B.B. Haywood delivers readers another story in Candy Holliday series. Town in a Strawberry Swirl is the fifth book in the series and finds the town of Cape Willington once again preparing for a festival. This time it's the Strawberry festival and readers are treated to some scrumptious recipes to go along with their clues. Haywood's knack for writing small town hi-jinx is one of the charms of this series and her engaging characters will soon seem like old friends to new readers, and neighbors to the rest of us. A great addition to a wonderful series!
What I liked:
I have really enjoyed the themes and festivals that B.B. Haywood comes up with for this series from the git go. Being a Type 1 Diabetic, I eat a lot of fruits that have natural sugars and strawberries are among my favorites. So the theme of this books festival was right up my alley. I liked the fact that recipes are also included in the back of the book. Let me just say you've got to try the Pasta with Strawberry, Leeks and Fennel, very tasty.
This is the fifth book in this series and Haywood is starting to have quite a following. Her characters are so well written that fans of the series often consider each book like a visit from old friends or neighbors. I think readers feel that way because the author has a way with characterization. Each character whether it be a lead or a secondary character has an integral part in the story. If they are in there, it isn't for show, they have a part to play. Haywood creates a lot of backstory for each character and that makes a reader feel like they know these people and care what happens to them.
I also think a really strong point for each of the books in this series is the town of Cape Willington itself. I want to live in a town where there is a festival or celebration just about every season or perhaps every month. I think that would be great fun. Haywood instills camaraderie and community spirit into the townsfolk, and the small town charm is simply overflowing.
Town in a Strawberry Swirl is among my favorites of the series. The mystery itself was very entertaining and held my interest well. It is a clue based mystery and Haywood leads readers on a merry chase to be sure. Though there are hints about who the real killer is throughout the book, it does't become abundantly clear until near the end. I didn't get stumped on this one and the end is very satisfying.
What I didn't like:
Lydia kind of grated on my nerves a bit as a suspect. I could see why the author would want to have her involved, and how that added to the overall plot of the novel, but the scenes with her in them were a bit too dominated by her character. Probably just a pet peeve, so don't take my word for it. Read the book!
This was a great addition to the series. I look forward to each one of the titles in this series coming out and the preview of Town in a Sweet Pickle only whetted my appetite for all things B.B. Haywood. Town in a Strawberry Swirl features another interesting festival and all of the great characters readers have come to love. Can't wait to read more from Candy, Doc and the rest of the gang!