Scones and Scofflaws by Jane Gorman
Release Date - December 20, 2020
The first book in the new Cape May Cozy Mystery series started off what could be an intriguing cozy series. Anna's inherited her great aunt's house and is in the final stages of renovating it to be a B&B. With the rooms that are ready, she's opening up to a handful of guests. Things take a turn when her very first guest ends up dead next to the almond scone she'd made.
Police are quick to tape up her house and ask her to move her other guests out. In the middle of all that, her young cousin Eoin also shows up to spend the summer with her, months before she expected him. Anna now has no income, a child she's never met before looking at her to be his temporary guardian, and the possibility that her scone killed her guest.
The only way to clear her name is by jumping in to solve the murder. Police may not want her to, but she's not about to sit by and let the damage to her reputation continue.
That's the premise. The back cover blurb focuses on a man dressed as Bridgette Bardot asking her out. That's a minor part of the plot. He's one of three potential suitors for Anna, so I don't feel it's important to go into him. The story sets up main characters who will be appearing in the series on a regular basis I'm sure. There's Sammy, Anna's best friend and local bakery owner; Luke, the handyman helping Anna with the renovations; and Evan, the police officer helping with the investigation.
For me, the story was a bit slow to start. As Eoin arrived, I started to enjoy the character interactions more, but I cannot imagine what kind of parent sends a child overseas to stay with someone he's never met before. I really struggled with that aspect. I also found that the repeated "that's not how my name is pronounced" was a bit overdone.
As the mystery progressed, I never found the revelation to be shocking. I'd figured it out long ago. What I did love was how Anna started to grow into her community. The relationships were the star in this book. It was that that makes me eager to read the next book in this series when it's ready.