Home Chef Giveaway
I have three (3) Home Chef meal kits valued at $50 each to give away to anyone who has never tried Home Chef. The previous winners were complimentary of their kits. Please leave a comment by Saturday, August 20th if you would like to be entered in a random drawing.
The Home Chef Winners are Cindy N, Paige S, and Colleen H.
Thanks for commenting. Let me know how you enjoy your meals.
The Secret Staircase
The Secret Staircase is the third book of the Cozy Series called the Victorian Village Mysteries. The premise of the series is that Kate Hamilton has gone back to her small hometown of Asheboro, Maryland to help revitalize it as a tourist attraction. The plans are to recreate it as the Victorian village it once was. Years ago, Asheboro was gifted an old mansion outside of town by Henry Barton. This is Kate’s first major renovation project and she wants to focus on restoring the kitchen. While she is enthusiastic, Kate has no background in historic preservation. She is constantly making mental notes of who to assign a task to since she can’t handle it herself.
When a contractor is inspecting the property, he realizes there is a hollow space behind one of the kitchen walls. He drills a tiny hole and inserts a camera. There he discovers not only a hidden staircase but also a mummified body. Soon thereafter, a sub-contractor finds some hidden diaries that shed light on who the victim was and why he was murdered. Before too long, there is another murder at the mansion. There is a suspicion that this modern-day murder was the result of a century-old Hatfield-McCoy-type feud between two families in the county.
I didn’t find the story about the first body to be plausible since naturally mummified bodies are very rare. This victim died in an open staircase. Then someone built a lathe and plaster kitchen wall to entomb the corpse instead of just disposing of it on the large, remote property. There would have been plenty of oxygen during the construction of the wall to keep the body from mummifying. In the current timeline, there is too little character development to understand the suspected feud between the families or how the two deaths might be related.
I did enjoy the parts of the story involving historical research. Kate and her assistant Carroll diligently try to find out more about Henry Barton and his wife through newspaper articles and genealogy research. The newly discovered diaries help tremendously. Kate wants the home to become a museum as well as a learning center with children’s activities.
3-Stars. This novel will be published posthumously on August 21, 2021. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for my NetGalley widget in exchange for an honest review.