Victoria Hamilton’s WHITE COLANDER CRIME is a thoroughly enjoyable contemporary cozy mystery. It’s the fifth entry in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. I haven’t read the others, but I felt the novel worked fine on its own. This one had a holiday theme, and I just happened to read it during the winter season, which made it extra special.
The characters in the story, both human and animal, charmed me immediately. The main character and amateur sleuth, Jaymie Leighton, is completely likable. Her love for history and her role as a food columnist and collector of vintage cookware made her a particularly colorful protagonist. Her passions—for her work, her pets, and for Jakob Muller, an antique lover and Christmas tree farm owner—drew me in and made the book hard to put down. The author’s writing flows seamlessly and the pace of the story clips right along.
As the novel opens, Jaymie and the town are preparing for a Dickens Day festival at a historic home. Through vivid descriptions, the setting comes alive and a fascinating array of secondary characters are introduced. Most of them will later become entangled in the murder mystery, and none of them possess bland personalities. Each is colorful and unique in their own way. The multiple characters in a mystery are often difficult to keep track of, but Hamilton varies personalities so well that I never forgot who was who.
If I have one critique of the novel, it’s that the murder itself isn’t revealed until well into the story. As a mystery lover, I’m used to having the murder occur earlier, but I have to admit that the time spent getting to know the characters and the little town of Queensville, Michigan was so much fun that I almost didn’t mind. Honestly, I cared more about the mystery’s victim, suspects, and final solution more after the care Hamilton took developing the story.
WHITE COLANDER CRIME is the kind of mystery I’d recommend to anyone. Even non-mystery lovers will get caught up in the story, and there’s something for everyone between the small town setting, the adorable pets, and the clever, likable sleuth with a love for food and all things vintage.
In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Mallets Intended, the Heritage Society is re-creating a perfect Victorian Christmas—until good tidings go bad...
Queensville has great expectations for their Dickens Days festival. A tourist-trade boon boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter.
Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries—and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie’s beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie’s not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she’s going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas—especially with the real killer ready to kill again.