Downward Facing Death is a delightful cozy debut
Downward Facing Death: A Yoga Cafe Mystery
By Michelle Kelly
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date: January 19, 2016
If you are looking for an entertaining new cozy series, look no further than Michelle Kelly's new novel, Downward Facing Death. While the novel is clearly setting the stage for future books, Downward Facing Death is an excellent stand alone mystery.
In Downward Facing Death, Keeley Carpenter returns to Belfrey, the small English village she grew up in, in order to open a yoga cafe. Keeley plans to offer yoga classes and delicious vegetarian entrées, a definite change for the rural community. She expects challenges, but not murder. On her arrival in Belfrey, she discovers that not only did someone attempt to burn down her shop, but a local man's body was discovered on site. When a poisoned pen letter arrives insinuating that she should have been the victim, Keeley starts asking questions.
Her attempts at investigating put her at odds with Detective Constable Ben Taylor, a dishy former schoolmate, as well as a number of residents. Fortunately she isn't without friends, and her father is well remembered by many in Belfrey, but is it enough to stop a killer and make a go of her new business.
I was impressed with Michelle Kelly's skill in creating realistic characters and a believable plot. Keeley is a great lead. It is easy to empathize with her motivations and understand her insecurities. The poise she developed in her yoga studies helps, but to a degree coming back to Belfrey brings back memories of the past. DC Taylor is a fine match for her, and the attraction between them is natural. I also liked Bambi, Jack's Irish wolfhound. Don't underestimate her importance.
If you like British cozies with just a dash of romance, then Downward Facing Death is a great choice. On top of being a well written mystery, it has the added bonus of a number of interesting recipes as well as information on yoga breathing techniques. I look forward to seeing what comes next.
I received a copy of Downward Facing Death from Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review.
After ten years away, Keeley Carpenter is excited to be back in Belfrey, the traditional English village hometown she fled as a shy teen, with a plan to reopen her father's neglected butcher shop as a yoga café, where she will sell delicious vegetarian food by day and teach yoga classes at night. However the more traditional residents of Belfrey do not take kindly to this idea-or really anything they deem even remotely "New Age-y." Within an hour of her arrival, Keeley comes face to face with Detective Constable Ben Taylor, who tells her that someone has just tried to burn down her shop. When officers arrived to stop the blaze, a body was found upstairs. Horrified by this news, Keeley is also startled to be reintroduced to Ben as DC Taylor, as he was her high school crush. In spite of her instant attraction to him, Keeley is determined to keep Ben at arm's length.
As she settles back in to Belfrey and makes plans for her opening day, she soon finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation. When Keeley starts being threatened herself, she realizes someone may be out to kill more than her business prospects - but can she and Ben find the culprit before it's too late? A warm, intriguing cozy debut that includes recipes from Keeley's café, Downward Facing Death is perfect for fans of Laura Childs and Cleo Coyle.