4/5 The Winter Mystery by Faith Martin.
An enjoyable read. Great for winter-time reading! Briefly, a cook (come sleuth) is employed over the Christmas period to cater for a farming family. However, there is turmoil and hostility between the head of the household and the other members. Then comes a murder! Of course the cook/sleuth helps the police figure it all out. As a light-hearted winter read the book is absorbing. The author clearly has humour, particularly when she mentions the animals, and how the world must look from their perspectives. (Hint: look out for a sheepdog afraid of sheep, and a gander who is trying to assert his authority!). The protagonist is great, she has an upbeat and no-nonsense style; she is likeable and quirky. The ‘grey’ detective gradually becomes quite endearing and human too, under the careful hand of the author. However, as a ‘mystery’ I found the book lacking. Not only was the reader spoon-fed every little detail, but the murderer was obvious very early on. I was hoping for twists and turns in the plot. Alas no. I have never read this author before, but I will read some more of her work as she has an easy style to her writing.