Review: “Town In A Strawberry Swirl” by B.B. Haywood

Town in a Strawberry Swirl by B.B. HaywoodA review by Danielle.

B.B Haywood has brought us a fifth captivating entry in the Candy Holliday Mystery series, with Town In A Strawberry Swirl. This time it seems Candy is centered in the heart of the mystery. With the strawberry festival just around the corner, the town is shocked and devastated when local strawberry farmer Miles Crawford is murdered. Since Miles was already the source of the latest gossip rumor, a supposed deal to sell his exquisite and long coveted berry farm, his murder only seems to add fuel to the fire. Did someone kill him for looking to sell? Or was it because he wouldn’t sell to a certain person? As the only person of interest in the murder, real estate agent Lydia St. Graves disappears then secretly reappears to ask Candy for her help and it seems it’s up to Candy to help solve another mystery. One thing is for certain: with each book Candy comes closer to solving a scandalous mystery between Cape Wellington’s two most prominent families and simultaneously puts herself into more and more danger. Will Candy be able to solve this mystery without becoming the next victim herself?

As always, having read the first four books in this series, I was stuck with my nose in this book until I had reached the end. Haywood is excellent at foreshadowing and giving just enough hints to help the reader make an educated guess as to who the murderer is this time, and more importantly, why? Haywood also does a fantastic job of providing plenty of plot twists and misdirection to always have you second guessing yourself.

An issue that I have with this series are the time jumps. Large amounts of time separate each installment, which is fine and fits well with the seasonal theme of each town event but it can be confusing. Characters that seemed likely to be new permanent fixtures are just gone from one book to the next, which could be the author’s personal brand of misdirection, giving some wiggle room for possible reappearances and deeper involvement later on in the series. Only time will tell.

A new style Haywood worked with in Town In A Strawberry Swirl was to switch viewpoints between Candy, her father Doc, and a new character. Previously we had only seen this in the beginning of the books at the time of a murder. I found it confusing at first, however after several books from just Candy’s perspective, in the end, I found it refreshing. It turns out Doc has a good flare for solving mysteries. All in all this is another wonderful addition to a gripping series.

 My rating: 4 /5 stars.

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