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Literary Friday: Death of an English Muffin

Friday, August 7, 2015

Good Morning, My Lovelies!  Happy Literary Friday!  

It's time for Back to School.  We went back to school shopping for school supplies and clothes this week because school starts for Shelley next week on Wednesday, August 12th.  We love back to school crafts, and I will be sharing them soon!

This week I read an adorable cozy mystery:  Death of an English Muffin by Victoria Hamilton, Book Three in the Merry Muffin series.  I received my copy from the publisher via a giveaway on Yvonne's blog, Socrates' Book Reviews.  I enjoyed the mystery so much that I ordered the first two via Amazon, and I'll read them within the next couple of weeks.  Cozy mysteries will be a much needed respite from Beowulf.  Shelley is taking Medieval British Literature first semester.  ;P

Book one in the Merry Muffin Mystery Series

Book two in the Merry Muffin Mystery series

I love the premise of this series.  Merry Wynter is the sole heiress to Wynter Castle, a sprawling estate built during the days of the robber barons left to her by her late eccentric uncle Melvyn Wynter.  The estate's location is halfway between Rochester and Buffalo south of Interstate 90. There are rumors that there is buried treasure somewhere on the estate's grounds, and treasure hunters and gossips are a constant nuisance to Merry.  But they are small potatoes compared to the Legion of Horrible Ladies.  Whenever I see the word legion I'm reminded of a group of demons who are many, and unfortunately the name fits (although I wouldn't use the noun ladies).  The Legion lives with Merry in the castle.  She's renting rooms to raise funds for repairs and renovations for the castle so when she sells the estate she can get top dollar for it.  

She'd be better off to up her insurance coverage and pray for Italian lightening, but I digress....

The most horrible of the League of Horrible Ladies is murdered during a Bridge Tea.  Although the world might actually be a better place because of her demise, Merry is up to her eyeballs yet again in another murder mystery.  And this one is a doozy because the list of suspects is overwhelming. Merry even struggles with her own feelings about the death of such a horrible person!  

Merry's character is so lovable and relatable.  Late thirties, widow due to a tragic accident, wonderful girlfriend and mentor, plus a mean cook and baker....what's not to like about Merry?  I think readers can relate to her frustrations as well.  Bullies and Queen Bees rarely ever reform.  We all have experiences with mean girls, don't we!  There's even a slow-building romance in the story.  Merry has a major crush on "Virgil the Handsome Sheriff."  Mayhap the only positive about the tragic disruption of murder is that Virgil is the lead investigator.  He's around Winter Castle often now: a definite silver lining for Merry!

Known for her muffins, Merry makes her rounds most mornings selling and delivering her muffins to various businesses.  There are a couple of recipes at the end of the book, and the family wants me to bake the Bacon and Peanut Butter Muffins over the weekend.  If I get around to it, I'll post the results next week.

The only negative thing about the book is that there is a huge cast of characters.  This book does work as a stand alone, and I think Hamilton does a wonderful job getting readers like me who jump in the middle of the series up to speed.  She also did a great job hinting at the previous mysteries without giving too much away.  I took the bait obviously or I wouldn't have ordered the first two.  :)

If you look back at my Summer Reading List, I got way off track.  One reason is because I left several books at the lake cabin, and I haven't been to the lake as much as I would have liked due to events beyond my control.  Summer reading will probably extend well into autumn.

How did you do on your Summer Reading List?  Are you still working on it, or are you done?

Don't forget that this is a link party!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. Those sound so cute! Adding to my list...which by the way, I'm way off of too.

  2. This sounds like fun! My late cousin who passed last year at 93 would have loved it because she was the queen of the murder mystery readers. I might have to get these myself. I am just finally finishing up Primates of Park Avenue. I have been so busy, doing what I don't know, but nevertheless I am behind on my reading. Wait -- I do know -- I watch too much BBC.

  3. This series sounds like a lot of fun - adding it to my list!

  4. You are finding some great books to read. These sound so cute and interesting. I have to link up later this weekend my review. I have to pick up Noah... um I mean Christian today and haven't had time to post it. It will be added though. Have a great weekend.

  5. How fun! I live well-done cozy mysteries AND a large cast of characters (though the recipes would be lost on me unless they're gluten- dairy- and peanut-free, sadly).

    Oh, and Beowulf? Always better if you create the whole meadhall setting (pounding on the tables in rhythm to the reading, preferably with some lower lights and someone else standing and reciting it). If she likes it, she should read Grendel (the story from the monster's perspective)!

  6. Hi RJ! Oh, your post reminds me I need to read! These sound good. I love the pretty snap of your little self on your sidebar! Hope you're doing well and enjoying your summer.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. These sound like fun reads! I finished another cozy mystery by Charles Finch tonight. They are fun books. Next I'll read a Ruth Rendell....they can be dark but I've read everything she's ever written over the years. I love her. Enjoy your weekend! Hugs, Diane

  8. This sounds like a super entertaining fun series! I love books mixed with a little food :) My TBR list is oh so long.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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