St. Valentine's Day Cookie Massacre

St. Valentine's Day Cookie Massacre rating

(Hatter's Grove Gazette, #1)

It’s Valentine’s Day in quiet, cozy Hatter’s Cove, Florida and food columnist, Kat Archer, has been assigned the event of the year, the grand opening of Miss Dolly’s Cookie Jar and Sweets Emporium.

What begins as a run of the mill, albeit tasty, assignment turns into something much more dangerous when one of the Cookie Jar’s employees is poisoned.

Now Kat is chasing the biggest story of her life, while trying to catch the eye of her handsome editor and avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.

This novella is a cute, cozy mystery where the humor comes across natural - not forced - and works well enough to earn an occasional chuckle. That it has an adorable cover is just icing on the cake, I'm a nut for cutesy covers.

Quirky characters in the charming, small town of Hatter's Cove are usually bored with the local news. News reporter Kat gets the sniff of a potential story, only to stumble on what becomes a full-fledged murder investigation. Her boss, who's good on the eyes but shy of relationships, encourages the story while they all battle against a rival news agency. Throw in an oddball cop or so, a mildly amusing host of other townsfolk, and you get a group that's a joy to read about.

The mystery is surprisingly complex for this type, as it seemed simple enough at first but then started getting more stacked onto it. Being a reporter, it was realistic for the protagonist to be in the position to keep uncovering secrets and the sequences of events.

While there's nothing original about a reporter having to turn back to her original, small hometown and hicksville atmosphere, Crabtree's writing flowed well and brought enough to charm to carry it off. It's short, sweet, and at first simple - but it unfolds into an actual mystery. I did have the tendency to skim sometimes, but this could have been my mood or else because I read it as an e-book (I can't focus as well on some of those, skimming beware.)

Recommended for a quick, holiday cozy.

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