First Line: No one would expect to find a new love at an estate auction, but Jaymie Leighton just had; her heart skipped a beat when she first saw the Indiana housewife's dream.
When Jaymie Leighton, collector of vintage cookware and cookbooks, first set eyes on the original 1920s Hoosier cabinet at the estate sale, it was love at first sight. She didn't know exactly how, but she knew she would make room for it in her own kitchen.
When two people bidding against her start fighting with each other, Jaymie wins the cabinet, loads it in the van, and takes it to her old farmhouse in Queensville, Michigan. The cabinet is in dire need of a good cleaning, so it's left out on the summer porch until Jaymie has time to apply the necessary elbow grease.
That very night, someone breaks into the porch and begins rifling through the boxes of items purchased at the sale, but when Jaymie hears the racket and comes downstairs to investigate, the intruder is dead-- his head bashed in with the meat grinder attachment from the old Hoosier cabinet. Is there something valuable in one of those boxes? Or is there something hidden in the old kitchen cabinet that will keep it-- and Jaymie-- in the middle of a deadly mystery?
Jaymie is in her early thirties and supports herself with a small inheritance and by working a variety of part time jobs. She has a bossy older sister who lives in a nearby city, and her parents come for a visit each summer. Her boyfriend left her six months ago, and her companions are a three-legged Yorkie-Poo named Hopalong and Denver, her antisocial cat. Jaymie loves vintage kitchen cookware, and her penchant for poring through old cookbooks for recipes that she can make the "old-fashioned way" and then adapt for modern cooks has led her to write her first cookbook and submit it to publishers. It wasn't long before I'd fallen under Jaymie's spell.
I also fell under the spell of small town Queensville, Michigan, and Jaymie's supportive circle of friends. Although I'm not a "foodie", I did enjoy Queensville's annual event, The Queen's Tea, in which an elderly couple dress up and play the part of Victoria and Albert during high tea, and the old and new versions of Queen Elizabeth's Cake that are included at the back of the book almost made me start banging and clanging in my kitchen.
There were only two minor annoyances for me in A Deadly Grind. Jaymie is the type of woman who seems to look at any reasonably presentable single man as a potential partner. To someone like me, that annoyance is probably due to a lack of certain hormones and the fact that I never did that in my own youth. However, I will admit that this minor irritant never got to the eye-rolling stage for me.
The other minor annoyance was the fact that many clues seemed to be outlined in flashing red neon. For example: You are a young single woman who's just returned home with a huge piece of furniture that needs to be taken out of your van and hauled into your house. A total stranger appears out of the twilight and offers to help you. As this stranger helps you lug the furniture across the yard, he asks you if you live alone, if you have an alarm system, wouldn't it be a good idea to leave this on the porch.... Any reader worth his or her salt knows that guy's up to no good. (Flashing red neon, see?) Well, one thing's for certain. Jaymie's not going to live long in the mystery series business unless she wises up fast because she answered all his questions truthfully! Not only that, but she keeps things from the police, which is never a good idea. Thankfully all the clues weren't broadcast because at book's end there were surprises for me.
Aside from those technicalities, I enjoyed this first in a series, and I'm really looking forward to the next installment. I may wind up turning into a foodie after all!
Jaymie Leighton lives in her parents nineteenth century yellow brick home. They have retired to a warmer climate and just visit during the summer. Her sister Rebecca visits on the weekends from London, Ontario, and together they hit the auctions and estate sales. They are both collectors. Jaymie collects vintage cookware and cookbooks. Rebecca china, tea cups and saucers. Rebecca is fifteen years older than Jaymie and sometimes seems like a second mother. She still thinks she knows what is best for Jaymie, but at 32 years of age Jaymie can make her own decisions.
Jayme decides to bid on Hoosier cabinet that made be a little worse for wear but she knows with a little elbow grease she will have a treasure. She outbids the other buyers and is thrilled to get her purchase home. Her sister, not so much. She thinks the house is full enough of Jaymie's clutter. They get it home and leave it on the summer porch. They are exhausted from the day and enjoying their purchases can wait until morning.
But someone else had other ideas. Becca and Jaymie are woken up in the middle of night by noise downstairs. They are beside themselves when the find a dead body on the summer porch. They don't recognize the man and even the police have a hard time identifying him. Why their house? Who is this guy? Jaymie needs to know. She starts to do just a little investigating. She had better be careful or she may be the one "who ends up going, going,...gone".
I can identify this sibling relationship clearly. My sister is 12 years older than me and she too was like a second mom. We are close today but there have been times when she has made me so mad, thinking she knows best.
Before my accident I loved to attend auctions and estate sales. I was just like Jaymie. I would have killed, not literally, for a Hoosier like the one in this story. Our home has been cluttered over the years with my "finds". This story hit home for me, really struck my heart.
Jaymie and I could be friends, we would be hitting the sales. Becca would probably be friends with my sister :)
The setting of these mysteries is really brilliant. Fictional Heartbreak Island between Michigan and Ontario where both American and Canadian tourists arrive for a variety of celebrations is the perfect backdrop. In this installment, a "Tea With The Queen" fundraiser gives the tourists, residents, and suspects a place to gather.
The author has laid the great foundation for more books in this series, setting us up for many return visits to Heartbreak Island. I hope not too many hearts are broken but with cozy mysteries you never know who the next victim or suspect may be. I just know this author is going to give us a wonderful who-dun-it that will find us Bowled Over!!
I was drawn to this book because it was set in Michigan (my home state) and it had a Hoosier cabinet as the main gimmick in the mystery. My mother still owns a vintage hoosier.
I liked the book and the characters and the story right away. It had enough twists and turns to make the story interesting.
There were a few things that got me wondering. What is a Yellow brick house? Are yellow brick houses common in Michigan? Is this really a town in Michigan, a Heart break island, ETC?
My research finds that Yellow brick houses are of course houses make with yellow brick and they are more common in Eastern Canada, and that yellow bricks tend to turn gray and black with age, so are often painted. It is the Limestone that gives the bricks their yellow color.
The places do not appear to be really towns, but she sure made you wish that such places were real.
OVer all I loved this book and want to read the next one. and the next one. So if you are overwhelmed with cozy choices this is one worth reading.
I enjoyed this book although I felt that it introduced too many characters in a few short pages. Perhaps I was tired, but I found myself flipping back through to see how people were connected. I like Jaymie's collection of vintage kitchenware and the recipe. I will read the next book to see if I fall in love with it. 3 stars.
Lynn D. reviewed A Deadly Grind (Vintage Kitchen, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I only rated this as a 4 star as it was too long, way too many details and junk that really had nothing to do with the story. The characters were very likeable but there was way too many of them to really get to know any of them, story was complicated enjoyed Jaymies love of her Hoosier and enjoyed learning a bit about them I live on Saint Clair River so enjoyed her invention of whatever town she had made up and, was fun having a story near home! I liked the Queens Tea and the Queen Elizabeth cake history and recipe (redone so someone today could actually make it). Will look for the next one in the series.
I love the idea of Vintage kitchen for a theme, and indeed, the references to this as well as the small home town athmosphere and the home of the main character, Jaymie and her sister Rebecca. I love the collecter themes both sisters have...lots of my fav things. Also the cat and the dog personalities and presence don't dissapoint. I just think the book fell a bit short on detail and enthusiasim. Maybe because it was the first in a series, but I want to say to the author: ' slow down, relax and infuse more detail and fun into this, you got a great theme going here!'
Also, the names of main characters were hard to grasp, some similar and there were many...confusing to the reader. Still a worth while cozy, I will try the second in the series.
I didn't care for this book. I found it kind of slow moving and full of extra pages that were useless so I skipped many pages. By the end, I just didn't care who was responsible for the murder or why they wanted Jaymie's purchase.
A Hoosier to die for? â 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 that the 19th-century yellow-brick house they share in Michigan is already too cluttered with Jaymie’s âjunk,â she successfully outbids the other buyers and triumphantly takes home her Hoosier.
But that night on the summer porch where they've 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, goingâ¦gone.