Sunday, March 1, 2020

Book Review/Giveaway - Murder Makes Scents by Christin Brecher

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher

About Murder Makes Scents

Murder Makes Scents (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 25, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496721411
ISBN-13: 978-1496721419
Digital ASIN: B07R6P9Z8M

Stella Wright loves creating candles at her Nantucket store—and she also has a burning passion for justice. Now, after visiting a perfume conference, she must solve a vial crime . . .
Stella and her globe-trotting mom, Millie, have come home from a perfume industry conference in Paris, where their trip was marred by witnessing the stabbing death of a young man. It’s a relief for Stella to be back on her picturesque island, with the comforting company of her cat, Tinker. But lingering danger may have followed them back across the ocean.
After someone breaks into her candle store, the Wick & Flame, Stella starts feeling spooked. And just as things threaten to ignite, Millie suffers a blow to the head. Stella receives an anonymous note claiming that her mother smuggled a secret formula out of France—and threatening her life if it isn’t returned. Now Stella’s picked up the scent of a cold-hearted criminal and an intriguing puzzle, and things are about to get wicked . . .

My Thoughts: This was a fast paced mystery and a wild fun ride. I loved the characters especially the relationship between mother and daughter but there were a few moments that just seemed ...I'm not sure but just kinda unreal. It didn't take away my enjoyment of the story at all though. I loved Tinker the kitty! Animals are just over the top in mystery stories for me.

I received a free copy for an honest review.

Guest Post:

Candle Tips By Christin Brecher

Thanks for having me on your blog, Jennifer.  You are a great stop on this Dollycas tour, because you and Stella Wright, the heroine of the Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries, have a couple of things in common! For example, I sometimes think she might one day realize, like you did, that her oldest guy pal is The One.  It’s just a hunch.  Also, like your pooch, Demon, Stella has a cat named Tinker who similarly seems to think he runs the show.  Things are never boring when Tinker is around.  
I’ve really enjoyed writing a series about Stella Wright, a small business owner who makes and sells her candles at her store in town, the Wick & Flame.  I spend a lot of time learning about candles, for one thing.  It’s a great perk of the series for me.  Through Stella, I’ve picked up some great tips about making candles, caring for them, and how to decorate with them.  
Candle aren’t hard to make, and they are great gifts.  A tin of homemade cookies is gone in a day (or an hour!), but a candle lasts a long time and can be a very personal gift.  The colors and scents you choose can reflect something about the recipient.  And if you pour your candle into a jar or votive, there’s room to add a personal message or design on a label.  In Murder Makes Scents, Stella and her candle students go as far as making molds for more sculpted creations.  I’m not quite there yet.  For me, the trickiest part of learning to make candles was figuring out how to keep the wick straight when pouring the wax.  It takes some trial and error, but it’s worth it.
As for caring for your candles, I’ve learned two important things.  One is to always keep a wick trimmed.  Your candle will burn cleanly if the wick is about 1/8” long, which means you need to cut it after approximately every 4 hours of use.  In a pinch, you can use scissors to cut the wick, but there are also beautiful wick trimmers which double as decorative items for your home.  Another tip for maximizing the life of your candle is to let it burn for at least an hour the first time you light it because a candle will “remember” how it burned the first time.  If you only let the candle melt into a small puddle around the wick, every time you subsequently light the candle, the wax will follow the same pattern.  
One last decorative tip.  Although the wonderful aromas of candles are tempting, it’s also good to have unscented options around the house, too.   When you are serving a meal, for example, you never want to light a scented candle at the table.  The competition between the scents from a candle and the meal you cooked can clash, making for sensory overload.  Instead, fill your table with scentless candles of different heights and colors to give dimension and life to the table.  It is a magical effect.
I hope you like the scents and candles in Murder Makes Scents.  This book is a bit different from Murder’s No Votive Confidence (#1) and Fifteen Minutes of Flame (#3, out next fall) in that it is a cozy mystery wrapped in some action adventure tropes.  At the beginning of the book, an international spy tells Stella that “in a high-tech world, sometimes old-fashioned methods are the most unexpected way to go.”  I like the idea that simple, low-tech solutions – in this case something as simple as a scented candle - can be a radical tactic in our complicated world. 


About Christin Brecher

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at
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