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Breaking the Mould (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery, #8)

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In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Grater Danger, when the town’s resident Scrooge is found dead, Jaymie says Bah humbug! to murder . . . Includes a vintage recipe! Praise for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries: “All the right ingredients . . . Small-town setting, kitchen antiques . . . and a bowlful of mystery. A perfect recipe.” —New York Times bests In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Grater Danger, when the town’s resident Scrooge is found dead, Jaymie says Bah humbug! to murder . . . Includes a vintage recipe! Praise for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries: “All the right ingredients . . . Small-town setting, kitchen antiques . . . and a bowlful of mystery. A perfect recipe.” —New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert “[A] charming new series.” —New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly “A chilling whodunit.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch “Well-plotted with several unexpected twists and more developed characters.” —The Mystery Reader “Jaymie is a great character . . . She is inquisitive and full of surprises!” —Debbie’s Book Bag About the Author: Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. In addition to the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, she also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series and blogs at Killer Characters. Visit her website at victoriahamiltonmysteries.com.


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In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Grater Danger, when the town’s resident Scrooge is found dead, Jaymie says Bah humbug! to murder . . . Includes a vintage recipe! Praise for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries: “All the right ingredients . . . Small-town setting, kitchen antiques . . . and a bowlful of mystery. A perfect recipe.” —New York Times bests In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Grater Danger, when the town’s resident Scrooge is found dead, Jaymie says Bah humbug! to murder . . . Includes a vintage recipe! Praise for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries: “All the right ingredients . . . Small-town setting, kitchen antiques . . . and a bowlful of mystery. A perfect recipe.” —New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert “[A] charming new series.” —New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly “A chilling whodunit.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch “Well-plotted with several unexpected twists and more developed characters.” —The Mystery Reader “Jaymie is a great character . . . She is inquisitive and full of surprises!” —Debbie’s Book Bag About the Author: Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. In addition to the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, she also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series and blogs at Killer Characters. Visit her website at victoriahamiltonmysteries.com.

30 review for Breaking the Mould (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery, #8)

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    Breaking the Mould is the 8th installment in the 'Vintage Kitchen Mystery' series written by Victoria Hamilton. I've read all the previous books and received a copy from NetGalley this time (thank you). I was excited to catch up on the series and because it was a Christmas-themed tale. Jaymie is on the team to prepare for the Dickens Festival in their the upper Michigan / on the border with Canada town of Queensville. While preparing one of the outdoor fixtures with a local carpenter, the owner o Breaking the Mould is the 8th installment in the 'Vintage Kitchen Mystery' series written by Victoria Hamilton. I've read all the previous books and received a copy from NetGalley this time (thank you). I was excited to catch up on the series and because it was a Christmas-themed tale. Jaymie is on the team to prepare for the Dickens Festival in their the upper Michigan / on the border with Canada town of Queensville. While preparing one of the outdoor fixtures with a local carpenter, the owner of a house nearby has a fit -- a real Scrooge -- because part of it needs to be secured by a small anchor that would reside on the very edge of his property. It's been like that for years, but this is the man's first year living in the house rather then renting it out. He's a professor at the local college as well as generally disliked by most people. Of course, he ends up dead... and which local resident was it. Current or ex wife? Son? Handyman? Housekeeper or her son whom the villain ruined for no good reason? Plus several other townies are involved. This time, it's a vintage mould that does in the murder victim. Readers are treated to a fun history of vintage Christmas items and stories, including a few delicious-sounding meals that we might want to try. Meanwhile, Jaymie visits with her friends and grows closer to her new husband, Jakob, and his daughter, Jocie. Hamilton is a good writer who keeps us interested not only in the main mystery but all the supporting cast sub-plots and shenanigans. I enjoy catching up with the different personalities and learning about connections between the families. The villain was a righteous jerk who deserved what happened to him, in my opinion (and in book world only)! Jaymie also stands up for herself in this book to her newspaper reporter boss and the new police detective. While both were great scenes, I think it possibly came to close together and made me question whether there were too many changes in Jaymie all in quick fashion. I like her strength, but she also needs to be a little sneaky and subtle sometimes to get the job done. Now that I'm current on 2 of the author's series, I might need to check out one of her other ones. The next book in this series wouldn't be available until this fall (not even sure there is one yet either) and the other series I read has been on hold for a while. Has Anyone else checked out her other books and have thoughts to share?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    My thanks to NetGalley and Beyond the Page publishing for providing me an advance digital copy of Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton in exchange for an honest review. This is the eighth book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series and my first time reading any of the them. I felt this put me at a bit of a disadvantage as there were a number of secondary characters who were part of the story without much explanation of who they were, what they looked like, etc. The story had some good clues, My thanks to NetGalley and Beyond the Page publishing for providing me an advance digital copy of Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton in exchange for an honest review. This is the eighth book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series and my first time reading any of the them. I felt this put me at a bit of a disadvantage as there were a number of secondary characters who were part of the story without much explanation of who they were, what they looked like, etc. The story had some good clues, although they were not as useful in solving the mystery as they might have been. I solved it easily enough, but didn’t see a clear path of clues pointing to the killer even though I was expecting them. There were also some excellent red herrings that gave the reader an opportunity to go astray in their attempt to solve the murder. I’m thinking this is a series that may best be enjoyed if the reader begins with the first book in the series. At the end of this book I’m not sure I have a clear picture of what the people look like, how the town is organized or why it is called a vintage kitchen mystery series. There is brief mention of a shop where apparently some vintage items are sold, but it is only talked about in passing and doesn’t figure into the book in any meaningful way. Relationships between the protagonist, Jaymie, and the secondary characters are mentioned, but don’t seem to have much depth within the book. It’s quite possible these have been explored in earlier works and would then represent repetition to the majority of readers who have been acquainted with the series. While this is a Christmas book in that it occurs around the town’s celebration of “Dicken’s Days” and the planned celebration featuring a diorama and other decorations highlighting A Christmas Carol, there is little else that has much of a Christmas feel. The one exception is Jaymie’s family who live on a Christmas tree farm, and toward the end of the book there are some references to the opening of their lot for the season. The names of some of the characters were plays on names from Dicken’s book, such as Ben Nezer, Evan Nezer, and Jacklyn Marley. Rather than adding to the book, I found these initially more distracting as in the beginning I didn’t recognize the strong connection between the story and Dicken’s novel. This slowed me down as I tried to keep my mind on track with this book rather than veering off to A Christmas Carol. This book may best be enjoyed by readers who have invested in this series and are well acquainted with all the characters and the setting. For readers who are new to the series, I would encourage them to start with the beginning book to get better acquainted with the people and place for this series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This can be read as a standalone. It is the eight book in the series and the second that I have read. Not having started at the beginning, I do not feel lost. What drew me in was the cover art. It is so inviting. It sets a cozy warm setting for the holiday season. Having read book seven, I wanted to continue to learn about Jaymie and her new family. This book is well thought out and has plenty of twists and suspects. I wasn’t sorry for the bump off but wasn’t that the desired gut feeling? Read and This can be read as a standalone. It is the eight book in the series and the second that I have read. Not having started at the beginning, I do not feel lost. What drew me in was the cover art. It is so inviting. It sets a cozy warm setting for the holiday season. Having read book seven, I wanted to continue to learn about Jaymie and her new family. This book is well thought out and has plenty of twists and suspects. I wasn’t sorry for the bump off but wasn’t that the desired gut feeling? Read and enjoy the well-crafted story. I like that this is a holiday themed book. The author has a sense of humor in picking character names such as Evan Nezer. The characters are genuine and not bland. I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by Beyond The Page and NetGalley.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    Breaking the Mould is the 8th installment in the 'Vintage Kitchen Mystery' series written by Victoria Hamilton. I have only read two previous books, but had no problems following the story. I will go back and read the ones I missed, as there is character development that I have missed out on. In this outing, the small town in Upper Michigan is preparing for Dickens' Days. Jaymie is working with the town handyman to set up when they have a run-in with Evan Nezer, the town Scrooge. He wants them of Breaking the Mould is the 8th installment in the 'Vintage Kitchen Mystery' series written by Victoria Hamilton. I have only read two previous books, but had no problems following the story. I will go back and read the ones I missed, as there is character development that I have missed out on. In this outing, the small town in Upper Michigan is preparing for Dickens' Days. Jaymie is working with the town handyman to set up when they have a run-in with Evan Nezer, the town Scrooge. He wants them off his property and to actually disband Dickens' Days. He has issues with several people in town and is not a well-loved resident. When he ends up dead, in Jaymie's diorama killed by a pudding mould, there are several suspects. The characters are well-developed. They have some great relationships, strong character traits and are very likeable and relatable. The victim was one who was easy to dislike. He was arrogant, rude, pompous and self-righteous. It was easy to see motive involving many characters. The story was well-paced and both the mystery and the stories of the characters' lives held my interest. I loved the setting of Christmas and Dickens' Days and the humour of the victim's name. There were times in this story that I thought I had it all figured out, then realized that I was completely off track. I enjoy that when I read a mystery. It is always great when I figure out the mystery just before the final reveal, but it usually takes tying up all the loose ends to figure out motive. This story did not disappoint in that respect. My one niggle was Jaymie's situations. When being questioned by the police, she became quite hostile which was something that I was not expecting at all. I also have come to enjoy the presence of her stepdaughter in the books and she was almost invisible in this one. Other than those small issues, I enjoyed this story and will continue to read A Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    For me, this series holds a special place in my heart. The first book in this series (A Deadly Grind) was my first every cozy mystery, which started my obsession with the cozy genre. Now to the present book (book 8) in the series, this book is just as good if not better than that first book. This book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone mystery or as part of the series. I love how the characters have developed and changed with each relationship and new interaction. The characters are still wonderful For me, this series holds a special place in my heart. The first book in this series (A Deadly Grind) was my first every cozy mystery, which started my obsession with the cozy genre. Now to the present book (book 8) in the series, this book is just as good if not better than that first book. This book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone mystery or as part of the series. I love how the characters have developed and changed with each relationship and new interaction. The characters are still wonderful and have their little quirks but are now much more complex characters. The mystery is well-written and plotted with several red herrings though out the story to keep you engaged and guess whodunit. The setting of the Christmas season was a wonderful touch to the storyline to include Jaymie’s husband’s Christmas Tree Farm. This is still one of my favorite series and I recommend this book to any mystery fan and fans of vintage cookery and recipes. A bonus for readers at the end of the book, there is a recipe included. I voluntarily agreed to read a copy of this book supplied by NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and in no way have been influenced.

  6. 5 out of 5

    FMSWarrior

    Bah Humbug Good! Every town has their version of Scrooge, Bah Humbug and all that. But Evan Nezer takes the cake when he threatens to shut down the Dickens Day festivities that are taking place right outside his front door. Not long after several confrontations with locals, Evan is found dead in the midst of a Dickens Day diorama and who didn’t want him dead? He just rubbed everyone the wrong way and made more enemies than friends. But since it’s Jaymie’s Diorama, she’s taking it personally and i Bah Humbug Good! Every town has their version of Scrooge, Bah Humbug and all that. But Evan Nezer takes the cake when he threatens to shut down the Dickens Day festivities that are taking place right outside his front door. Not long after several confrontations with locals, Evan is found dead in the midst of a Dickens Day diorama and who didn’t want him dead? He just rubbed everyone the wrong way and made more enemies than friends. But since it’s Jaymie’s Diorama, she’s taking it personally and is determined to find the murderer and get the Dickens Day festivities back on track! This was my first introduction to this series, how have I missed this? I was hooked from page one! Lots of red herrings and suspects to keep your mind sharp and guessing for a good while. A great read for the holiday season and beyond!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton is the 8th book in a Vintage Kitchen Mystery, and another fun addition. I really enjoy this series and have been reading it from book one. Jaymie has come so far since we were first introduced to her. Jaymie is married to Jakob Muller, and the step-mother to his charming daughter. The town is busy getting ready for Dickens Days Festival, but when the town Scrooge, Evan Nezer, is found dead. Jaymie is determined to uncover the truth. I found this book to be Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton is the 8th book in a Vintage Kitchen Mystery, and another fun addition. I really enjoy this series and have been reading it from book one. Jaymie has come so far since we were first introduced to her. Jaymie is married to Jakob Muller, and the step-mother to his charming daughter. The town is busy getting ready for Dickens Days Festival, but when the town Scrooge, Evan Nezer, is found dead. Jaymie is determined to uncover the truth. I found this book to be a quick and fun read, with a well developed plot and characters. If you love cozy mysteries, which are my favorite, you will love this book. I recommend this book/series. I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sue Em

    Jaymie Müller is enjoying being married and a mother, writing a cookbook, updating her food blog and anticipating Dickens Days festival, a December fundraising event. But the fly in the ointment is Evan Nezar whose vile antics threaten the event. Then he turns up dead. The mystery has numerous strong suspects and a fair but surprising, to me anyway, resolution. A visit with Jaymie and her family and friends remains delightful. Recommended! Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity Jaymie Müller is enjoying being married and a mother, writing a cookbook, updating her food blog and anticipating Dickens Days festival, a December fundraising event. But the fly in the ointment is Evan Nezar whose vile antics threaten the event. Then he turns up dead. The mystery has numerous strong suspects and a fair but surprising, to me anyway, resolution. A visit with Jaymie and her family and friends remains delightful. Recommended! Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: Vintage Kitchen Mystery #8 Publication Date: 11/13/18 This author has done it again! Another well-written and well-plotted mystery is now added to the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. I love the inhabitants of Queensville, Michigan more and more – each time I meet them, there is something more to love about them. In this book, I especially liked that we spent more time with Jakob – but I would love it if he got into helping Jaymie solve the mysteries instead of just being background candy. Series: Vintage Kitchen Mystery #8 Publication Date: 11/13/18 This author has done it again! Another well-written and well-plotted mystery is now added to the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. I love the inhabitants of Queensville, Michigan more and more – each time I meet them, there is something more to love about them. In this book, I especially liked that we spent more time with Jakob – but I would love it if he got into helping Jaymie solve the mysteries instead of just being background candy. Another thing to love is this book is the author’s sense of humor in naming the Scroogelike character – Evan Nezer. She also gives a ‘shout out’ to author Sue Grafton, and I loved that – and, we shouldn’t forget Jaymie’s love of reading Historical Romance novels. The town of Queensland and Queensland’s Historical Society are getting ready for their second largest fundraising event of the year, the Dickens Days annual Christmas festival. Everyone is excited for the tree lighting scheduled for the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend. Jaymie is particularly excited because she has created a diorama that is the Cratchit’s Christmas Pudding scene from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. As they are setting the tree into place and anchoring the Cider House into place, the local Scrooge – Evan Nezer – arrives to make a scene. He’s a particularly nasty man who has just moved into the house that directly abuts the town-owned area where the displays are being set up. He HATES the Dickens Days celebration and is determined to stop it – well – actually – he just hates everything, but the topic of the moment is the Dickens Days events. Since that area of Michigan is very windy in the winter, they need to anchor the Cider House so that it is steady in the winds. In order to do that, they have to drive a stake into the ground on Nezer’s property and he isn’t having it! “I don’t care who’s around, you can’t use my property. GET OFF!” It seems that Nezer does nothing but antagonize everyone he meets. He cheats them, lies to them and then gloats and tells them how inferior and worthless they are. Yep, he’s a real piece of work! So, it is no surprise when he turns up dead – murdered. However, it is sad that he’s discovered by Jaymie in her much-loved and anticipated diorama. There is certainly no shortage of suspects in the murder, basically, the whole town has had run-ins with Nezer in the last few days. Unfortunately, the murderer left clues pointing to the one man in town that Jaymie is sure didn’t commit the murder. Plus, there is a short timeframe to resolve the murder because they need to get the police tape removed and the diorama taken down so they can begin the events. So, of course, Jaymie starts to investigate on her own. There are so many plots and sub-plots you’ll need a scorecard to keep up with them all. Each of those is a bit of a mystery in itself and the murderer will surprise you. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend it. I do want to mention though, there is a bit of a political slant in the book. As you read, you’ll see that anyone with any bad connotation to them at all is a “Right Wing Nut Job” or some other sort of weird conservative. Please check out my reviews at: Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpages... Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview "I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kay Garrett

    BREAKING THE MOULD by Victoria Hamilton is the eight book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. The story revolves around the upcoming Dickens Days celebration held in Queensville, Michigan. Jaymie Leighton Muller, along with her husband, Jakob, and her nine year old stepdaughter, Jocie, all have a hand in the events. The town has its own version of Scrooge in the form of Professor Evan Hollis Nezer who wants no part of Dickens Days. He seems determined to be detrimental to preparations too. Eva BREAKING THE MOULD by Victoria Hamilton is the eight book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. The story revolves around the upcoming Dickens Days celebration held in Queensville, Michigan. Jaymie Leighton Muller, along with her husband, Jakob, and her nine year old stepdaughter, Jocie, all have a hand in the events. The town has its own version of Scrooge in the form of Professor Evan Hollis Nezer who wants no part of Dickens Days. He seems determined to be detrimental to preparations too. Evan is despised by many as well as feared by some due to his harsh tongue and his continual legal bouts of suing everyone. When Evan is found murdered in Jaymie’s labor of love, the diorama of a scene from Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” with evidence leading to her and that he was positioned to mock the scene, she knows she has to find out who did this and why. Jaymie wears many hats from working at the Wolver Hampton Weekly Howler to working on her own vintage cookbook, but she has become a very good amateur sleuth helping to solve other murders in town. She’s even earned the respect of the local police. Between the police and her, they have to find out who the murderer is and solve this mystery before the Christmas holiday season is ruined for the whole town. Tourism is big bucks for the businesses in town and the Dickens Days bring in lots of tourist. However, no one wants to visit a town that is tangled up in an unsolved murder. It seems that the more answers she gets that the more questions she’s got. Can she figure out who the guilty party is? Is her life in danger since whoever is doing these things is making it appear that it’s pointed towards taunting Jaymie. Along the way, we meet some of the colorful residents of Queensville. Some are helpful others not so. Seems there are quite a few secrets in this small town. Are they secrets worth killing for? I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a great, well-written cozy mystery that has you trying desperately to the very end to figure out who the culprit is. Love it when an author keep you hanging and a guessing that way. It can definitely be read as a standalone. I have not read all the other books in this series and had no problem figuring out who was who or keeping up with the events. As good as this one was, after reading BREAKING THE MOULD, you will be like me and looking for the other books in this series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Breaking the Mould ( book eight in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series) by Victoria Hamilton began with a Scrooge-type character named Evan Neezer who is trying to cause trouble for the Queensville annual Dicken's Days celebration which is just days away. While Jaimie and her friends are dealing with that issue, a woman new to town, Jaclyn Marley, approaches her about joining the historical society, Sounds like it is going to be an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, doesn't it? Well, it's not. Inst Breaking the Mould ( book eight in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series) by Victoria Hamilton began with a Scrooge-type character named Evan Neezer who is trying to cause trouble for the Queensville annual Dicken's Days celebration which is just days away. While Jaimie and her friends are dealing with that issue, a woman new to town, Jaclyn Marley, approaches her about joining the historical society, Sounds like it is going to be an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, doesn't it? Well, it's not. Instead it is a tale of a murder and determining whom the murderer might be with lots of ins and outs and red herrings. Jamie Leighton Muller is the lead (amateur) detective who is a character different than in most cozies with a husband and life that is both charming and run-of-the-mill. Hamilton has developed interesting characters and lots of them with a well-thought-out plot and a fun holiday vibe. It was a totally enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, especially a cozy. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. #netgalley #breakingthemould

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    Breaking the Mould is an excellent addition to the series. Jaymie Leighton Muller is my all time favorite character and now that she is married with a young child, this series is even better. Evan Nezer ( I love this play on his name) is a scrooge! He is not well liked, so when he is found dead, no one cares. Jaymie of course can't stop her inquisitiveness and is front and center to do a little detecting of her own. I would recommend this book to all mystery lovers alike, this is a fine example of Breaking the Mould is an excellent addition to the series. Jaymie Leighton Muller is my all time favorite character and now that she is married with a young child, this series is even better. Evan Nezer ( I love this play on his name) is a scrooge! He is not well liked, so when he is found dead, no one cares. Jaymie of course can't stop her inquisitiveness and is front and center to do a little detecting of her own. I would recommend this book to all mystery lovers alike, this is a fine example of a well thought out plot, colorful, quirky characters and a strong story line. I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    This was my first book in this series and surely it won't be the last as I loved it. It's an entertaining and enjoyable read, a page turner that kept me hooked till the last page. I loved the complex plot, full of twists and turns, and the lovely cast of characters. The mystery was interesting, with a lot of subplots, and it kept me guessing till the end. A wonderful discovery, I cannot wait to read the next instalment in this series. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Beyond the Page Publishing and N This was my first book in this series and surely it won't be the last as I loved it. It's an entertaining and enjoyable read, a page turner that kept me hooked till the last page. I loved the complex plot, full of twists and turns, and the lovely cast of characters. The mystery was interesting, with a lot of subplots, and it kept me guessing till the end. A wonderful discovery, I cannot wait to read the next instalment in this series. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Beyond the Page Publishing and Netgalley for this ARC

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is one of my favorite series, and this latest installment didn't disappoint. I always enjoy stepping into Jaymie's world and following along as she solves a murder. This mystery was a little more intricate than some of the previous books, and the time spent with Jaymie, Jakob, Jocie & their friends is always a fun time. This is one of my favorite series, and this latest installment didn't disappoint. I always enjoy stepping into Jaymie's world and following along as she solves a murder. This mystery was a little more intricate than some of the previous books, and the time spent with Jaymie, Jakob, Jocie & their friends is always a fun time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    I think this is my favorite cozy mystery that I have read thus far. I seriously never would have guessed the killer. It really kept me intrigued the whole way through. Highly recommend. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Bradford

    Another great book by Ms. Hamilton

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    This series has gotten a little too cutesy and I understand that Jaymie is into vintage and older things, but she's started acting like she's much older than she really is. I get that conservatism is not popular but pandering to people by writing in the "evil conservatives" was a bit much and very off-putting. I miss the recipes that she used to experiment with. Jaymie has become unlikeable in the last few books and if I didn't get these from the library, I would have stopped reading them a whil This series has gotten a little too cutesy and I understand that Jaymie is into vintage and older things, but she's started acting like she's much older than she really is. I get that conservatism is not popular but pandering to people by writing in the "evil conservatives" was a bit much and very off-putting. I miss the recipes that she used to experiment with. Jaymie has become unlikeable in the last few books and if I didn't get these from the library, I would have stopped reading them a while ago.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it. In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Grater Danger, when the town’s resident Scrooge is found dead, Jaymie says Bah humbug! to murder . . . “I have loved this series from the first book . . . it’s like returning to a favorite nook for a cup of tea. It will delight, entice, I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it. In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Grater Danger, when the town’s resident Scrooge is found dead, Jaymie says Bah humbug! to murder . . . “I have loved this series from the first book . . . it’s like returning to a favorite nook for a cup of tea. It will delight, entice, and drive a reader to want to solve the murder.” —Goodreads on No Grater Danger Now that Thanksgiving’s behind her, vintage cookware enthusiast Jaymie Leighton Muller is excitedly making plans for the upcoming Dickens Days festival—the town’s month-long celebration leading up to Christmas. With a hot cider booth on the village green to warm the hearts and bodies of the townsfolk and a diorama featuring a scene from A Christmas Carol, things are shaping up for a festive season—until the town’s local Scrooge is found murdered, a vintage pudding mould covering his cracked skull. Nearly everyone had a reason to dislike Evan Nezer—either for his bullying ways or his obnoxious arrogance—but with his body being found in Jaymie’s diorama, she’ll have to figure out who hated him enough to see him dead. With many suspects and even more secrets coming to the surface as she investigates, Jaymie feels buried by a blizzard of clues. But with Dickens Days on hold until the police can nab the killer, she’s determined to catch the culprit so the ghost of Evan Nezer doesn’t cast a pall over the whole Christmas season. Includes a vintage recipe! I always love how on baking competition shows people say “well I used my family’s 80-year-old recipe for shortbread”. Women then KNEW how to cook and had recipes that were not found on Pinterest. (I make that joke as I recently ran into a Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe online that left out the flour... the flour!!!!) I actually have a lot of vintage cookware from “the cottage” and my other grandparent’s farm so I really enjoyed reading about the cookery items in the book. Every time I read the dead guys named, I laughed … Evan Nezer is so close to Ebenezer I wonder what he did to his parents to tick them off 😊. The story is wonderfully crafted and I liked how you could not guess the murderer as soon as they appeared in the story. The added recipe was a bonus: it is what we will be making in the baking class that I run next week! If you love mysteries like this, this is a great book that I can highly recommend. I so want to go back and read the entire series of books- I totally appreciate that the book is only $4.99USD as so many books, even these cozy mysteries, can run $45 CAD for a 200 or so page book: “that be cray-cray”! I normally award stars, but this deserves 🔪 🔪 🔪 🔪 🔪

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jena Henry

    Any book that includes a yummy cookie recipe is a winner! At the end of this somewhat serious cozy mystery, you will be delighted with a recipe for Holiday Hermits. The author tells us that Queensville, Michigan is the setting for this cozy mystery series is, or at least used to be, the spice capital of the USA. Jaymie is the protagonist of this complex cozy mystery. She is newly married to a charmer with a beard, Jakob Muller, and mother now to his darling daughter. The family business is a Chr Any book that includes a yummy cookie recipe is a winner! At the end of this somewhat serious cozy mystery, you will be delighted with a recipe for Holiday Hermits. The author tells us that Queensville, Michigan is the setting for this cozy mystery series is, or at least used to be, the spice capital of the USA. Jaymie is the protagonist of this complex cozy mystery. She is newly married to a charmer with a beard, Jakob Muller, and mother now to his darling daughter. The family business is a Christmas tree farm, but Jaymie also blogs about vintage cooking. And lately, she has developed a new avocation- that of amateur sleuth. In fact, she has solved seven prior mysteries, as this is number 8 in the series. We catch up with this sincere young woman in November as Queensville and its Historical Society prepare for their annual Christmas season Dickens Day Festivals. The town scrooge, Evan Ezer (get it?) is once again being his disruptive self, but this year, the Ghost of Christmas actually does him in. Jaymie finds his body in her “A Christmas Carol” diorama on the town square. Everyone in town had a beef with Evan Nezer and it’s going to take time for the police to solve his murder. Jaymie jumps in to solve it so that Dickens Days can move forward. As the book progresses, we meet many townsfolk and are given many views and opinions of the Nezer family. Can Jaymie persevere and find the killer, or is the killer going to find her first? I agree with other reviewers who have noted that now there are eight books in the series, the back story and all the characters are a bit much for a reader new to the series, like me, to sort out. And there wasn’t as much cooking and holiday fun as I had hoped. Jaymie also is rather preachy in her opinions about current affairs. Still, it’s a good read and I’m sure fans of the series are delighted with it. You can expect a well-crafted story from this experienced and best-selling author. Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. Victoria is the national bestselling author of two mystery series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries, as well as the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson. Thank you to New Galley and Beyond the Page Publishing for the ARC. This is my honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnston

    Princess Fuzzypants here: Okay. I confess. I love plays on words so when two of the key characters in this book set just before Christmas were named Evan Nezer and Jacklyn Marley, I knew I was in for a treat. The murder victim makes Scrooge look like a philanthropist, before the ghosts. He is a totally reprehensible excuse for a human and all the ghosts past, present and future could not have melted his heart since he clearly did not have one. This litigious misery wants to destroy the town’s Dic Princess Fuzzypants here: Okay. I confess. I love plays on words so when two of the key characters in this book set just before Christmas were named Evan Nezer and Jacklyn Marley, I knew I was in for a treat. The murder victim makes Scrooge look like a philanthropist, before the ghosts. He is a totally reprehensible excuse for a human and all the ghosts past, present and future could not have melted his heart since he clearly did not have one. This litigious misery wants to destroy the town’s Dicken’s Days that herald the Seasons’ festivities. Between the people he has damaged, hurt or destroyed, the line goes around the block as to who might want him dead. There is hardly anyone grieving but to be bashed on the head with an antique pudding mould and then staked through the heart with holly does seem a bit excessive. Clearly the murderer is trying to pin suspicions on either Jaymie or the old gent with whom Evan Nezer has a confrontation. As the story unfolds and Jaymie discovers the villain, there is a certain sympathy for everyone who crossed the victim’s path. I must admit I did suspect the killer but there were lots of motives swirling around. It’s a good mystery with lots of nuances, particularly in how different people deal with the things life presents. There are some great characters, including Jaymie, her husband Jakob, their daughter and pets. There is a strong undercurrent of acceptance and appreciation for people who do not fit a “mould”. I like that. Since there are few “perfect” characters, the stories always seem more realistic. Five purrs and two paws up.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Grace Koshida

    Jaymie Leighton Müller is looking forward to the upcoming Dickens Days festival in her hometown of Queensville, Michigan. Jaymie's contribution is a diorama from a scene in A Christmas Carol which will be located next to the hot cider booth on the village green. But local Scrooge Professor Evan Nezer has moved into the house next to the planned Dickens Days displays and is threatening a lawsuit to stop the event. Someone then torches the cider booth and decides to silence the obnoxious bully. Ne Jaymie Leighton Müller is looking forward to the upcoming Dickens Days festival in her hometown of Queensville, Michigan. Jaymie's contribution is a diorama from a scene in A Christmas Carol which will be located next to the hot cider booth on the village green. But local Scrooge Professor Evan Nezer has moved into the house next to the planned Dickens Days displays and is threatening a lawsuit to stop the event. Someone then torches the cider booth and decides to silence the obnoxious bully. Nezer is found murdered in Jaymie's diorama with a vintage pudding mould covering his cracked skull. With Dickens Days on hold until the police can nab the killer, Jaymie is determined to catch the culprit. There are several people who hated Nezer so there are plenty of suspects and motives for Jaymie to investigate. This was another delightful read in the Vintage Kitchen mystery series. I like how Jaymie's personal life is developing with her marriage, motherhood to stepdaughter Jocie and her integration into the Muller family. I received an eARC via Netgalley and Beyond the Page Publishing with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Qian

    Breaking the Mould was very well written and a good read for the days you just want to have a cozy read. The characters were well thought out and very colorful throughout the story. I liked the twist in names that included a cherished Christmas classic. The story is very slow paced with lots of description of people and settings which was not for me but others may like it to help them get deep into the story’s mystery. I found the story pace too slow with all the description which took me longer Breaking the Mould was very well written and a good read for the days you just want to have a cozy read. The characters were well thought out and very colorful throughout the story. I liked the twist in names that included a cherished Christmas classic. The story is very slow paced with lots of description of people and settings which was not for me but others may like it to help them get deep into the story’s mystery. I found the story pace too slow with all the description which took me longer to get through than I normally like. It just didn’t have that natural flow for me. I found I was reading about people and settings that didn’t seem to advance the story but this could be liked by people who need more to set the scene for them. For a mystery, the mystery part usually happens towards the beginning of the book so that you feel more involved in the sleuthing but this book does not work like that and kind of left me feeling overloaded with all the information and nothing yet to do with it until the mystery happened. You do get hints along the way, but it took too long for me. If you like a cozy mystery that you can linger and cherish while sipping your favorite hot beverage, then this book is for you. Thanks to Net-Galley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is my first Vintage Kitchen Mystery and it is so well written that I did not feel that I couldn't follow along because I had not read the previous books. The characters are charming, though there were possibly a few too many to keep track of at times. Jaymie Leighton Muller is preparing for the Dickens Days Festival. She's in charge of the hot cider booth on the village green and a diorama of a Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is my first Vintage Kitchen Mystery and it is so well written that I did not feel that I couldn't follow along because I had not read the previous books. The characters are charming, though there were possibly a few too many to keep track of at times. Jaymie Leighton Muller is preparing for the Dickens Days Festival. She's in charge of the hot cider booth on the village green and a diorama of a scene from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Then everything goes wrong with the murder of the town's very own Scrooge Evan Nezer. He's found in Jaymie's diorama staged with a vintage pudding mould on his head and a stake of holly through his heart. Almost everyone in town hated the man and thought he was arrogant, obnoxious and a bully. The longer Jaymie investigates the crime, the more suspects she ends up with. The more suspects, the more secrets she uncovers. Until the murderer is found, the annual Dickens Days are on hold and Jaymie and the police are working to solve the crime before the entire Christmas season is ruined.

  24. 4 out of 5

    S.K. Smith

    There’s a new scrooge in town – Professor Evan Nezer This is a continuation of the cozy Vintage Kitchen series. I thought it was nice that the author had a cast of characters at the beginning. That way you can enjoy the book even if you haven’t read the previous books in this series. The main character, Jaymie, is adjusting to being married and having a new step-daughter. She is also busy getting her diorama ready for Dicken’s Days, the town’s month-long Christmas celebration. Things take a turn There’s a new scrooge in town – Professor Evan Nezer This is a continuation of the cozy Vintage Kitchen series. I thought it was nice that the author had a cast of characters at the beginning. That way you can enjoy the book even if you haven’t read the previous books in this series. The main character, Jaymie, is adjusting to being married and having a new step-daughter. She is also busy getting her diorama ready for Dicken’s Days, the town’s month-long Christmas celebration. Things take a turn for the worse though when a body is found in her diorama. It looks like the celebration will have to be paused or even canceled if Jaymie can’t figure out who did it. It’s a struggle, though, since almost everyone in the town had reasons to hate him. The more she investigates, the more people have to go on to her list of suspects. She’ll have to figure out who the murderer is though before there are more victims. This is a classic cozy. It did get a little slow in spots but the ending is quite a surprise. Thank you to New Galley and Turn the Page Publishing for the ARC

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cherry London

    Nezer was one of those cantankerous guys who hates everything and everyone he was more than a Scrooge. His murder put a damper on the towns annual Christmas celebration but not their spirits. No one was saddened by his death, he was one of the most unlikable people ever. Finding the killer is going to be very trying with everyone being a suspect, a puzzle indeed. Jaime couldn’t leave it alone she needed to find the answers before Christmas is ruined for some unlucky soul being charged for a murd Nezer was one of those cantankerous guys who hates everything and everyone he was more than a Scrooge. His murder put a damper on the towns annual Christmas celebration but not their spirits. No one was saddened by his death, he was one of the most unlikable people ever. Finding the killer is going to be very trying with everyone being a suspect, a puzzle indeed. Jaime couldn’t leave it alone she needed to find the answers before Christmas is ruined for some unlucky soul being charged for a murder they didn’t commit. A rather amusing and fun read, with great characters and a memorable storyline, very intriguing and entertaining.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gaele

    AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4 The second that I’ve read in this series – it’s set in a small town in Northern Michigan, in one of the islands overlooking the Canadian border. Jaymie has built a successful café that specializes in vintage recipes with a twist, and her décor and much of the items for sale are also vintage kitchenware. Fitting nicely into the town, Jaymie is now gearing up for the Dickens Days celebrations, during the run-up to Christmas. With plenty of cle AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4 The second that I’ve read in this series – it’s set in a small town in Northern Michigan, in one of the islands overlooking the Canadian border. Jaymie has built a successful café that specializes in vintage recipes with a twist, and her décor and much of the items for sale are also vintage kitchenware. Fitting nicely into the town, Jaymie is now gearing up for the Dickens Days celebrations, during the run-up to Christmas. With plenty of clever characters, the puns run amok in this when the town scrooge, Evan Nezer is found dead, his head bashed with a vintage pudding mould covering his head. Of course, Jaymie is a suspect as he was found in her diorama by her cider stand, with a vintage kitchen gadget making it seem as if only she could have done it. But, with her reputation for solving rather than perpetrating the crimes in Queensville and the Dickens Days celebration put on hold until the perpetrator is found, she puts aside her plans for a cookbook, juggles her marriage and stepdaughter and steps into the fray. Loaded with red herrings, plenty of puns and lots of characters that live in town, many of whom have connections to Jaymie and Evan, with few having reason to actually feel badly for Evan’s death, the potential for culprits is vast, or is it? Cleverly plotted, with plenty of input from Jaymie and her relationships with friends and family as he the story unfolds is lovely, and while those unfamiliar with this series may find this a bit difficult to pick up at first due to all the characters, it’s still a very solid story with a wonderful surprise culprit bringing the story to a climax and allowing the Dickens Days to commence with plenty of Christmas-style revelry and fun to be had. The frequent references to Dickens-like characters, puns and clever depictions allow the place and scene to come alive and while there aren’t quite as many scenes set in Jaymie’s shop, there are enough references and moments to keep that ‘vintage’ feel. Narration for this story is provided by new to me narrator Emily Woo Zeller, and her ability to voice Jaymie and the multitude of characters we encounter was splendid. Moments where the story and the puzzle of the murder become primary are allowed to take their place, while the offhanded moments of ‘comment’ to a character’s personality or the description of a scene all had their place. It was easy to follow along as the plot unfolded, and while the culprit was ultimately revealed, her tone and presentation didn’t give the story away. A lovely introduction to a narrator I will be eager to listen to again. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    I’m being generous with this rating. This was by far the worst book of the series. Too many suspects, and the cutesy Christmas names were a distraction. I didn’t care for Jaymie’s personality in this installment. She was too bold and aggressive. She thought she was entitled to answers that the police should have been asking. Even at the end she couldn’t seem to shut her mouth. Where were the actual detectives is this book? Even Bernie the cop was essentially silenced. This book had an undercurre I’m being generous with this rating. This was by far the worst book of the series. Too many suspects, and the cutesy Christmas names were a distraction. I didn’t care for Jaymie’s personality in this installment. She was too bold and aggressive. She thought she was entitled to answers that the police should have been asking. Even at the end she couldn’t seem to shut her mouth. Where were the actual detectives is this book? Even Bernie the cop was essentially silenced. This book had an undercurrent of left wing politics and the author made sure we knew she was “woke” by being overly diverse. We had gay people, Jewish people, Muslim people. Did she miss any marginalized groups? I really hope the author returns Jaymie to the character she was, caring and considerate, and not this nosy and invasive creature.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I felt a bit lost in this book. There was a lot going on, tons of characters that I had trouble keeping straight, and a lot of backstory to the series that I think I missed not having read any of the other books in this series yet. The tie-ins with A Christmas Carol and other Dickens references were abundant and cleverly done. Also, the solution to the mystery felt a bit forced and not very strong, so I was left with a bit of a let-down at the end of the book. This is another cozy mystery, but I I felt a bit lost in this book. There was a lot going on, tons of characters that I had trouble keeping straight, and a lot of backstory to the series that I think I missed not having read any of the other books in this series yet. The tie-ins with A Christmas Carol and other Dickens references were abundant and cleverly done. Also, the solution to the mystery felt a bit forced and not very strong, so I was left with a bit of a let-down at the end of the book. This is another cozy mystery, but I wouldn't call it a culinary mystery because there was only one recipe included in the book, at the very end, though the hermit cookies do sound yummy and I'd love to try them!! I'd give this book another chance if I am able to read the previous books in the series. I just felt like there was a lot that I didn't know about the characters and the series so I didn't really connect to them in this story. ***I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.***

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This is a fun cozy series that I enjoy. This is book 8 in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series and it's a great addition. Jayme is excited about the start of the Dickens Days Festival. It's a big fund raiser for the town and her vintage kitchen store is one of the sponsors. When the town scrooge is found dead in her display hut there is concern the festival will have to be canceled. Jayme and all her friends work to solve the murder so Christmas won't be a washout . This can be read as a stand alo This is a fun cozy series that I enjoy. This is book 8 in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series and it's a great addition. Jayme is excited about the start of the Dickens Days Festival. It's a big fund raiser for the town and her vintage kitchen store is one of the sponsors. When the town scrooge is found dead in her display hut there is concern the festival will have to be canceled. Jayme and all her friends work to solve the murder so Christmas won't be a washout . This can be read as a stand alone book but the background and characters are all important from previous books. I really enjoy learning about some of the antique kitchen equipment that I remember seeing as a child. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    The mystery was complex with an abundance of suspects and motives. It was kind of cutesy with the Evan Neezer bit, but OK, it's a Christmas read. Other aspects keep me from giving more than an OK rating. Don't recall this series trying so hard to be PC with the dwarf/little person daughter and the mixtures of gay, Jewish and Muslim characters, etc. They don't seem to be a natural element to the story, but as if they were deliberately placed there to be inclusive. Perhaps it was the author's pand The mystery was complex with an abundance of suspects and motives. It was kind of cutesy with the Evan Neezer bit, but OK, it's a Christmas read. Other aspects keep me from giving more than an OK rating. Don't recall this series trying so hard to be PC with the dwarf/little person daughter and the mixtures of gay, Jewish and Muslim characters, etc. They don't seem to be a natural element to the story, but as if they were deliberately placed there to be inclusive. Perhaps it was the author's pandering attempt at "good will to all men". The treacly aspect didn't engage me and I kept putting the book down to read other books. I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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