A Trifle Dead (Café la Femme No.1) – Livia Day
Deadlines (an imprint of Twelfth Planet Press), 2013
Tabitha Darling, manager of the Café la Femme, is a busy woman. She has hipsters to feed, shot glass trifles to make and an over-protective local police force to fend off. The last thing she needs is to find a body upstairs. Tabitha has no desire to be involved in the investigation, but she does want answers – and if a little judiciously applied baking gets the witnesses talking, how can that hurt? But the more of the story she pieces together, the more she begins to feel she was involved all along. Sometimes being the girl who knows everybody comes at a cost.
A Trifle Dead is Tansy Rayner Roberts’ first book written under the pseudonym Livia Day. A cosy mystery set in Hobart (that’s the capital city of Tasmania, for non-Australians), it is light-hearted and mischievous, with a well-concealed serious edge. Tabitha is a delightful protagonist, both playful and pragmatic, and her supporting cast are an interesting (if potentially untrustworthy) medley. The series continues with Drowned Vanilla.