A Midsummer Night’s Scheme, the second installment in Harper Kincaid’s Bookbinder series is a compelling, addictive, and delicious cozy mystery that hooked me from the very first page. Quinn Victoria Caine finds herself entwined in another murder, and this one is a level up from the last. A horrific way to die (and one that makes me shudder) especially when it happens in the middle of a crowded street. With a town on edge, no one is safe. Can Quinn help solve the crime before anyone else becomes a victim?
Once again Sister Daria, Detective Aiden Harrington, their friends, and family are back for more fun and adventure. These familiar folk weave in and out as Quinn avoids mischief while sleuthing to help solve the murder of Chad Frivole. By the looks of the crowd as the scene unfolds a few might have a reason for seeking revenge, but this death seems a bit personal. Every sleuth needs a trusty sidekick and RBG—‘Ruff Barker’ Ginsburg, her German Shephard is back too, as well as a few new non-human surprises. In addition to all the local residents who make Vienna so charming, there are a handful of new faces the jury is still out on, do we love or hate ’em ;)? The character arcs are proficient and well crafted, the Shakespearean epigraphs allow fluidity from chapter to chapter adding a welcomed layer of insight and dimension to this story.
Harper Kincaid was born to write cozy mystery and I love how she takes us on a journey connecting the relatable issues of religious differences, relationships, pop nostalgia, and family expectations in a clever way, and how those impact each character while trying to solve yet another murder. There is plenty of wit, charm, and banter embedded in the layers of wild twists and turns in the plot until the very last page.
For those readers who are new to cozy mystery please note that the sex scenes, swear words, and violent gore is off the page. What about the romance stuff? There is often a light a romantic element, and if you’re lucky those characters might hold hands on the page or perhaps a quick soft kiss that you might miss if you blink. What will happen to Quinn, the city of Vienna and the rest of those characters the we are fond of? Harper Kincaid keeps you on the edge of your seat as we try to figure out who did the crime, and who finds their happy-ever-after or happy-for-now along the way. Afterall, what would a cozy mystery be without finding someone to share this adventure with? I am excited to read more about the mishap in Vienna, Virginia and can’t wait to see who the next victim is, careful… it might be someone you know ;).
While this is the second installment in the Bookbinder series, it can be read as a standalone. However, I recommend reading this in order so you can fully enjoy the characters and the town of Vienna. Whichever book(s) you decide to dive into, they each have their own unique charm and include recipes to make some of the dishes that are mentioned in the stories. I can’t wait to hear which one(s) you make.
I received an advance reader copy from Crooked Lane books and Harper Kincaid via Netgalley for an honest and fair review.
To find out more about Harper Kincaid check out her website HERE.