PEACHES AND SCHEMES
Peaches and Schemes: A Georgia B&B Mystery by Anna Gerard
About Peaches and Schemes
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (May 11, 2021)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B08FZLH8HS
In Anna Gerard's third delightful Georgia B&B mystery, Nina Fleet learns that despite the satin, lace, and buttercream trappings, weddings often prove to be anything but sweet...
Nina Fleet might be new to the innkeeping business, but she's savvy enough to know that Cymbeline's tourists aren't enough to keep her fledgling bed and breakfast going. And so, Nina decides to tap into the destination wedding market by taking a booth at the Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo. The twice-yearly event is sponsored by the town's two wedding pros: Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie's Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner and Nina's new friend. But everything goes wrong during the expo's fashion show, when Roxanna comes tumbling out of an oversized prop wedding cake, strangled to death by her own scarf.
Virgie is arrested for the crime, thanks to Nina's statement to the police about having overheard the woman accusing her partner of embezzlement. Meanwhile, the situation grows tense with her sometimes nemesis and current tenant, the dashing out-of-work actor Harry Westcott. Harry is concentrating on plugging his most recent side hustle ...but he's not too busy to break the news to Nina that her ex-husband is engaged to be married again.
Certain that Virgie's only offense is a bad temper, Nina decides to do her own investigating. First, however, she and Harry retrieve Roxanna's now ownerless dog, planning to foster him until a new home can be found. But local gossip soon convinces Nina that others beside Virgie might have had reason to murder Roxanna. As Nina gets close to the truth, she's putting her own life at danger. And when Virgie vanishes after being bailed out of jail by an unknown benefactor, Nina fears that if she can't find the dress shop owner in time, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning for them both.
Weddings are happy events but the planning and activities leading up to a wedding can be stressful and take a toll. Starting and expanding a business is also stressful. Nina (pronounced Nine-ah) Fleet finds herself contemplating both. To make her B&B business flourish, she signs up for a Wedding Expo and gets to know others involved in the wedding businesses, florists, gowns, catering, etc.
Her temporary roommate, Harry, also seems to have gotten the "wedding bug," as he has created his own version of a wedding (and more) service. As a result, they are both in the audience to a surprise death.
Accident gone terribly wrong or murder most foul?
Nina finds herself pulled further into events when she big heartedly takes charge of the deceased woman's dog, and feels responsible for a suspect's arrest. A suspect she feels in her gut is innocent.
Wonderful characters, an interesting setting, and a B&B house I'd like to visit, make this a fun cozy to read and puzzle out.
With romantic elements, and misunderstood characters, past and present intertwine.
Nina finds herself in danger more than once before the case is solved.
About Anna Gerard
DIANE A.S. STUCKART began her writing career in the 1990s as the critically acclaimed author of historical romance under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. She later switched to the mystery genre and is the NYT bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries (written as Ali Brandon) and the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries. Her Tarot Cats Mystery series launched in 2018 with FOOL’S MOON. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series (also written as Anna Gerard) debuted in 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED. Kirkus Reviews describes that book as “Filled with Southern charm and enough ditzy characters to keep readers guessing and laughing.” Book 3 in that series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES—her 17th published novel—will be on the shelves May 2021.Author Links