Book Review: The Riverboat Mystery (Jenny Starling #3) by Faith Martin

The Riverboat Mystery by Faith Martin
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3 stars)
Publisher: Joffee Books

Jenny's off cooking for a small group cruising in a riverboat steamer. This is her summer break and as her luck goes, she has landed in a nest of prickly people with resentments to one of the parties in particular and of course before too long, there's a dead body in her galley pantry.

This one was a bit different in tone from the preceding books in that it felt slower. There are fourteen chapters and the murder doesn't actually take place until the last couple sentences of chapter 7. I have a peeve with murder mysteries that don't actually get to the murder until halfway through and so this wasn't a point in good favour. The second half felt like a tighter read but I admit that if I weren't invested in the series or had picked it up as a standalone, I'd likely have given up on this before I got there.

Jenny's interaction with the investigators was done well and had a different tone than past books that I very much liked. The murderer and their method, in particular, were well done. There were also little mentions along the way that acknowledges some of the quirks of past books from Jenny being so ever-present to overhear so much that's relevant to solving the mystery and the propensity with which murders happen at her client's events. They were nice callbacks and sort of let the reader know, the author got some of those quirks and foibles. This time the story relied a lot less on being told through Jenny's proximity to information at the moment which made the investigative portion in the back half of the book more interesting. Also, she does still sigh & is her size is referred to in this one as the others but both instances were far fewer and for that, I was very glad.

I'll definitely continue with the series but I also think this could easily be one of those skipped and not a lot is lost at all. Though I do hope there's at some point a fuller telling of the incident with the professor's rattlesnake and the dishwasher.

Summary: Jenny Starling has a job on a luxury paddle steamer working for a wealthy businessman. All she has to do is cook for his small number of guests. But things quickly turn sour.

Then she discovers the body of one of the passengers in the store cupboard. Who wanted him dead and why?

Jenny will have to ignore many red herrings and follow the clues to get to the bottom of a complex and intriguing murder mystery.
This is the third of a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page.

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