I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. We have the standard formula of small-town life, a new transplant with a golden heart and an interesting cat. You will have to take my word for the fact that this was a very well written version of the cozy murder mystery genre(plus cat). That is until you read and confirm the tale’s efficiency for yourself.
Each action and behavioural quirks are explained in painstaking detail and should have had the effect of explaining a joke after the crowd has heard the punchline but it does not. I cannot place my finger on how that worked but it did. We have cutesy names for all the characters and I did not feel like cringing because their behaviour was above board and intelligent and the names are just coincidences of their lives in general. This is not the first book in the series but apart from the (almost non-existent) love life of our leading lady Sugar (see what I mean about the names?) who is a partner in a cookbook publishing company, the story can be read as a standalone. I only felt I missed something in the first story when she mentioned the ‘guy’ who was absent from the first half of this tale and I wanted to know more about their original meeting.
In this installment, Sugar is trying to settle on friendly terms with her neighbour and solve a local murder when it turns up because she cares for the people involved and she might be holding all the clues in her hand. Once again with books like this, the plotline is not the main focus. the narrative tone, the comic timing and of course the random mentions of the cat and commentary of the interpretation of his actions or the lack thereof. I would definitely read the next in the series only to spend time with Sugar and her friends and keep my fingers crossed on Dixie (her partner) finding her happily ever after soon. If I have to mention the investigation in this one I would say it progresses at an acceptable pace and has a few twists that I thought I saw coming but was wrong about (in the best way).
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.