I feel like I should run these thematically. A month of cozy mystery, a month of YA... I don't know. I haven't figured that out yet. I've read two skinny books tonight, but no murder mystery. Oops. (Also, I definitely, most emphatically did not download another 25 free Kobo eBooks)
So, okay. I'm pantsing here. I dug through my library and turned this one up: St Valentine's Day Cookie Massacre.
My summary: In cozy Hatter's Cove, the worst that happens is a bad restaurant review - which, with Kat the not-a-food-critic around, happens. Frequently. There's the opening of a new bakery, which sets the sinister scene.
Plot: Neat, tidy and quick. Moves swiftly through setting up the backstory, which I've noticed is a common enough scene in these types of cozy mystery. More on that shortly though. Follows the same sort of mystery plotline, in which someone gets bumped off and the protagonist is naturally the one quick enough on the uptake to figure it all out. It's all in a day's work, of course, and the mystery is unravelled just in time to meet the deadlines.
Characters: With Kat, it's kind of a heavy info-dump. If the Chef Maurice series gives you threads of details about the characters, Cookie Massacre gives you heavy blocky paragraphs. If you like reading it all at once and then chancing forgetting it as you read on, then it's good. Similar tale with the others, where you learn it all at once. Development isn't bad, but I did feel it was a touch slow-going to bring the characters to life in places.
Title and cover. Pretty cover, the title is a bit of a mouthful. Also, it's a tad inaccurate since there's no real massacre to speak of in the book. Homage to the actual St Valentine, one presumes.
I'm not operating my Netflix scale this week (it broke), but I am operating the interest-and-visualizing scale. I can't fault the description of locations and people; they're vivid enough that you can picture them.
Overall, 3 stars. Character development would have given it another half. If there were a sequel I'd be keeping an eye out for further fleshing out the characters. Give them - or take away - quirks and traits. The murderer became apparent as it progressed, mainly because of how motives were laid out and the facts gathered.
Food comparison: Chicken salad. Perfectly nice on its own, but wants a touch of seasoning so as to not be bland.