Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
Plaster and Poison by Jennie Bentley


Cover art: Plaster and Poison Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Plaster and Poison - 3rd in the Do-It-Yourself Mystery series
Author: Jennie Bentley
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23345-0
Release Date: March 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Romantic/Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Waterfield ME
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: None (Implied)
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Very Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Jennie's Website: www.jenniebentley.com

Ever since she decided to reside in the (once sleepy) town of Waterfield it seems as if one mystery after another follows Avery Baker and her (yummy) boyfriend/business partner, Derek Ellis, wherever they happen to be renovating. This time it’s multiple mysteries…

While renovating an early 1900’s carriage house for their friends Kate MCGillicutty and Wayne Rasmussen they come across a heart with two sets of initials carved in a beam. Avery takes it upon herself to discover who the initials belonged to and what became of them. It’s not as easy as she’d hoped and the story behind the initials unravels in one direction then another.

Solving that mystery is a nice diversion while Derek does to heavy grunt work of the renovation. Too bad when they’re on a roll and the renovation is skimming along work has to grind to a halt. It’s kind of difficult to work around a dead body. And of course, it couldn’t just be any body. It has to be the body of Gerard, Kate’s ex.

Of course suspicion is thrown on Kate and Wayne. Her ex, her property, jealous fiancé…no one else in town knows, er, knew Gerard. It’s only with some digging that Avery comes up with other connections. But the motives are seemingly weak.

Naturally these two mysteries couldn’t be enough; why should things be easy for Avery? It soon comes to their attention that Derek’s step-sister is missing. True, she’s an adult and doesn’t have to tell anyone her every move, but the circumstances are suspicious. Perhaps she’s just trying to drive a point home to her workaholic husband. It’s a possibility.

With clues to uncover, questions to ask, and a little snooping to do, Avery and Derek get little done on the carriage house. One can only hope she’ll be in one piece and ready to implement the designs she envisioned for the house once these mysteries are solved.

It’s become a treat to revisit Avery and the gang. You can always count on a bit of attitude, lots of brow-wiggling thoughts (as well as thoughts of wanting to pull a certain someone’s hair out) , and plenty of sticking the nose in where it’s least appreciated.

I have to tell you, I expected to get a clear picture right away of who, what, when, where, and maybe why. Was I wrong! Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t start piecing a few things together here and there after a good number of pages were turned, but, well, Hooray for Ms. Bentley!! She found a formula that works for her writing and her characters.

Fans of Kate Collins, and perhaps even Gemma Halliday, will surely enjoy this series!


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