Book Review: Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle

Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle
My rating: 3 stars 🌟🌟🌟
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

This caught my eye (that cover is wholly responsible) and I'm always a fan of reading about small communities that are "off-season" (resort or college towns). This was set during autumn and gave a very good feel for the pace and also a look in at the shops and the inn Antonia (our amateur sleuth) owns and runs. I was about even on what I liked and what I found didn't quite work for me (pretty usual for a first in a series) so first what I liked.

The setting was perfect and very well described. The detail of the Inn, the town, and the food everywhere was inviting. The recitations of meals were so well done, I was a bit disappointed there were no recipes included at the end. This was a longer cozy and quite a lot was taken up with such descriptions. As such, it did take away from the pace of the mystery.

The characters were a bit of a mixed bag. Antonia, the main character had some grating tendencies that I'm attributing to first book quirks and hoping resolves as the series continues. Her almost complete abdication of responsibility for the finances of her business was jarring. I have a peeve about this with cozies in particular. I have little patience for the shopkeeper (innkeeper, in this instance) who sleuths to the exclusion of taking care of their business, gives away all their wares or has a shady employee emptying the coffers (because no oversight) and then is completely surprised when the ledger is screaming red and the business is on the brink of the brink. It's a credibility dasher for me and Antonia personified it and it hits in chapter 13 (of 36 chapters). I admit, I held it against her throughout and found that this held for the main of the story. She brings together all of the suspects in the vein of Poirot and Marple to out the murderer and I felt it was an unearned affectation on her part. I actually cheered on a character who challenged her with "Let's get to the point here, Bingham." while she was doing her interrogations of everyone. So, not a great feeling to have toward a main character one is supposed to want to follow. She had other flaws but none of those were as off-putting.

I thought Larry, the town reporter was the most vividly drawn character and while he's probably not around to be a liked character, I enjoyed his presence. He was interesting and often, the perfect skewer to Antonia's personality quirks. I hope there's more of him in subsequent books because he's worth it. Joseph was another stand out character. I loved how his relationship with Antonia was portrayed and how they worked as a team. The very end of the story was heartwarming and made me smile. I look forward to more of him also. Genevieve, Antonia's BFF is almost a non-entity and I was never quite sure why she existed unless she was just there to give us information about Antonia's past. Nick is probably going to be Antonia's love interest but for the time being, he's basically a boyfriend blank. He had no real purpose in this story. Hopefully, Genevieve and Nick come more into focus as characters and purpose as the series continues.

As mentioned before, the pace of the mystery was a bit slow additionally, the killer was easy to call early on. Sadly, the path to the reveal didn't make up for the early realization. It could be a first book quirk so I'm hoping that doesn't happen with the next, which I will be on the lookout for.

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an Advance Reader Copy.

Summary: Cozy mystery fans and lovers of Louise Penny, Agatha Christie and Alexander McCall Smith should prepare a hearty snack and snuggle in for this compelling page-turner by best-selling author Carrie Doyle. Mouth-watering food descriptions, nail-biting scenes of suspense, a winning heroine, and a captivating cast of characters pack the launch of this series, one that's sure to entertain readers for years to come.

The Hamptons are known for beautiful beaches, luxurious living, millionaire mansions, and now...murder! Antonia Bingham, a renowned chef and the new owner of East Hampton's Windmill Inn, escaped to the Hamptons to get away from a harrowing past. Yet now she finds herself in more danger than ever when she discovers the inn's previous owners may have been the victims of murder. Will her overly inquisitive personality be her downfall as she digs up secrets in her attempt to solve the crime?
The Hamptons are known for beautiful beaches, luxurious living, millionaire mansions, and now...murder!

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