This is the perfect novel when it comes to murder! I usually do most of my killings in the kitchen, but Ms. Hamilton’s style when it comes to murder kept me up at night until I finished this novel. This novel was smooth, like buttering a piece of cornbread, and the characters were well-established. The village and the inhabitants are easy to relate to whether it’s off the beaten path or not. Also, I’ve always felt kitchen utensils could be deadly, but I sure wasn’t thinking of murder (as opposed to accidental or misfortune’s circumstances).
To me the ease of character interactions is a tremendous pull when it comes to picking up an unknown series or author. I discovered a wonderful interlude in No Mallets Intended. And there were many items in this novel which will keep the fascination going. First, Ms. Hamilton’s plot devises of cliff hangers and page turners will keep readers up until they finish this novel. Since this is an established series, one would expect an overuse of main characters; there isn’t in this novel.
However, there are occasions where the new reader will wonder about the previous experiences Jaymie Leighton as all is not explained away, and the beauty of those unanswered questions can be found in the other novels in this series (past or future ones, I’m sure!). Also, Ms. Hamilton’s use of quiet humor was greatly appreciated as a good chuckle can influence the reader into thinking and processing the plot to discover the murderer.
As for the plot, No Mallets Intended is a quirky tale about Jaymie Leighton and her girlfriend going to the Dumpe Manor to catalog the deserted manor’s kitchenware. It is while she is there with her companion, Hoppy, that someone clots her with an antique mallet into unconsciousness. This is just the first chapter, and it gets more intriguing as the novel progresses.
More often than not, this novel went beyond my expectations with the numerous laughs, the descriptive passages (especially about Dumpe Manor), and I love the emphasis of vintage kitchen items. If you love antiques or even kitchenware, you’ll get a kick out of this novel. Enjoy!
TO THE MANOR DEAD
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.