Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Deadly Grind (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery #1)

Author:  Victoria Hamilton
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Audio CD; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9780425248010; 9781425617169
Berkley Publishing
303 Pages
$7.97; $27.07; $7.99 Amazon
May 1, 2012

When vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton spies an original 1920s Hoosier-brand kitchen cabinet at an estate auction, it's love at first sight.  Despite the protests of her sister, Rebecca, that the nineteenth-century yellow brick house they share in Michigan is already too cluttered with Jaymie's junk, she successfully outbids the other buyers and triumphantly takes home her Hoosier.

But that night on the summer porch, where she's left the Hoosier to be cleaned up, a man is murdered - struck on the head with the steel meat grinder that is part of the cabinet.  Who is this stranger, and what was he doing on their porch?  Does his death have anything to do with the Hoosier?

As the police struggle to determine the man's identity, Jaymie can't help doing a little digging on her own, accompanied by her three-legged Yorkie-Poo, Hopalong.  But in her bid to uncover the truth about the hidden secrets of the Hoosier, Jaymie may be the one who ends up going, going, gone...


Jaymie Leighton spots an old Hoosier cabinet at a sale that she's attending with her sister Becca.  Even though Becca warns against it, Jaymie buys it - noting that a couple of people who were fighting at the time, missed the gavel and she won her item.

But when she gets it home she needs to figure out a way to get it out of her van.  Miraculously, a man appears out of the darkness, tells her he's staying at the local B&B, and helps her move her prized piece.  They leave it out on the porch for cleaning, and Jaymie and her sister then retire to bed.  But during the night they hear sounds, and Jaymie discovers a man near her cabinet, and he's dead. 

Not knowing who he is, Jaymie is willing to find out, especially when she figures out his death had something to do with the Hoosier.  But what is it, and can she find out before she becomes the next victim?...

This is the first book in the series, and unfortunately, it's going to be my last.  I'm even surprised I got as far as I did, and also surprised I didn't hurt myself from rolling my eyes so much.  There are so many sentences that are phrased as questions - almost like Jaymie is second-guessing everything that comes out of her mouth.  And I got really, really tired of hearing about Tea with the Queen.  Who cares? 

There were so many things wrong with this that it was hard to like the book, and to tell the truth, I wasn't able to finish it.  I read as far as I could and then I wound up just going to the back to find out who the killer was and why.  This is how boring this book was to me.

First off, Jaymie's ex-boyfriend Joel walked out on her two weeks before Christmas (!) without a word; he just left the house (what kind of a coward doesn't give a reason why?), and went to another girl.  Then, Jaymie meets the other woman, Heidi, and decides she's nice (!) and acts like everything is hunky-dory.  Really?  Honestly?  a) This is not a nice woman if she knows (which she had to) that the boyfriend was living with someone and she had no problem making a play for him in the first place.  How is this nice?  He has a girlfriend that he's living with and you think it's perfectly fine to date him?  Then, b) Jaymie has no problem being nice to her in return.  What woman do you know is going to be nice to the woman who stole your boyfriend?  A live-in boyfriend no less.  What kind of stupid do you have to be to do this? c) Jaymie's even nice to the ex-boyfriend.  Like it doesn't matter that he cheated on her, dumped her without a word just before Christmas.  Honestly?  Is she really this dumb?  She didn't want to punch him or even ask him why he left without a word?  What is wrong with this woman?

Plus, Jaymie starts worrying that Heidi will look beautiful for the Tea and since she'll be serving she'll look dowdy next to Heidi and Joel will see her and compare them.  So she's obsessing about the man who left her for another woman and worries that he'll compare the both of them.  Say what?  Oh, and I have another tidbit of news for Jaymie:  She might drink Tetley tea (brought all the way from Canada as she felt the need to tell us), but you can buy it anywhere in the states and it's lousy tea.  (Sorry, this book irritated me so much I felt the need to throw that in).

When she brings the cabinet home, a stranger shows up out of nowhere, gives her a story as to why he's there, and she buys it without question (which is odd, considering she was questioning everything else during the book).  Then this guy even asks her if she has an alarm system, and lo and behold, no alarms go off in her head that something's fishy about it.

She discovers a clue to the murder, but instead of calling the police immediately she decides to work in her garden for awhile.  Huh?  I also got tired of hearing about the summer porch. It's a porch, plain and simple.  You explained it once, that's enough.  Most people say front porch or back porch, I've never heard anyone say summer porch.  Does that make her front porch the winter porch?  Do they only use it in winter?  At any rate, the things she does defy explanation.  It's as if her brain is wired wrong and she can't think properly.

Life is too short to waste on bad books, so my first foray into this series will be my last.  I would suggest that you skip this series and move on to something that actually makes sense and doesn't talk about irrelevant things and repetitive details.


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