The Queensville Heritage Society is restoring the once-grand Dumpe Manor. While Dumpe relatives and society members use the occasion to dust off old grudges, Jaymie Leighton prefers to adorn the kitchen with authentic Depression-era furnishings. A collection of vintage wooden mallets found in the house is a perfect addition to her display, but one also offers a late-night intruder the perfect weapon to knock Jaymie unconscious before escaping. Though the attack has everyone on edge, nothing is missing from the house. Perhaps it was merely a vagrant who thought the place was still abandoned. But when Dumpe Manor's resident historian is murdered with a mallet from the same collection, it's time for Jaymie to turn up the heat on the investigation before someone else becomes history.
©2014 Donna Lea Simpson (P)2015 Tantor
I hope we don't have to wait long for the next one!!!!! Love this series!
Not up to the standards of the previous entries in this series. Rather a disappointment. Entirely too splintered a plot line with little continuity. Hopefully the next book will be back to the level we have come to expect.
As a born Michigander (NOT "Michiganian"), who grew up with close connections to Canada, the first two books in the series were homey and fun. The third became less logical, but was still OK. This one went off the rails. So much of the dialog sounded hysterical and there were no reasons for much of what Jaimie did. As she runs for her life from a murderer, she has time to think about the dreamy eyes of her would-be rescuer. Oh my! Then when I heard "So to the root cellar they must go," I lost patience with the book. I listened to it, so I won't return it, but this book sounded more like fan fiction to me than one written by the original author. I'm done with the series.
I found this series by accident and I am now completely addicted. I'm not sure what I'll do when I finish – beg the author to write more?? The main character is someone I can identify with and each person is likable in their own way. Most of all, I am in love with the narrator! Emily Woo Zeller does an amazing narration - her voice is so easy to listen to, and she seems to capture the essence of each character so well. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good mystery without any gory stuff. Lighthearted yet suspenseful!
Lover of words; avid reader and a Jersey Girl through and through.
I love this author, this series and the author's Merry Muffin Mystery series - which I blew through in record time and I don't normally read the same author consecutively.
Back to the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series: This is the fourth in the series and was anything but routine. The author had great twists I didn't see coming. Okay, I saw at least one of the twists but you'll need to figure our which one for yourself.
A great read with mostly-likable characters. The lead gets on my nerves from time-to-time but that's been true through the series. The support characters are fantastic - well defined with lovable quirky personalities.
This isn't Hamilton's best work and I found myself hitting "repeat" a lot (in fact, I got an Audible award for it) because it was not holding my attention and my mind would wander. For the most part, there was a story there and I like the author. The storyline was just a bit dull and she used a lot of fluff to fill space ("What if?" questions, speculation, etc.).
Artist & Journeyman Composter
So says Chief of Police Ledbetter, quite sincerely, valuing her observations, curiosity and intuition. Others, who experience the consequences of her amateur investigations, call her Snoop.
Other reviewers have very well covered the main plot of this story, the Historical Society purchase of an old mansion with cellars and attics, hidey holes and hardwood floors.
Jaimie has been asked by them to put the kitchen to vintage rights, one of her several occupations and delights.
What delights me about this author is how she creates and integrates her heroine into this matrix of vintage home, friendships, firm values of loyalty and support to those friends, an interesting geographical location (northern Michigan, a ferry ride to Canada),the cultural celebrations and holidays, which she skillfully makes the center focus around/during or within which some murder occurs; family, a growing sense of self, creative contribution, and place for the heroine, coupled with interesting, though sometimes dysfunctional romantic interests, and of course, cozy "companion animals."
This is my third audio book of the series (skipped # 2, though may go back), and I feel more trust in how the author involves and treats Jaimie Leighton, the protagonist.
Jaimie's intuition and curiosity is often in conflict with her sense of safety AND in failing to reveal what might be time and life saving information to the Chief of Police, who has not quite officially, but honestly acknowledged her abilities, both as a woman and person (cool!), in order to invite her willingness to share that information. I respect and admire when she feels same to be incomplete or may possibly make a friend a suspect in the investigation, she refuses to reveal it. To me, that shows a lot of self respect and trust,and courage to stand up to the possible consequences.
Also the author is just plain clever in how she manages to create a quite complex murder. There are just enough revolting or horrid people to make you wonder, but the threads of connection are only slowly revealed, and usually sewn together, one or two at a time, by Jaimie. It's like a drawstring slowly pulling which then suddenly closes.
I'm used to Sherlock Holmes and Watson, logical mysteries, which reveal a stepping stone series of clues you can follow to the brilliant and cleverly hidden conclusion.
However, there is no complaint here. Sometimes I feel unhappy that the narrator sounds too emphatic, making Jaimie's speech seem inane or too shrieky; but overall, both the narrator and author create good characterization and generally keep track of the characters as they move in and out of the story.
On that note, this time, though, in the last story, the son of the murdered man, now freed to follow his skills and purpose, did a wonderful job on landscaping Jaimie's mostlybarren back lawn; I would have liked just a reference to how much she appreciated it,and how it looked in the fall. The author however, handled Jaimie's current love interest, Daniel, very well, signaling enough warning signs that you knew there had to be someresolution. Further, the "maybe" possible love interest, handsome Detective Zack Christian who had chosen a job in another city, was handled very satisfactorily, with good communication between him and Jaimie. I hate it when people you have gotten toknow and have interest in are just discarded with no notice or reason.
Yes, this is a more philosophical than informative review, but I am pleased to finally grok the pattern of the story; it's comforting. Now, the variations and detailscan be more front and center; I don't have to worry about the heroine's life or safety.
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