Sunday, January 27, 2013
Book Report: Candy Apple Dead by Sammi Carter
I never cease to be amused by mystery novels with cutesy titles and cover art. Candy Apple Dead succinctly captures the cozy genre, with some skull-faced confections of the same name scowling menacingly on the jacket to boot. I received this book as a Christmas gift and had never read anything by Sammi Carter before. Nevertheless, I was assured that the cozy mystery story formula was alive and well (at least for the time being, ha ha) after reading just the first few pages. Gutsy but nonthreateningly dowdy small business-owning heroine? Check. Small, gingerbread village of a town peopled with casserole-baking frenemies? Check. Sudden death of a sketchy fringer who may or may not have pissed someone off in the last forty-eight hours? Check!
All of this snark is not to say that I didn't enjoy Candy Apple Dead, because I did. Cozies are the comfort food of fiction, and I reveled in all of Apple's telltale turns, right down to the recipes I'd never use and the descriptions of the more fashion-conscious tertiary characters. This blurb was one of my favorites:
"At one of the wrought-iron tables inside Divinity, Rachel Summers froze with a piece of fudge halfway to her mouth and split a look between my cousin and me. She wore a bright blue sweater with a matching pair of pants. A scarf in bold geometric patterns covered her neck, and earrings in the same color palette dangled from her ears." (142-143)
What accessories addict doesn't want to take a break from murder and mayhem to hear about a fab scarf?
That having been said, I didn't figure out whodunit -- another stronghold in my oblivious if storied mystery-reading tenure. Which is fine by me because all the scarves in the world can't trump the ultimate element of surprise.