Review – Drowned Vanilla

Drowned Vanilla (Café La Femme No.2) – Livia Day

Deadlines, 2014

Tabitha Darling did not go looking for intrigue. Being hunted through the Botanic Gardens by a gunman you thought was a friend kind of sapped the fun out of detective work. She has enough to do, anyway, trying to run a crime-free café, not-exactly-date a policeman and single-handedly convince the world to give up vanilla. Investigating an internet celebrity’s disappearing act is entirely her friend’s Xanthippe’s idea – chasing the story to a sleepy rural town can be safely blamed on Stewart. Then a corpse shows up in the local lake. There are a lot of people who want answers, and a lot of people telling lies. But feeding people until they spill their secrets? That’s all Tabitha.

The sequel to Tasmanian cosy mystery A Trifle Dead, this is the same cheerful, frothy fun – I was given a copy for my birthday and it was exactly what I needed. Tabitha Darling is vibrant, irrepressible and just the right amount of grumpy. The story is very light and playful overall but has an edge of seriousness when necessary. The third Café La Femme novel is Keep Calm and Kill the Chef, scheduled for release next year. There’s also an e-book only mini-mystery set between the first and second books, The Blackmail Blend.

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