Victoria Hamilton’s “Death of an English Muffin” is the third in her Merry Muffin Mysteries. Merry Wynter plays host to a group of ladies she refers to The Legion of Horrible Ladies. When one of them ends up dead, Merry is left wondering if one of her aged guests could possibly have it in them to kill one of their own. So what if she, Cleta Sanson, had been the most horrible of them all? As more secrets are exposed about the people in and around their little group as well as the town’s people, the killer is discovered. Pay attention because it is a shocker.
There were a lot of characters in this book to keep up with. You might want to take notes to keep them straight. I felt like I was in a crowded bed and breakfast among the confusion right with Merry. With everyone running around, disappearing and so much to get done, I ran out of breath myself. Victoria nailed the B&B experience in an old castle in a small town. I loved the details used to describe the meals, teas and the rooms. I especially loved the well-developed characters of the “Legion” ladies. I feel like I know these women. I am pretty sure they were best friends with my late Granny!
I like how Merry’s character becomes stronger as her difficulties start to mound. First with the intrusion of the “Legion”, dealing with the family in town she was at bitter odds with and of course, her wanna-be love-interest. Through dealing with all of the problems plaguing her and the “Wynter Curse”, she finds her strength, voice and is able to learn how to take a stand not only for herself but also those around her that she cares for. She also helps those who are weaker around her grow in strength and character. She is such a beautiful example of a human being.
If I took away anything from this book, it is to never underestimate people, no matter their age, disability or upbringing. An outward appearance can be very deceiving. I love that Victoria explored this so deeply in “Death of an English Muffin.” It is something that many writers don’t explore. These older ladies reminded me of my feisty Granny Hagan. She was a force to be reckoned with. I would not have challenged that eighty-year-old lady for anything! Never mess with a group of old friends and never think that just because they have grown older that they aren’t capable of great (or awful) things. You are never too old for murder. Kudos Victoria!
As far as the question of must you have read the other two books prior to understanding this story, the answer would be no. But it couldn’t hurt to get the other two. I do plan to read the other two so I can understand the references to the notes mentioned as well as wanting to know how Merry came to inherit the castle and her run-ins with a certain trouble-making family. This book can for sure be a stand-alone read.
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***I was sent this book, “Death of an English Muffin”
in exchange for a fair review***