COCKTAILS AND LIES
Genre: Cozy Mystery
When Hannah’s house is burgled, she gains as much as she loses: she meets Jan, her reserved Dutch neighbour and successful antiques dealer, and Callum, the detective in charge of the case, then finds some hidden letters to her dead grandmother that take her on an emotional journey of discovery.
As Hannah juggles the attentions of the two men now firmly in her life, she works to uncover the secrets of the past, only to find these encroach on the present in unexpected ways.
And then there are the two men in her life, both vying for her attention, both hiding things from her and each other. What does Callum really know about Jan? What is Jan hiding from everyone? And what did her grandmother—whose house it once was—hide from the world?
As if Hannah doesn’t have enough mysteries to solve, her best friend Rachel enlists her help in solving her marital crisis, while her pleasure-seeking mother seems intent on finding her a husband.
With so many skeletons rattling the door of Hannah’s house, can she unravel these mysterious threads and reveal the truth, changing her life forever?
The shock when I arrived home to find my front door kicked in left me reeling, too stunned to move. Before I found the courage to enter the house, Jan appeared at my side, his face a picture of concern and sympathy.
"I've been watching for you. I spotted the damage from my balcony when I came home from work and called the police. They only left ten minutes ago. Let’s go inside and see what has happened."
I began to shake violently. I've never been burgled before, but seen the effect on so many people in the course of my work. It leaves you feeling violated and scared. I doubted I could even cross my own threshold unaided. What would I find inside—or not find? I was still too shocked for tears, just cold, dumb incomprehension. Me… burgled! This is such a safe house, tucked away behind the big apartment block, minding its own little business, not encouraging anyone to trespass and break in. It’s not visible from the road and even sat navs can’t find it—I suffered endless difficulties with deliveries and have fallen out with several courier firms. I’ve stopped ordering from most online stores, because nothing ever arrives without endless emails or phone calls.
Who would rob me anyway, and why? Had I been targeted or did someone just happen upon the house? The questions rampaged my stunned brain as I peered into the house, reluctant to enter.
I loved the manner the author introduced us to the story. The slow burn romance between Jan and Hannah was sweetly done, but slow enough that she had reason to see other men.
While the mystery plot kept morphing into something new as more information is discovered, it always kept my full attention. Then something odd happened at the end, which caused me to re-read the last third of the book, because matters ceased to make sense to me.
While a second read did clarify some matters, I still felt the author had allowed the story to get a bit away from her while she focused on the romance. But, to that point, it is a lovely romance, and I enjoyed every minute of it. So I’m giving this a 4.5 for the sidebar conclusion to who broke into her house and stole some items, and rounding up rather than down because I had a fabulous read plus I rather enjoyed the surprise ending concerning the gold bars, that literally came out of nowhere.
A former teacher, Lynette gave up her career in education a few years ago in order to focus on her writing and thus fulfil her childhood dream. She writes contemporary women's fiction, usually involving romance with suspense or a supernatural twist. Her first novel was an award winning contemporary romance, ‘The Apple Tree’. Amongst her other titles are 'Killing Jenna Crane', a romantic thriller, ‘Shopping for Love’, a contemporary romance, and 'The Nightclub' a romance packed with suspense. ‘Cocktails and Lies’ is her first cozy mystery. You can find more details of her novels on her website.