The Merry Muffin Mystery
After being kicked out of their hotel in Rochester, NY, judges, contestants, and the crew of Opera DivaNation descend on Wynter Castle. The reality TV show brings more drama than a Wagnerian opera with a questionable uncle, an obnoxious stage mother, an associate producer intent on showing contestants in the worst light, and an entertainment reporter who would rather be reporting true crime. Although Merry Wynter feels something is wrong with her guests, she can't pinpoint the actual problem. When the reporter is found near death, Merry makes it her mission to find out what happened and why. As secrets are slowly uncovered Merry has to wonder, who would kill to keep their secret hidden?
As an opera fan I was thrilled to see opera brought into this, the seventh, Merry Muffin Mystery. The little operatic details brought interest to the story without impeding the mystery. There were lots of questionable characters and a generalized sense of unease from the start, but the true mystery didn't occur until halfway through the book. I was soaking up the ambiance and enjoying learning about the characters through their interactions, which helped solve the mystery in the long run, although I periodically wondered when a dead body would turn up and whose it would be.
While I like Merry and Virgil, I adore Becket, the true hero of this book. I also really liked Kamile, the mysterious and very talented soprano. Although a lot of her backstory was uncovered, I wanted to learn even more. I loved that the young opera contestant sang "O mio babbino caro", one of the first pieces I learned as a young, albeit older than her, singer. I also admit visualizing Mr. Bean's mimed rendition.
DOUBLE OR MUFFIN takes the drama of opera and mixes it with the salacious gossip of a tabloid with nods to current social issues to create a perplexing and eminently enjoyable mystery.
Double or Muffin (A Merry Muffin Mystery) by Victoria Hamilton
About Double or Muffin
Cozy Mystery 7th in Series
Publisher: Beyond the Page (February 23, 2021)
Paperback: 234 pages
In the new Merry Muffin Mystery, baker Merry Wynter must solve a disturbing crime among opera singers before the culprit decides it’s curtains for her . . .
When a reality TV show for aspiring opera singers descends on Wynter Castle, Merry’s got her hands full catering to the endless demands of the distinguished judges and ambitious contestants. Then mysterious rumors about the cast and crew begin to surface, suggesting that some of their performances may be filled with false notes. When a dogged reporter with an eye for scandal who’s been covering the competition is attacked and left for dead, Merry’s determined to discover who orchestrated the heinous deed.
Her long list of suspects is filled with eccentric personalities, including a promiscuous tenor known for making unwanted overtures, a pampered young prodigy and her meddlesome mother, and a quiet up-and-comer whose shadowy uncle may have ties to the underworld. As the musical contest and Merry’s investigation near their finale, she’ll have to act fast to keep a conniving contestant from plotting out her final act . . .
About Victoria Hamilton
Victoria Hamilton is the bestselling author of several mystery series including the national bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She does, indeed, collect vintage kitchenware and bake muffins. She drinks tea and coffee on writing days, and wine other times. It doesn’t do to confuse days. She crochets (a little), paints (a little) and reads (a lot). A solitary being, she can be coaxed out of her writing cave for brownies and cat videos.
She started her writing life as Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of Regency Romances, paranormal historicals and historical mysteries, and still has a soft spot for the Regency period.
If you Google ‘Victoria Hamilton’, you will find listed first a famous actress who starred as the Queen Mother in the series The Crown and as Charlotte Brontë in ‘In Search of the Brontës’. That’s not the Victoria who writes mysteries.
No, really, it’s not!
You can find her buried in a good book, (entombed in a good tome?) or online at:
Website: http://www.VictoriaHamiltonMysteries.com (Sign up for her annoyingly infrequent newsletter for all the latest!)
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/MysteryVictoria
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/victoriahamilton
Goodreads Author Profile: Victoria Hamilton