This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Morgan C. Talbot. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Smugglers & Scones by Morgan C. Talbot
Series: Moorehaven Mysteries #1
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Crime
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing LLC
Source: Author, Morgan C. Talbot
Purchase at: Amazon
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.
Smugglers & Scones was a delightful cozy mystery that was filled with adventure, mystery, and murder most foul. This setting for this story is in a small, quaint town named Seacrest. This town is nestled on a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the coast of Oregon. In this sleepy town is an establishment called the Moorehaven Bed and Breakfast Inn. This inn is unique in that it had once been the home to a famous writer, Raymond Moore. Upon his death, it was decreed in his will that his home be turned into a bed and breakfast that only served certain clientele. This clientele being specifically mystery authors.
The hostess of this establishment goes by the name of Pippa and she is the niece to Hilt, who is the caretaker of the Inn. He had been friends with the late author and he had also been immortalized in some of the authors writings. When business started picking up he had brought in his niece to be the hostess for the Inn. Pippa had been at a very low place when she came but over the last six years she has flourished and the quirky B&B. It is through Pippa that we are introduced to the inhabitants of this town as well as a secret group that goes by the name of Glaze and Gossip. I just all the monikers that the author created for this tale. They are super cute.
One night, Pippa heard the strangest noise, which turned out to be a sinking vessel. She was able to bring the sailor to safety but as he had an injury it was requested by the local doc that he stay at Morrehaven for the night. That was against the rules but what could Pippa have done? Lake Iven was a sailor for one of the local businesses by the name of Blade and Boom but he was a recent addition to the town. He was a relative unknown in this community and was unsure how he even ended up in the sinking vessel due to short term amnesia. Yikes! The very next morning it was discovered that Lake was suspected of murder but he swore to his innocence.
The cry of murder quickly sparked the towns horror and curiosity. With everyone clamoring for the truth of the matter, several locals took it upon themselves to become amateur sleuths. At the head of this was Pippa and her resident guests. As they were mystery authors and this was a real-life mystery they were all twitterpated to follow the clues and solve the mystery. Pippa was interested to find out who the killer was because Lake had been essentially put under house arrest at her establishment and truthfully, she had developed a bit of a crush on him that seemed to be requited. What follows is a fast and twisted tale of family secrets, obsession, and a hunt for long lost treasure.
I loved the mystery and enjoyed all the characters of this story. How the story was developed around an author who was not a true character but was given life just as if he was, completely delightful. The characters, scenes and imagery were well done and interesting. For me, I felt that although I loved the characters in this story there were quite a few to keep track of and that made it feel that at parts the story did not flow as smoothly as it could have. Also, there was a romance element between Pippa and Lake that was fine with me until another character was introduced that added conflict and a possible love triangle. Not for me, not at all. I just hope that in the next book the romance angle takes a different path then its current trajectory.
Overall, this was a fast paced read that had me chuckling. I loved the inclusion of smugglers, treasure, and history that was built into this story. It was quite the adventurous tale that definitely had its suspenseful moments full of danger. The story was filled with history and folklore and I think it will appeal to a wide variety of mystery readers, in particular the fans of cozy mysteries. Also, a nice little finish to the ending is that there are recipes at the end of this book for a couple of the scones that were featured in this story. Too cute!
*Thank you to Morgan C. Talbot for this complimentary copy of Smugglers & Scones*