too!). Unfortunately, she learns the curse is more than just a rumor – someone has been killing them, but why? Between former and new staff at the inn, some residents in the town, a few friends she makes, and the local reporter, Antonia uses her ingenuity to solve the case. The police aren’t even involved until a second murder takes place, but since it looks like an accident at first, they’re not inclined to do much.
My absolute favorite part of the book occurs when Antonia gathers all the suspects together at a dinner party and one by one picks them off… um, I mean… reveals their secrets or explains why they could be the killer. She leaves someone for last, and it’s a doozy! I had two possible culprits in mind, and I was right with one of them. That said, it’s not obvious, and the weaving in and out of everyone’s alibis and motives is truly a great story. Antonia is a strong lead character, very well developed, but with a few personality traits that might irk some. She’s a tad judgmental (equally against all people in an understandable way) but overly honest and dedicated. I really look forward to see how she develops over the series and getting to meet the rest of the regulars in the town.
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars to Carrie Doyle‘s Death on Lily Pond Lane, her second in the Hampton’s Murder Mystery series. I usually start a series with the first novel, but I was given a copy of the second one and decided to dive right in. And I’m glad I did… it’s a great book. But now I’m a little disappointed I missed out on what sounds like some great intro and backstory in the first book. I will definitely go back to read it.
Chef Antonia is fresh off solving a murder when she finds herself a new dead body in one of the Hampton houses she manages as a part-time job when not cooking delicious meals in her East Hampton Inn. This time it’s Warner Caruthers, a young guy looking to break into the movie business with his sneaky reveal of Hollywood stars’ nasty secrets, who turns up dead in the bathtub of a house Antonia is checking on one afternoon. And then an elderly woman who visits Antonia’s Inn for weekly tea seemingly in her sleep, followed by the difficult ex-wife of one of the men on Warner’s dastardly documentary. And let’s not forget about that peculiar can of Lysol that turns up in the bathroom near Warner… But how does it all fit together?
Along the path, Antonia begins to date Sam, a new chef in town with a mysterious side, but still pines a bit for Nick, a famous actor considering splitting from his wife. She gets closer to friends Genevieve (a fun character) and Joseph (a writer in a scooter), builds her business and deals with her difficult past divorce from a nasty man. Each day, she grows stronger, and each day, she gets closer to solving the puzzle… right up to the point where the killer realizes Antonia’s figured out the mystery and tries to kill her too!
1. Antonia is fantastic. She’s strong, smart, pretty, organized, honorable and fun. You root for her the whole time. She’s not whiny and weak, afraid of being chased by the killer. She just goes for it. And it makes for a great story. I would want to be friends with her.
2. All the characters are strong, and the plot is complex. It could be any number of solutions along the way, all reasonable. And when it unfolds, it is a twist — and believable. I should have been able to guess it, but I didn’t this time. I had my mind stuck on a detail that I was fairly sure was important, but in the end, it was not what I thought it was. I love to be stumped!
3. I read 90 pages one night and then 300 the next day. Couldn’t put it down as I wanted to get to the bottom of it. Reads quickly. Easy and realistic dialogue. Takes the bite in the Hampton’s lifestyle and lets it jump off the pages.
Very little to say in the way of improvements. A few minor details should have been tied together a little more tightly in the end. I think there’s a setup in the last two paragraphs for the next book, but I would have liked it to be even more blunt.
I think I’ve found a new series I will enjoy reading… but unfortunately I’ll have to wait for the next one to come out. Usually I’m a few books behind… oh well, good things are worth waiting for!