Alas, She Drowned

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Stratford Upon Avondale Mystery (#1) Monica Knightley, 2016

Monica Knightley has written an engaging cozy mystery series – a little Shakespeare, a little murder, and an amateur detective who owns a local tea room and secretly writes steamy romance novels.

A woman who came so close to taking the veil that she still has her novice nun habit boxed up in her closet, Maggie O’Flynn is anything but demure as she jumps in with both feet to solve the murder of a crass, manipulative theatre critic. She is equally bold in her pursuit of the local bookstore owner, who returns that affection – with some reservations.

This relatively concise cozy, the first in the ten-book series, is an engaging read with well-drawn characters. I don’t feel that the author created any credible reason for Maggie to suddenly transform from tea room owner to amateur detective; she just decided to take care of business. Regardless, I still enjoyed the book.