Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to share my thoughts about The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit today!
The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit (A Domestic Diva Mystery)
14th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Kensington (May 25, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B08GYF9WLN
In the latest Domestic Diva mystery from New York Times bestselling author, Krista Davis, entertaining maven Sophie Winston must cut to the core of another murder investigation when members of an international tour group begin dropping like flies all over Old Town, Virginia . . .
With Old Town’s DIY Home Decorating Festival in full swing, Sophie’s swamped, juggling a bumper crop of artisans, antique dealers, and decorators for the busy street fair. Still, when her best friend Nina suddenly needs a ride from the airport, Sophie is happy to help . . . until she sees Nina disembarking in a state of disarray. It’s obvious the trip to Portugal soured somewhere along the way. But after one of Nina’s traveling companions turns up murdered the following day, Sophie knows something is truly rotten . . .
Though the crime scene is staged to look like an accident, Sophie isn’t fooled and peels off to conduct her own investigation. Her only clue is a strange image the victim scratched into the soil before dying. Could it point to a cryptic killer in Old Town? A bitter travel adversary? Or a cursed artifact smuggled back from the trip? As the mystery grows, so does the body count, and if Sophie doesn’t pluck the murderer soon, her best friend may be the next to fall . . .
Includes delicious recipes and fabulous DIY decorating tips!
Sophie Winston has organized a DIY Home Decorating Street Fair and it looks to be a rousing success until a dead body is found in one of the backyards. Lark Bickford had just returned from a trip to Portugal. Sophie’s best friend Nina was on the same trip so she knew the trip did not go totally smoothly but could it have led to Lark’s murder? The victim did leave a clue to the killer’s identity but Sophie just can’t figure it out. When another woman from the trip is killed Sophie knows she has to step up her investigation or Nina could be next.
This series is so much fun. I love the way the characters have grown over the course of this series. In this story, Natasha is still dealing with the aftermath of her divorce from Mars but she does have some family around for support. Sophie is really on firm footing and happy with her life which is a good thing because Nina really needs her best friend right now. I love the way Mars and Bernie jump on board to help too. Sophie’s home again becomes the gathering spot to compare notes while noshing on whatever food she has whipped together. Sophie’s dog Daisy again steals my heart as does Mochie, her cat.
We are introduced to a new family, Paisley and Frank Eames, and their 6, yes 6! rambunctious boys. Paisley has some beautiful painted furniture for sale and was hoping her husband and her mother Lark would help with her tent and the boys but her mother’s death throws a real monkey wrench into her plans. Officer Wong and Detective Wolf Fleishman are on the case along with the new medical examiner Dr. Peter Chryssos who was also on the Portugal trip. These characters really came to life over the span of the story both for the good and for the bad. All the characters are very realistic. A certain little boy really tugged on my heartstrings while one of his brothers was just a little devil.
The mystery was complicated with a variety of subplots weaving in and out of the main plot. Several suspects came to light with different motives. I had several theories of my own and by the end, I learned I was partially right in one aspect and totally wrong in every other. I loved the twists that started to unfold from almost the beginning of the book. The author is a real expert in dropping clues while misdirecting her readers at the same time.
Krista Davis is an excellent storyteller. She has kept this series fresh and by the time I flipped the last page I was already excited for book 15. These characters are like old friends that I can’t wait to meet up with again. There is always a top-notch mystery that I can escape right into. I love the question/answers at the beginning of each chapter. Sophie’s answers are more my style but Natasha’s answers always crack me up.
The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit is an entertaining whodunit that can be read all on its own but I strongly suggest the series be read in order to really get to know Sophie, Natasha, and all their friends.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Krista Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, the Paws & Claws Mysteries, and the Pen & Ink Mysteries. Several of her books have been nominated for the Agatha Award. Krista lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with two cats and a brood of dogs. Her friends and family complain about being guinea pigs for her recipes, but she notices they keep coming back for more.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”