“British expat, Josie Monroe, returns to the idyllic village of Milkwood and finds herself chief suspect in a family murder. Surrounded by cricket greens, duck ponds and lies, Josie must discover the culprit if she wishes to return to the US and Lady Belle DeCorcy is just the pal to help her.
Josie is a down-to-earth, classical music-loving pianist. Belle is a flighty, beautiful and slightly unhinged debutante, making the two amateur sleuths an unlikely and comically inept, team. As if Josie doesn’t have enough problems, she is also dealing with the “Witches of Milkwood,” an elderly trio convinced that Josie is the murderer and that Belle is one sandwich short of a picnic.
Living with a cantankerous cat named Elgar and her aunt’s handsome, but seemingly untrustworthy, lodger, Josie is also coming to terms with resurging feelings for her childhood sweetheart, Detective Inspector Adam Ward. Luckily, tea and tenacity will see her through, even if every time Josie hears Puccini she risks discovering another body.” – Amazon
I read one to two cozy mysteries a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I give a lot of them four and five stars… I wish I could give The Puccini Connection by Sam Bond more than five stars, it was flippity flip-flop excellent.
What often pushes a cozy towards a five star rating is how well the author describes the town, clothes, etc… and if the characters are well developed. Bond is leaps and bounds above a lot of other cozy mysteries in the description department. Even though I don’t read a lot of books set in England, the countryside, outfits, meals, and architecture were so vivid in their descriptions that I could smell the food they were eating and could feel Chester’s bristly fur. I always visualize what I am reading, adding my own details when need be, but the words off the page so wonderfully illustrated everything that the pictures in my mind were in technicolor!
Plus Bond seamlessly weaves in interesting facts about classical music and it’s used to add another fantastic layer to the mystery. I don’t listen to classical, but Bond has inspired me to do so.
And then there were the characters, so many fun and quirky ones. How can you not enjoy a cozy that has a zedonk, named Chester, in it?!? What is a zedonk? I didn’t know either until I read The Puccini Connection… so this is yet another reason why you should read it.
Josie and Belle make the perfect best friends, and with all of Belle’s money and connections it opens up so many adventures that they can have in future books. Even the clergy, who are so often a bit stuffy, were very enticing to read about.
Since I usually judge a cozy mystery on the love interests too, I’ll mention that the ones in The Puccini Connection were well written and I won’t annoyed by any possible love triangles lasting through eight books… and yet, Bond leaves it a bit open so things could get steamy with a bit of a love triangle… and I am more than fine with that.
And now for the mystery itself… Bond gave us lots of potential suspects and plenty of red herrings. I didn’t know who the killer was until Josie found little bits of something in the house. And the reveal had so many people who had been by the cottage with all of their juicy secrets, that it reminded me of something from an Agatha Christie novel.
Over the years there have been a lot fewer cozy mystery series that I actively search out the next book and put it on my list to make sure I read it, but The Milkwood Murder series will be one of them. I highly, highly recommend you get yourself a copy and one for any of your cozy mystery lover friends!!!!
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