I was drawn to this book by the bright and eye-catching cover. Cosy mystery is slowly becoming one of my favourite genres, and is probably my favourite genre to read in series form. I was also intrigued by the title, and wondered how the “banana devil cake” may fit into the story which appears to be about murder!
With the murder of last year’s fête judge now but a hazy memory, the village of Elmesbury has retired to its former tranquil existence. That is, until a mysterious newcomer sets in motion a series of events that will see members of the W.I. crossing wooden spoons at dawn.
In the midst of preparing for her long-awaited engagement party, redoubtable village busybody Beattie Bramshaw not only finds herself embroiled in a one-woman campaign to save the elm tree from which the village gets its name, but also having to contend with an outbreak of unrest within her beloved W.I. group. Rivalry to win favour with the judge of this year’s fête has fuelled dissent within the ranks and, when two members are found dead in mysterious circumstances, suspicions run rife.
Confident the devil is not only in the cake but in the detail, Beattie determines to uncover the clues that will ultimately lead to the killer’s conviction. But can she solve the mystery before another member of the W.I. is picked off?
Banana Devil Cakeis a comedy crime caper in the style of Agatha Raisin and one that is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Prepare yourself for a tale of tea, cake and riotous goings-on from the author of Marrow Jam.
I found this book to be engaging from the opening. The first line: “When viewed from the other side of the desk, Detective Inspector Grayson’s backside closely resembled a space hopper on spin cycle”, is humorous and light-hearted, but then there is mention of murder!
Miss Beattie Bramshaw at first reminded me of Janice from Friends. A character who re-appears at an inconvenient moment, a person who could talk the hind legs off a donkey, and the snorting were all reminiscent to me of this comedic character. However, she soon proves herself to be a multi-faceted character who is loyal, friendly, nosy but overall likeable.
I loved how the story was really interesting and well-developed, and I was hooked even though much of the opening on the narrative focuses on none other than the death of a tree!
Overall, this has been a fun and interesting read and Beattie is a fun an fiesty character who bounces off the page. I can’t wait to read more from this series!