I selected A Plain Vanilla Murder from NetGalley because I had read some earlier books in the series. With its interesting tidbits on herbs and spices, it was a series that my mother had especially enjoyed, and she shared her paperbacks with me. The main character and her cop friend are enjoyable strong female characters.
This new addition to the series did not disappoint. It’s been a few years since I’ve read the other ones, but nothing ever made me feel left out, although I’m sure many books have come between the last one I read and this new one. The POV switches between China and Cookie, the Sheriff. The dual perspectives give us many angles into the investigation, but without repetition.
The mystery itself was complicated and the clues were numerous and diverse. This allowed me to try to put the puzzle together along with the sleuths. As is not unusual, I was a bit ahead of the game, but I still enjoyed watching it unfold.
I did catch one point where the investigators seemed to be considering some information new that they had already obtained themselves from another source. It is possible that this relied on a slight nuance of detail, but it did seem like they had forgotten that they had already known something. However, this was not significant enough to seriously distract from the enjoyment of the read.
Overall I strongly recommend this book and the entire series to lovers of cozy mysteries. A definite four-star read. I hope to get my hands on more of Albert’s work in the future.