Pancakes and Corpses is the first book in the popular Peridale Café Cozy mystery series. Set in the village of Peridale in the Cotswolds, we hope this series will provide plenty of rustic British charm.
Julia South is an almost divorced 37 year old woman. She runs a café and has a gift. People love anything she bakes and flock to her café. Barker Brown is the new detective in town. Several characters tell us he is handsome and Julia tells us he is incompetent.
An odious old woman called Gertrude is writing anonymous reviews maligning local businesses. Julia goes to confront her one night and founds her stabbed in the back. Julia South starts taking notes in her small pad, naming suspects and evaluating who the culprit is.
Julia’s questions lead her to reveal a lot of secrets about Gertrude’s life. Julia’s friend Roxy disappears and becomes the top suspect. Barker Brown appears periodically to warn Julia to stay away from police business. Things move pretty fast and Julia and Barker share a tender moment. Based on the first book, the attraction between these two has been firmly established.
The book is almost a novella at 40K words. Some things seem a bit abrupt. Julia spends days putting off signing her divorce papers, but she spends almost no time planning a date with the new cop in town. Touted as a culinary mystery, there is not much food action compared to other books in the genre. We do hear the names of a few cakes tossed around like red velvet cake, chocolate fudge cake, sponge, brownie etc. but that’s about it.
With almost eight books published in the series, it offers a good binge read opportunity for cozy mystery fans. If you love British mysteries, check out Pancakes and Corpses and the Peridale Café Cozy mystery series.