Friday, October 24, 2014

AWWC 2014: A Trifle Dead by Livia Day

Tabitha Darling, a lover of vintage fashion and with a tendency to get into trouble especially with the wrong kind of men, runs a trendy cafe in Hobart where she and her equally gifted associate, Nin, cook experimental - and delicious - food. The daughter of a popular and now deceased police superintendent, she spends a lot of her time feeling smothered under the protective gaze of much of the local constabulary, including the dishy Leo Bishop, who brings out conflicting feelings in her. They argue loudly and furiously but she also wants to snog him. When a body is discovered in the top floor flat above the cafe, Tabitha can't resist the urge to investigate along with a journalist, Stewart. He's a fascinating man of many talents who works for a news blog on the floor above and, just to add complications, Tabitha finds him very attractive as well. Then things get really complicated. Tabitha's friend and landlord is missing and strange and scary things start happening around her.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Trifle Dead. It's a light hearted (except for the murders, of course, but there's no graphic or sadistic nastiness even there) and often funny mystery with a protagonist whose delight in food and fashion provides an intriguing backdrop to mysterious crimes and murder. Add in her collection of eccentric friends and acquaintances plus twists in the plot and we have a fascinating mix that makes it a real reading pleasure.

Livia Day is the crime writing pseudonym of award winning Tasmanian fantasy writer, Tansy Rayner Roberts. 

Published by Deadlines, the crime imprint of Twelfth Planet Press, in 2013, A Trifle Dead (Cafe la Femme Mystery, Book One) was shortlisted for Best Debut Book, Davitt Awards for Australian Women's Crime Writing and was a Killer Nashville Silver Falchion finalist. It is available as a paperback and an e-book from the publisher as well as

The second 'Cafe la Femme' book, Drowned in Vanilla, has just been released.

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