Title: Short-Circuited in Charlotte
Author: Amy Patricia Meade
Series: A Vermont Country Living Mystery #2
Publisher: Beyond the Page Books
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Pages: 308
Book Source: Netgalley

“Every year the Creators’ Cavalcade draws the most innovative and cutting-edge minds in science and technology, and when Nick Buckley is invited to showcase the U.S. Forest Service’s new environmental initiatives, he’s happy to invite his wife Stella along. The event promises to give both of them a break from the many complications of new homeownership, and the luxurious nineteenth-century estate where it’s held is sure to provide a beautiful and tranquil setting for their getaway. But when the Cavalcade’s founder and director is found dead and one of the participants is murdered not long after, Nick and Stella know that playtime is over and they’ll have to get busy trying to corner a fiendishly clever culprit. _

Confronted with an eclectic mix of creators—and suspects—including a steampunk designer, a robotics engineer, a recycled materials percussionist and others, Nick and Stella know that everyone at the Cavalcade possessed the brains and technological know-how to pull off the murders. But they’ve got a few innovative ideas of their own for nabbing the guilty party, and the only question is whether they can put their plan into action before the killer pulls the plug on them for good …” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

The Vermont Country Living Mysteries by Amy Patricia Meade is such a fun change of pace from the typical cozy mystery since it’s not just a strong female main character, but a married couple. Meade is able to keep the vibe of a normal cozy mystery though by still having Stella as the dominant main character and Nick is there to help when needed and keep her grounded so her, dare I say, slight snobbery doesn’t become overbearing.

Although we’re only book two into the series, Meade is already changing the venue from their new town to a countryside mansion… and I love this. Some cozy readers are traditionalists and want every book to take place in the small town, but I love when authors mix it up and we can always get back to the small Vermont town in the next book… or not!

Short-Circuited in Charlotte has an old school Agatha Christie feel which is always enjoyable. A giant mansion in the country where old and new guests come together only to have a murder occur. Stella goes into detective mode and while she gets easy answers from some of the guests… who may be lying… others are more resistant and there are lots of references to Jessica Fletcher, Nancy Drew, Miss Marple, and other classic detectives. Meade is able to incorporate more serious subjects with touches of humor which helped to keep this cozy a bit lighter and made it a fast read.

If you enjoy cozies with well developed characters, fantastic descriptions of architecture and the countryside, along with lots of suspects and a few red herrings then you need to add The Vermont Country Living Mysteries to your TBR list, starting with the first book in the series, Well-Offed in Vermont.

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