Review: Smugglers and Scones (A Cutesy, Adorable Mystery)

By Morgan C Talbot

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.15

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publication Date: January 31st 2017

Format Read: Phone Ebook at Author Request

Challenges met: What’s in a Name? & Read Harder

Goodreads Summary: Pippa Winterbourne runs Moorehaven, the Oregon Coast’s quirkiest bed-and-breakfast and former home of world-famous mystery writer A. Raymond Moore. Guests come there to write their own crime novels. When a real-life murder takes a local’s life and washes a handsome boat pilot into her arms, Pippa is yanked into a deadly plot of her own. A tangle of secrets crashes past into present, and Pippa must uncover clues dating back to Seacrest’s Prohibition days, including a secret Moore himself hid from the world.

Juggling her book-writing guests, small-town intrigues, secret club agendas, and a possibly fatal attraction, Pippa must sort fact from fiction to know who to trust before a desperate killer claims a final revenge nearly a century in the making.

Overview…

This book was super cute, and I loved the mystery element of it.  However, I would warn that the mystery doesn’t feel like the central element to me.  Even though it drives the plot forward, the author focused the most on the relationships between the characters.

What I found really cool about the book was that it took place in an Inn that only authors could stay in, while they are writing their mysteries.  This brought in an interesting element to the story because the authors wanted to “solve a real mystery” and so they were really into it.  That’s one of my favorite parts, because it’s so unique and different and really helped the plot along.

I would highly recommend this book to people who enjoy lighter mysteries.  It’s not a “thriller” but it’s a cozy, fun story to read.

The Characters…

Pippa, the main character, was fabulously developed.  She has this tragic backstory that’s never fully given, but remains a part of her identity and helps explain a lot of her actions.  That being said, she isn’t only defined by that, and she really grows on you as it goes.  She has a happy, outgoing personality which is perfect for the main character of a story, and she’s someone you can easily root for.

Lake, the love interest, is complex, mainly because he could be a murderer and so you never really know how to feel about him.  I feel like the author may have tried a bit too hard to make him suspicious, which is something that made it feel awkward and forced.

The other side characters, especially the authors, added a quirky dynamic to the novel that brought me back every time.

The Plot…

The plot was driven mainly by solving the mystery.  Told from Pippa’s perspective, there were a lot of unknowns, and that kept the reader intrigued.  The main focus of the story was on Pippa and her reactions and her life, not on the mystery.

I found a few elements were stuck in there solely for the purpose of furthering the plot, but most of the story seemed to occur naturally, and at a good pace for the story.  I never got bored, and it never seemed like it was rushing through and skimping on emotion.

What I Loved…

The story was great, and so were the characters.  Talbot did an amazing job of incorporating both of those elements into the story, and making them twist together in a way that gave you a full appreciation for the characterization and their real lives.  None of the characters were stereotypes (even when they could have been and that would have made the author’s work easier) and I really, really appreciated that.  She avoided being trite and instead made it emotional and a great read.

What I Hated…

Like I said earlier, some of the plot moments– especially featuring Lake’s characterization– seemed forced and unrealistic.  Talbot worked hard to make an overwhelming amount of evidence point to both guilty and innocent in a way that made everything overwhelming and fake.  That being said, this is Talbot’s debut novel, and therefore I think she deserves a little slack.  It was never bad to the point where I felt like I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the novel because of it.

Diversity and Triggers…

I don’t think there was any diversity whatsoever in this book, but I may be forgetting something.

As far as triggers go, there is talk of suicide (in the past) although it is not vivid and nor is it a character in the novel.  As a result of this event, one of the characters in the novel did undergo some therapy (I believe) and it took her a while to get over it.  All of these events happened 5+ years before the book begins, but are cursored over occasionally when the MC thinks of it.

Summary…

I loved this book, and would highly recommend to those who enjoy warm mysteries.  I hadn’t read a book like this in a while, so it was refreshing and enjoyable.  Each chapter made me more and more excited to read it.  I was cheering for Pippa’s successes and felt connected to her life and all of the other characters.

As a debut novel, this was fabulous.  And, based on Goodreads, it’s the first in a series, so we can hope for more to come!! (this can stand alone and be completely wrapped up so no worries there).

Buy on Amazon

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Disclaimer: I received this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review

Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you prefer cozy mysteries or thrillers?

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11 thoughts on “Review: Smugglers and Scones (A Cutesy, Adorable Mystery)

  1. Hi. Great review. I like your style too. I read this one earlier in the year and posted a review on GR and here on my WP site. I am going to look for more reviews on your site and follow… we have a very similar taste in books. Nice to e-meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

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