About the book: (from the publisher) Maggie McConnon rings in Christmas in Bel, Book, and Scandal, the third adventure for everybody’s favorite Irish-American culinary artist turned amateur sleuth.
Bel McGrath tries her best to keep herself on the straight and narrow but she just has a taste for trouble. This time danger arrives in the form of a newspaper left behind by visitors to Shamrock Manor―and a photograph that jolts Bel out of the present and back into a dark chapter from her past. The person in the photo is Bel’s best friend Amy Mitchell, long gone from Foster’s Landing, at a commune in upstate New York shortly after her disappearance. The picture, and Bel’s burning desire to find out what happened to Amy―and whether she may still be alive―is the catalyst for a story in which old secrets are revealed,
About the author: Maggie McConnon grew up in New York immersed in Irish culture and tradition. A former Irish stepdancer, she was surrounded by a family of Irish musicians who still play at family gatherings. She credits her Irish grandparents with providing the stories of their homeland and their extended families as the basis for the stories she tells in her Belfast McGrath novels, beginning with Wedding Bel Blues.
Genre: Fiction/MysteryFun stocking stuffer for the mystery fan on your list. Click To Tweet
My take: I warmed immediately to this novel’s spirited Irish-American amateur chef-cum-detective, finding myself quite willing to follow Bel along her meandering sleuthing trails. I liked the lighthearted, dysfunctional family relationship layered into the story (I mean, it’s fun when it’s not your own and make-believe, right?). Also well done was the tightening circle of people Bel could trust, as well as the intriguing sidekicks she picked up along the way.
Though the yuletide backdrop is subtle, and a few details seemed to get lost in the telling, Bel, Book, and Scandal makes for a relatively clean, lighthearted cozy mystery to snuggle up with this holiday season. Don’t forget to add a steaming mug of Irish breakfast tea.
Thanks to St. Martin’s for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.
Buy it here.
After words: What book would you like to find in your stocking this year?