Maplemead sends mixed messages
Mystery at Maplemead Castle (The Chapelwick Mysteries Book 2) by Kitty French Bookouture General Fiction (Adult) , Women's Fiction Pub Date 17 Mar 2017
Mystery at Maplemead Castle isn't the easiest to review. The concept of a mismatched team of ghostbusters led by a petite sugar addict and her pug is a cute one. The story behind the ghosts of Maplemead Castle (a pair of trapeze artists, a ringmaster and a lion) is an interesting one. I found Melody’s stupendous ability to say exactly the wrong thing, as well as the interplay between her, her family, and her coworkers funny. I loved Lestat the pug, and found Artie’s attempts to romance Hell’s Bells cute and comic. The novel is far from perfect, but there are many funny moments.
The biggest problem is that the first third is one frenetic monologue on superheroes and sugar.(I was tempted to run away at this point.) The phrasing is awkward, and only begins to smooth out in the second half of the novel. A minor quibble was the novel’s distinctly American feel - for being set in Britain it didn't feel very British. (Apart from the mention off few UK specific confections). It was as unconvincing as an American actor putting on a British accent. I also don't tend to find crudity sexy or romantic the way Melody does. All Fletch has to say is she’s sexy as f$&& and Melody is ready to melt.
The series has potential and I’m willing to try another novel. For now, however I can’t give Mystery at Maplemead Castle more than a 3.
3 / 5
I received a copy of Mystery at Maplemead Castle from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage. Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally. A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise? Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion. Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever? An utterly hilarious, gripping, spooktastic read for fans of HY Hanna, MC Beaton, Gina LaManna and Jana DeLeon.