Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to feature Essentials of Murder by Kim Davis today!
Essentials of Murder (Aromatherapy Apothecary)
1st in Series
Setting – California
Kindred Ink Press LLC (September 8, 2021)
Paperback : 312 pages
ISBN-10 : 1951579461
ISBN-13 : 978-1951579463
Kindle ASIN : B09BBLP2C2
Following a scandal that chased her from San Francisco, Carissa Carmichael struggles to find acceptance in her small Southern California hometown as she opens her aromatherapy and reflexology shop.
When she finds a man murdered in her distilling room, Carissa becomes the main suspect, especially when her fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. Despite her father’s position as Oak Creek Valley’s chief of police, most townspeople assume she’s guilty—including the new leading detective.
Refusing to run again, Carissa knows she must prove her innocence to save her shop and her family’s reputation. With suspects acting as slippery as the essential oils she distills, it’s up to Carissa to apply pressure and sniff out the truth before it’s too late.
If you like your cozies with quirky hometown characters, small-town California charm, recipes, and essential oil and reflexology tips, Book 1 in the Aromatherapy Apothecary cozy mystery series is for you. Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.
Carissa Carmichael returns home after leaving San Francisco in hopes of leaving her recent past behind. With the support of family and friends, she strives to open an aromatherapy and reflexology shop but before she can even host her grand opening she finds a dead body right next to her distilling equipment and her fingerprints are the only ones on the murder weapon. Her chief of police father is forced off the case and the new lead detective feels his investigation is easy because he is convinced she is the killer. She now knows it is essential to catch the killer herself or to get rubbed out permanently.
Kim Davis excels in creating multifaceted characters that readers are drawn to almost immediately. Take Carissa, she has a bit of a checkered past that has probably given her father some gray hair, and in the San Francisco case, a situation that could come back to bite him in the future. She did make a great friend and mentor in Mari Kemp while there and Mari has come to town too now to help her open her shop. Cari also reconnects and hires a friend from high school who is a marketing whiz but she needs more help than just the job. Ashley is a character that really grabbed me and I can’t wait to see her life hopefully change in positive ways. We are introduced to a couple of possible romantic interests, a jerk detective, and other interesting residents of the California small town too. All are well-crafted, essential to the plot, and interesting in their own ways.
I really enjoy the way Ms. Davis tells a story. This mystery was filled with twists and turns. The victim really had issues that served up a nice list of possible suspects. The detective had ulterior motives that really tested everyone involved. Some strange land deals play into the mix and Cari tries to so be a good friend to many while trying to follow her dad’s orders to stay safe. The dialogues between the cast are both dynamic and true to life. But it is her delightful descriptive writing style that really makes her story so enjoyable. She can set a scene that paints a vivid picture in your mind while never being overly wordy. She seems to weigh each word and phrase carefully to really make them count. Readers can tell she did her research and knows her theme. The information she imparts about essential oils is so well presented. You can almost smell them too.
You can’t have a Kim Davis cozy mystery without some emphasis on food and let me tell you, all the trips Carissa made to the bakery down the street had me virtually adding pounds to my own body. Then again they could be actual pounds because she includes the recipe for Jasper’s Triple Chocolate Rolls in the back of the book. She also includes an Aromatherapy Basic Care Guide that I found very helpful and renewed my interest in essential oils.
This series is off to a marvelous start with Essentials for Murder. I can’t wait for book #2.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When she’s not chasing her new puppy or spending time with her granddaughters she can be found either writing stories or working on her blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder or in the kitchen baking up yummy treats. She has published the suspense novel, A GAME OF DECEIT, and cozy mystery, SPRINKLES OF SUSPICION, CAKE POPPED OFF, and FRAMED AND FROSTED. She also has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
Also by Kim Davis
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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.”