Shortbread and Sorrow
by Agatha Frost
Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published May 23rd 2017
When Julia’s gran, Dot, wins an all-inclusive spa trip to Scotland, Julia finds it difficult to refuse the offer of a relaxing week away from her café. Along with her sister, Sue, they pack up her tiny vintage car and drive all the way from Peridale to Seirbigh Castle, ready to be pampered. The last thing Julia expected was to be caught up in another murder investigation, but when the cruel owner of the family-run spa, Henry McLaughlin, is shot dead, she can’t resist ditching the facemasks and massages in favour of cracking the case.
Julia quickly befriends the young cook and talented-baker, Blair, and acquires a job in the kitchen so she can observe the strange family in the wake of the murder. Henry’s wife and children are acting suspicious, and with an incompetent young Detective Inspector on the case, Julia makes it her mission to discover the secrets held within the ancient walls before Seirbigh Castle claims another victim.
This is the fifth book in the Peridale Cafe mystery series by Agatha Frost.
I purchased a ten book set of this series and starting with this book, I am reading from that collection. If you like the previous books in the series, this would be a economical way to read ten of the first books in the series.
The majority of this book is set in Scotland. Grandma Dot has won a contest and she takes Julia and her sister, Sue to a castle where they will be pampered with sorts of spa-like amenities. If first impressions are anything to base a recommendation on, this one would be bad. The owner of the castle throws his wife out of the castle and they are greeted with busted open suitcases thrown at their feet.
The castle is running with a skeleton crew and Julia feels sorry for the 19 year old trying to keep up with all the strange dinner requests. Julia decides to step in and assist. Then the owner, Henry is found dead and his wife, who had been thrown out the day before is back taking charge again. As the clues and the bodies build up, you begin to question what everyone’s motives could be.
This one can easily work as a standalone since there are very few of the normal main cast are walking around. It was nice to get to know Julia’s sister and grandmother. Dot seems like such a hoot.
I look forward to continuing this series and finishing it in 2020.