Morgan C. Talbot’s book, Smugglers & Scones (Moorehaven Mysteries: Book 1), can be described as the perfect “mystery” in the two main genres for Mystery Thriller Week. The story includes a mysterious death with professionals and amateurs trying to solve the crime.
The protagonist, Pippa Winterbourne, was delightful and charming. Her great-uncle, Hilt, inherited the Moorehaven Bed and Breakfast Inn from a famous mystery writer, and now she has taken over. Their only guests were writers of crime novels until Lake Ivens crashed his boat, which was also his home, into the rocks below Moorehaven. The sound startled Pippa out of her sleep, and she ended up rescuing him.
I have my own way of rating the books I review. For each “yes” answer to my questions, the book receives a gold star, with a total of five possible.
Was the book well-written? Yes. Morgan C. Talbot spun a tale of suspense that kept me coming back for more. If a book is worth my time, I stay up late to read it. Every night I had to get several more chapters finished. I did not know for sure who the actual murderer was until she revealed the culprit near the end. I suspected another character a little more. I’m usually good at figuring out “who did it.”
Did the book keep you interested from beginning to end? Yes. The premise was intriguing. The details were amazing. I’d love to visit the fictional town of Seacrest and stay at Moorehaven for one of my crime novels. The place was easily brought to life in my imagination by this talented author.
Were you emotionally invested in one or more of the characters? Yes. All of the characters were intriguing, but Pippa and Lake were adorable together. She was obviously falling for him. Despite circumstantial evidence that he might be a murderer, she wanted him to be innocent. I also loved the cats, Svetlana and Rex.
Would you read another book by the author based on your experience as a whole with this one? Yes. This is the first book in the series. I’m ready for the second.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Yes. This is a must read for most anyone. I would almost rate this as a “clean read.” There are no graphic details about sexual encounters. Alcohol is mentioned a few times, but a speakeasy from Prohibition days is a major part of the storyline. Marijuana was hidden in false bricks in the speakeasy. Cursing is minimal and limited to the word “hell.”
And the review is 5 stars:
Congratulations, Morgan C. Talbot! You’ve earned an excellent review! I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this book.
Sample the first two chapters on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N32N46H