Hello darlings, how's your December going? Mine has been great! Lot's of time for me and Natalia, some knitting and crocheting and some wonderful book reading too! It's one of these books I am going to be talking to you about in this post. This is my Birthday Mystery by Faith Martin Book review. You know how much I love this author. I've written reviews for many of her books. You can find them all here.


What’s the book about

Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These classic-style mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective.

Please note this book was first published as “BIRTHDAYS CAN BE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.

Jenny Starling is catering the twenty-first birthday party of a pair of posh twins, Alicia and Justin.

But when she arrives at their parent’s country house, she is immediately met by the police. A young man has drowned in the pond. Was it an accident or murder?

Then just after midnight everyone gathers for a champagne toast. But one of the guests falls down dead.

The police are baffled and there is a whole party full of suspects. But when it comes to someone adding the extra ingredient of poison to her own precious recipes, Jenny isn't going to take it lying down. She has a reputation to protect.

Jenny Starling won't stop until the murderer is found.

This is the first of a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page. Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis.

In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch, and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother.  Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van, and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.

What I think of the book

You guys need to read this book! If you like Agatha Christie but you wish for a little more modern setting, your wish just came true! I mean Jenny Starling is a brilliant character that will become one of your favorites too!

I loved the book and might go as far as to say this was my favorite book from Faith so far!

It kept me turning the pages and wanting to read more and more. I loved the pace, the character building and the suspence. I am a huge fan of Hercule Poiro and Jenny is a modern, feminine and brilliant version of him! 

The twist and turns and the reasoning behind them were excellent. I managed to realise who done it before the grant reveal in the book and I was really, really glad I haven't lost my touch!

All and all this is a 5/5 stars from me and I bet you'll agree once you read it too!

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Author’s bio

Faith Martin was born in Oxford, and has spent all her life within twenty miles of the university city, even working at Somerville College for five years before turning to writing full-time. The author of the popular DI Hillary Greene novels, she also writes more classic-style 'whodunits' under the pen name Joyce Cato, but began her writing career as Maxine Barry, winning an award for penning romance novels! A popular writer for over 25 years, she has had nearly 50 novels published so far. Her hobbies include walking her now ageing dog, wildlife-watching, reading and (reluctantly) gardening.  

Seriously, I can't wait to start the next book in the series and tell you all about it! Did you read anything good lately?