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Please note this book was first published as “AN INVISIBLE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Jenny Starling has her dr Please note this book was first published as “AN INVISIBLE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Jenny Starling has her dream job cooking for Lord and Lady Avonsleigh in a genuine castle. Then one of the castle’s treasures, a fabulously jewelled dagger, is used to murder a staff member. The victim is found stabbed through the heart in the conservatory. Lady Avonsleigh insists that Jenny help the police find the murderer. But how can Jenny solve this case when the murder was committed in front of several reliable witnesses, none of whom saw a thing? This is the fourth 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.


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Please note this book was first published as “AN INVISIBLE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Jenny Starling has her dr Please note this book was first published as “AN INVISIBLE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Jenny Starling has her dream job cooking for Lord and Lady Avonsleigh in a genuine castle. Then one of the castle’s treasures, a fabulously jewelled dagger, is used to murder a staff member. The victim is found stabbed through the heart in the conservatory. Lady Avonsleigh insists that Jenny help the police find the murderer. But how can Jenny solve this case when the murder was committed in front of several reliable witnesses, none of whom saw a thing? This is the fourth 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.

30 review for The Castle Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Jenny Starling #4 Jenny gets a job for the aristocracy living in a genuine castle, she is thrilled, envisioning nothing more arduous than days spent preparing her beloved recipes. But then a member of staff is murdered with one of the castles fabulous jewelled daggers. Jenny is once again on the hunt to discover the identity of the murderer. Another well written Jenny Starling mystery. This is turning out to be a really good series. There seems to be no motive behind the murder of a staff member. Jenny Starling #4 Jenny gets a job for the aristocracy living in a genuine castle, she is thrilled, envisioning nothing more arduous than days spent preparing her beloved recipes. But then a member of staff is murdered with one of the castles fabulous jewelled daggers. Jenny is once again on the hunt to discover the identity of the murderer. Another well written Jenny Starling mystery. This is turning out to be a really good series. There seems to be no motive behind the murder of a staff member. But Jenny has her own ways of discovering the truth behind the crimes. The police know that they will have their work cut out to solve this crime before Jenny does. These are really easy books to read. I really like this whodidit series. I would like to thank NetGalley, Joffe Books and the author Faith Martin for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Helga

    What an enjoyable cozy mystery this was! Jenny is hired to cook for a couple who live in a castle. She has hardly begun her job, when the governess is murdered. Her body is found in the conservatory, her blood dripping from a valuable dagger on display on the wall. The inhabitants have all alibis and there is no apparent motive for the murder. So who wanted the governess dead and why? And most importantly, how did they do it? Warning! Do Not read the book if your stomach is empty. With all the del What an enjoyable cozy mystery this was! Jenny is hired to cook for a couple who live in a castle. She has hardly begun her job, when the governess is murdered. Her body is found in the conservatory, her blood dripping from a valuable dagger on display on the wall. The inhabitants have all alibis and there is no apparent motive for the murder. So who wanted the governess dead and why? And most importantly, how did they do it? Warning! Do Not read the book if your stomach is empty. With all the delicious dishes Jenny cooks, you may want to eat the book. Thanks to the author, Joffe books and the NetGalley for providing me with a copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    In this, the fourth foray by Jenny Starling into the solving of a murder, we have what is the quintessential British murder mystery. A delightfully entertaining mix of Upstairs/Downstairs along with Miss Marple, and an amusing side dish of Cluedo. This was such a fun read! I'm really loving what seems to be becoming a theme of the inclusion of entertaining pets in the tales. Henry the disappearing tortoise is really a bugger at turning up in the most unusual of places! 😂

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    Faith Martin is a prolific producer of crime fiction, and sometimes releasing books in such rapid succession means that the quality isn't anything to write home about (or is absolutely dire), but Ms Martin has, somehow, managed to avoid this pitfall for many a long year. Although this certainly isn't my favourite of hers, it's far from a disaster. Previously published in 2012 as An Invisible Murder under Martin's pen name Joyce Cato, this is the fourth novel in the utterly charming Jenny Starlin Faith Martin is a prolific producer of crime fiction, and sometimes releasing books in such rapid succession means that the quality isn't anything to write home about (or is absolutely dire), but Ms Martin has, somehow, managed to avoid this pitfall for many a long year. Although this certainly isn't my favourite of hers, it's far from a disaster. Previously published in 2012 as An Invisible Murder under Martin's pen name Joyce Cato, this is the fourth novel in the utterly charming Jenny Starling Travelling Cook series. This instalment has the same warm characters and atmosphere contrasted by the dastardly deed carried out by the unsub responsible for the death of a local woman. But who is the killer, and can Jenny aid the police and collar him before he causes more destruction? This is a lighthearted addition to an already popular series which I always picture as being set in the chocolate-box villages portrayed in Midsomer Murders, and there is more humour interspersed throughout than in previous episodes. One of the aspects I appreciate the most about this cosy series is that the investigations are furthered by good old-fashioned police work and there's a distinct lack of forensics and science. Basically, it's all done by following the gut and dogged hard work. I think the reason it's so enjoyable is that there's not much else on the market like this now, and I am a sucker for anything that makes me feel nostalgic. It's a very straightforward approach and all the better for it too. Sometimes less is more. A few of the surprises I guessed ahead of time, but that didn't spoil the book for me. A must-read series for those who like cosies and fun, entertaining mysteries. Many thanks to Joffe Books for an ARC.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    4.5 Stars Please note this book was first published as “AN INVISIBLE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling is a mot unusual woman. Standing a tad over 6 feet, she's curvaceous with beautiful long dark hair, living the life she wants. She is a traveling cook and just from chance an amateur detective. She's well known among law enforcement communities. Without meaning to, she's been involved in several murders and always seems to find the culprit before the officers can. Thi 4.5 Stars Please note this book was first published as “AN INVISIBLE MURDER” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling is a mot unusual woman. Standing a tad over 6 feet, she's curvaceous with beautiful long dark hair, living the life she wants. She is a traveling cook and just from chance an amateur detective. She's well known among law enforcement communities. Without meaning to, she's been involved in several murders and always seems to find the culprit before the officers can. This time around she's been hired to cook for the owners of a real castle. She's only been there a day or two when one of the staff members is stabbed in the heart with a jeweled dagger. The castle is full of suspects ... either staff or relatives of the elderly owners. Upon investigating with the police, they find that several of the people there should have been able to see exactly where the stabbing took place ... but no one remembers seeing or hearing anything. There are plenty of suspects, many of whom had a motive. Several of them have secrets ... the kind of secrets that should never see the light of day. This is a suspenseful mystery with varied and unique characters. The reader should pay attention to Henry ... he's a hoot... and he lightens the somber mood of the household. Although 4th in the series, this can be easily read as a stand alone. As always, I highly recommend starting at the very beginning. These mysteries are suspenseful, tossed with a little humor, delicious sounding meals, and credible characters. Many thanks to the the author / Joffe Books / Books n All Productions / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    In THE CASTLE MYSTERY by Faith Martin, Jenny Starling is back and this time she’s got a job in a centuries old castle filled with renowned, museum quality artworks. The art has been in the ownership of the Avonsleigh family for generation, as has the castle. Maybe this time she’s finally found a cooking job worthy of her extraordinary talents and filled with interesting characters you might like to see in more than one book. However, if you’ve been reading the Jenny Starling books, this is the fo In THE CASTLE MYSTERY by Faith Martin, Jenny Starling is back and this time she’s got a job in a centuries old castle filled with renowned, museum quality artworks. The art has been in the ownership of the Avonsleigh family for generation, as has the castle. Maybe this time she’s finally found a cooking job worthy of her extraordinary talents and filled with interesting characters you might like to see in more than one book. However, if you’ve been reading the Jenny Starling books, this is the fourth one and by now you know wherever she appears, so does murder and this one turns out to be no exception. Lord and Lady Avonsleigh are delightfully unexpected. In spite of their upper crust status, they are plain spoken and immediately attracted to Jenny who knows exactly how to woo them with her culinary skills. The downstairs staff is filled with equally interesting likeable characters and Jenny finds it easy to settle in almost immediately. Of course, all that changes with the murder of one of their own and the insistence of Lady Avonsleigh that they work closely with Jenny. Once again, she is apparently destined to solve a case for the police and do so while trying not to alienate them. The victim is the governess, and everyone has what appears to be an airtight alibi. She has been murdered in what should have been full sight of the Avonsleighs and their guests, yet they saw nothing. Apparently the murder was committed with a dagger the Avonsleighs have on display and was seen, no evidence of blood by them and their guests both on their way to tea and again, on their return, thirty minutes later, dripping blood. Of course, as has anyone who is familiar with the Jenny Starling series knows, nothing is exactly as it seems, all the clues are presented but with such sleight of hand you have to be watching closely to see them, and despite the policemen’s fervent hope, Jenny will be the one to solve the murder for them. Along the way there are plenty of clues and red herrings along the way. The reader gets to join Jenny as she follows up on each one and determines what, if anything, it has to do with the murder at hand. While I did correctly determine the murderer early in the book, that in no way spoiled my enjoyment of the book. Rather, I had the opportunity to identify clues as they happened to support my solution and enjoy getting to know some of the other delightful characters who are part of this story. This may have been my favorite setting for a Jenny Starling book as of yet, and I think it would be a treat to get to spend more time in this place and with many of these people. While this is the fourth in the series, each book is a complete mystery on it’s on and you do not need to read the others to enjoy it. While there are some brief references to earlier books, they have no bearing on this case and primarily serve to underscore the police’s resentment of the fact they keep being bested by a rank amateur. I have come to expect Faith Martin’s books to be written in the classic detective style, providing the reader the opportunity to solve the case along with the protagonist. While there is murder, there is little emphasis on blood and gore and some delightful character development of secondary individuals which adds depth to the book. Having read all four books in this series that have been published to date, I would be hard pressed to say which was my favorite, but this one would certainly be high at the top of the list. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy a classic mystery.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Janet Newport

    Thank you NetGalley and Joffe Books for this arc. The Jenny Starling series are great cozy mysteries and absolute charming and gentle clean reads. Not my usual normal reading preference but a wonderful palette cleanser for me. The pacing is slow but steady, Jenny is her usual observant and analytical self (she does love a good puzzle, but regrets the dead bodies that generally accompany said puzzles). For the most part, the characters seemed all very likeable and they were all very well developed Thank you NetGalley and Joffe Books for this arc. The Jenny Starling series are great cozy mysteries and absolute charming and gentle clean reads. Not my usual normal reading preference but a wonderful palette cleanser for me. The pacing is slow but steady, Jenny is her usual observant and analytical self (she does love a good puzzle, but regrets the dead bodies that generally accompany said puzzles). For the most part, the characters seemed all very likeable and they were all very well developed. While there were lots of red herrings, there were no great implausible plot twists. It seemed like Jenny has found a permanent position at last. A spoiler -- Jenny was horrified at having to deal with a vegan menu and has left the castle. Her final exit from the castle and her sly trick with the turtle is not to be missed!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anissa

    I feel that this series has hit its stride with this book. I very much enjoyed it. Most all the characters were well fleshed out. I really loved the Avonsleighs, George & Lady Vee. The pace was well done (the murder takes place by the end of the fourth chapter). Happily, there were only two mentions of Jenny's "Junoesque" figure (there are still too many people shocked by her physicality & that she's attractive, but at least the descriptors were more varied). And her prior respiratory issues tha I feel that this series has hit its stride with this book. I very much enjoyed it. Most all the characters were well fleshed out. I really loved the Avonsleighs, George & Lady Vee. The pace was well done (the murder takes place by the end of the fourth chapter). Happily, there were only two mentions of Jenny's "Junoesque" figure (there are still too many people shocked by her physicality & that she's attractive, but at least the descriptors were more varied). And her prior respiratory issues that caused innumerable instances of sighing also seemed to have righted itself. Inhaler or breathing exercises, I don't know but kudos to that hurdle having been cleared. This reader greatly appreciated it. One of the staff at Avonsleigh castle lies dead in the conservatory, the victim of a stabbing, ostensibly with a bloodied jewelled dagger. That's not the only mystery about however and it's left to DI Bishop, DS Myers and of course Jenny to solve it all. I liked the way the investigation proceeded and the personality of Bishop may be my favourite of any of the officers Jenny's yet interacted with. I did figure out what was going on and who did the killing but I very much enjoyed the details and how everything came together. There's one staff member that's regularly mentioned but never appears in the story and isn't interviewed, which made me wonder if they were connected to the goings-on. A good bit of misdirection for the reader trying to puzzle things out. By book's end, the only mystery that remained was how Henry got into all the places he did. I thought the impetus for Jenny leaving this job was done well and with a lot of humour (actually, I found there was more wit throughout this one). I do hope though that she gets to circle back some day to cook pies and puddings for them again. As in the other books in the series, I enjoyed the menus Jenny serves. Every single time I finish one of these, I wish there were recipes in the back. There's a glossary of UK terms for those who need it instead. In random things I've learnt reading this, in the UK it's Cluedo! instead of Clue!. Keep that in your hat for your Jeopardy or crossword puzzle solutions. I'm looking forward to where Jenny's next adventure takes her. I know it's Oxford (I already have the book) so it's another lovely setting where a dark deed goes down. Recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Jenny Starling is a traveling cook who has had some great assignments, although in several cases there had been at least one murder. This highly sought after cook has been forced to divide her time as a rather impressive amateur sleuth. Jenny is rather optimistic at this time. After all, she will be working in a glorious castle with very respectable hosts. Although she spots an odd staff member occasionally, she maintains her positive attitude. Things quickly change, however, when someone workin Jenny Starling is a traveling cook who has had some great assignments, although in several cases there had been at least one murder. This highly sought after cook has been forced to divide her time as a rather impressive amateur sleuth. Jenny is rather optimistic at this time. After all, she will be working in a glorious castle with very respectable hosts. Although she spots an odd staff member occasionally, she maintains her positive attitude. Things quickly change, however, when someone working at the castle is killed with a valuable dagger that is usually on display. When the lady of the house insists that the police allow Jenny to assist in their investigation, she jumps right to task. In her usual brilliant manner, her powers of deduction begin to shine, impressing everyone around her. The Castle Mystery is another delightful cozy mystery in the Jenny Starling series. In each case, Jenny exudes remarkable skill and confidence. I loved this book and I have also enjoyed the other titles. The next book in the series is The Oxford Mystery. Formerly published as An Invisible Murder under Faith Martin’s pen name Joyce Cato.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Books 'n' All Promotions

    This is book 4 in the Jenny Starling series. The story begins as Jenny arrives for an interview as cook in a Castle. The Lord and Lady are friendly people who are eager for Jenny to start providing them with good wholesome food. All is going well until an ornamental dagger is seen dripping with blood and further investigation reveals a body in the conservatory. Despite Jenny wanting to concentrate on her cooking she is dragged in to the investigation as the owners request she works with the police This is book 4 in the Jenny Starling series. The story begins as Jenny arrives for an interview as cook in a Castle. The Lord and Lady are friendly people who are eager for Jenny to start providing them with good wholesome food. All is going well until an ornamental dagger is seen dripping with blood and further investigation reveals a body in the conservatory. Despite Jenny wanting to concentrate on her cooking she is dragged in to the investigation as the owners request she works with the police to find the murderer. All the clues seem to lead to dead ends as Jenny, Bishop and Myers try to work out how the murder could be committed in the time frame and without anyone seeing anything and who was the murderer? Everyone has alibies for the time of the murder. This is a mystery in the true sense of the word. The book moves along at a steady pace and keeps the reader intrigued. Despite feeling I was in a game of Cluedo the book had enough to keep my interest. I found the very frequent references to Jenny's size a bit unnecessary but overall it was a good read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lina Hansen

    I SO wanted to like this. A travelling cook acting as amateur sleuth. A British castle, complete with Lord and Lady. A dagger. A mysterious death. All the trappings of a great story, plenty of four and five star reviews, written by somebody who seems to have written many books and published by Joffe, a respected independent publisher. I did a quick check but only read the prologue. Then i bought the novel. Big mistake. From a decent beginning with only few POV slips, the story quickly disintegrat I SO wanted to like this. A travelling cook acting as amateur sleuth. A British castle, complete with Lord and Lady. A dagger. A mysterious death. All the trappings of a great story, plenty of four and five star reviews, written by somebody who seems to have written many books and published by Joffe, a respected independent publisher. I did a quick check but only read the prologue. Then i bought the novel. Big mistake. From a decent beginning with only few POV slips, the story quickly disintegrates into headhopping central. There are parts where almost every sentence switches to a different perspective. No, don't tell me, Cato (or Martin) is writing in omniscient. I just read a John Nance novel before which was. Nance's "Turbulence" works. This doesn't. Just take this short paragraph as an example. "The cook (Jenny, somebody resembling an main protagonist sort of ish.) was remembering (why do we need the ing form here?) her call to the butler's pantry, and she glanced guiltily at Meecham (adverbs are another bugbear of this story, but I'l come to that in a minute). At the same moment, Meecham remembered what he had been doing only an hour before Ava Simmons was killed. He looked at the inspector, going deathly pale (the inspector? surely not) 'I didn't kill her,' he said weakly. Gayle gave her father a stricken look, and Jenny felt her mouth go suddenly dry." From Jenny to the Butler and back again in the space of a short paragraph. And this is one of the more harmless examples. I just mentioned adverbs. The novel is studded with them. Stephen King might be taking things a bit far when he asks us to shoot every hapless adverb on sight. The poor dears do serve a purpose after all. But when a rash of them breaks out all over the novel, things tend to become just a tad hard to read. "he said weakly." He whispered? He said, his eyes averted? Use the approach once in a while and nobody will complain. But this profusion of adverbs is sloppy writing. Next problem - the shopping list of reactions the author bombards us with? "Stricken looks" and a mouth Jenny feels going "suddenly dry." Ah. Let's not forget the "felt" as it indicates the next problem of this story. The telling. Since we're embarked on a dizzying ride from one character to the next there's no chance the reader ever gets to immerse themselves into the plot. As a result, the whole drama stays on the surface. We observe people going deathly pale, suffering from "sudden flashes of intuitive understanding" hearing "breathless explanations" the detective follows with ease (glad somebody did, I couldn't), the same person who gets ambushed by their intuition experiences "a sudden stab of fear" and a lot more "sudden" phenomena that become an echo in their own right. I could go on and on, but I want this review to be over and done with. The story premise is sound, i like the notion of a travelling cook as amateur sleuth. There's a lot of potential here. The ubiquitous tortoise is a hoot though I wonder how Henry, the super ambulant reptile, controls his bodily functions. To the best of my knowledge, tortoise can create quite a mess. Never mind me, I still think Henry is the best character among this collection of cardboard cutout figures that once in a while give an inkling of what this novel could have been, had a better editor taken care of the writing. Because of the lovely concept and those glimpses of what might have been, I'm giving two stars, though it really should be one and a half at best. I just hate giving one star reviews. They're so negative. There's so much creative effort involved in writing a book. On the other hand, this one I could not finish. The author lost me in chapter 2. I kept reading on, but it got worse all the time. I have no idea who murdered whom and why. Shame about that dagger.

  12. 5 out of 5

    The Cats’ Mother

    This is my first book by this author, and the 4th in a series about professional English cook and amateur sleuth Jenny Starling, but it reads well as a stand-alone mystery and I don’t feel I missed anything important by not reading the previous books. I don’t read a lot of cosy mysteries, as the tendency to treat someone’s death as a curious puzzle to be solved, rather than a heinous crime, bothers me, and this prejudice was completely reinforced here - Jenny takes pleasure in getting one over t This is my first book by this author, and the 4th in a series about professional English cook and amateur sleuth Jenny Starling, but it reads well as a stand-alone mystery and I don’t feel I missed anything important by not reading the previous books. I don’t read a lot of cosy mysteries, as the tendency to treat someone’s death as a curious puzzle to be solved, rather than a heinous crime, bothers me, and this prejudice was completely reinforced here - Jenny takes pleasure in getting one over the police rather than apprehending the perpetrator as soon as possible. However, it is sometimes good to step away from the darkness of traditional crime thrillers to read something lightweight. Jenny arrives for a job interview at a stately home and with a few well chosen menu suggestions to the elderly aristocrat owners, secures the position and is rapidly ensconced in the kitchen, to the delight of all concerned. Barely a day has passed before one of the other employees is found stabbed to death in the conservatory with a valuable ornamental knife. The police are initially apprehensive because of Jenny’s reputation for beating them to the solving of murders in other towns, but are soon charmed by her, and allow her to run a parallel investigation, but who could the culprit be when everyone has an alibi and no one has a motive? Jenny is an engaging heroine although I got tired of the repeated references to her physical attributes - she’s tall and curvy with blue eyes, we get it. I guessed whodunnit, how and why pretty early on, there are a few too many clues for an avid crime reader, but sometimes the fun is in seeing if one is right. I’m not really a fan of traditional English cuisine, which is just as well, as the culinary descriptions would’ve left me salivating otherwise. There’s an amusing range of characters, and a tortoise with superpowers, the writing is smooth and it’s not overly long, so overall I would recommend this to fans of the cosy genre. My thanks to NetGalley for the arc which allowed me to give an honest review. The Castle Mystery is available now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Castle Mystery, the fourth novel to feature travelling cook Jenny Starling. Jenny has accepted a post with Lord and Lady Avonsleigh where she immediately and happily feels at home. That is until Ava Simmons, the Avonsleighs’ granddaughter Roberta’s tutor, is brutally murdered in seemingly impossible circumstances and “Lady Vee” Avonsleigh drafts Jenny in to help the police. I thoroughly enjoyed The Castle Murder which is an I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Castle Mystery, the fourth novel to feature travelling cook Jenny Starling. Jenny has accepted a post with Lord and Lady Avonsleigh where she immediately and happily feels at home. That is until Ava Simmons, the Avonsleighs’ granddaughter Roberta’s tutor, is brutally murdered in seemingly impossible circumstances and “Lady Vee” Avonsleigh drafts Jenny in to help the police. I thoroughly enjoyed The Castle Murder which is another light, frothy cosy with a good mystery and a sense of humour. As ever the who and how are at the heart of the novel and while I guessed bits and pieces of the how I had no idea of who or why and, yet, the clues are all there. Jenny makes it all seem effortless. It is very much an old fashioned novel as it is all done by deduction with no need for new fangled forensics or any kind of technology. As a result I didn’t learn anything new but I was greatly entertained, especially by Henry the tortoise. Jenny Starling is very reminiscent in character to Ms Martin’s other protagonist DI HIllary Greene with the same keen intellect, sense of the absurd and tall, hourglass figure. Really, the only difference is their profession. The Castle Mystery is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jannelies

    Jenny Starling, travelling cook, lands a job in a big, big castle. With a small family living in it, who try and make ends meet by open the castle for the public. 'Their nibs' as the staff calls them, are old-fashioned but honest and friendly English people, born and very well-bred in the countryside. Jenny is the new cook, and there is also a larger than life butler, his daughter the chamber maid (no English lady would think of filling her own bath), a kitchen help with a shady past, and not to Jenny Starling, travelling cook, lands a job in a big, big castle. With a small family living in it, who try and make ends meet by open the castle for the public. 'Their nibs' as the staff calls them, are old-fashioned but honest and friendly English people, born and very well-bred in the countryside. Jenny is the new cook, and there is also a larger than life butler, his daughter the chamber maid (no English lady would think of filling her own bath), a kitchen help with a shady past, and not to forget, the daughter of the house (Lady Roberta), her art tutor and her governess. Of course, one of these people gets murdered (not Jenny) and one of the others is guilty. As soon as the police arrive they have to inform the lord and lady of the house that Jenny helped the police before. With good results. So in between cooking delicious English food, Jenny goes to work and hunts for clues. The reader can hunt with her. The Castle Mystery is the fourth book in this series; we are getting to know Jenny better and better. And her dishes of course. Don't read this book on an empty stomach because you'll get even more hungry. A fine entertaining read, and not to forget: it was a very clever murder! Thanks to Netgalley for sending me a digital copy of this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Larum

    This is the fourth in the series about Jenny Starling, the cook who, this time, is working for the Avonsleighs in their real-life castle. As before with this series, it is perfectly possible to read it as a stand alone, although I would recommend reading the three earlier books to have the full picture. Jenny has just arrived to start her new job and, while she is learning the layout of the castle and the names of the rest of the staff, there is a murder in the conservatory. The victim is the go This is the fourth in the series about Jenny Starling, the cook who, this time, is working for the Avonsleighs in their real-life castle. As before with this series, it is perfectly possible to read it as a stand alone, although I would recommend reading the three earlier books to have the full picture. Jenny has just arrived to start her new job and, while she is learning the layout of the castle and the names of the rest of the staff, there is a murder in the conservatory. The victim is the governess of the Avonsleigh's granddaughter, a young woman who has usually kept to herself. As usual, the police are unable to fathom out the mystery and it is left to Jenny to pull all the clues together and reveal the perpetrator. We are given the life stories of the main protagonists and all the clues are liberally sprinkled throughout. I managed to come to the same conclusions as Jenny and was very pleased with myself. The whole book has the aura of a cosy murder mystery from the mid twentieth century, to the point where the mention of a mobile phone jarred with me as it jolted me back into the present but that is a minor point. A must for all Faith Martin fans.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

    Joyce Cato’s The Castle Mystery (Jenny Starling #4) follows the ‘traveling’ cook/chef, Jenny Starling. It has been a dream of Jenny’s to work and live in a castle. When she sees the advert for a cook at Avonsleigh Castle In Oxfordshire, she immediately sends in her application with her recommendations. Luck is with Jenny as she receives a phone call from Lady Avonsleigh who wishes to make an appointment with her. Jenny packs up her red van and is on her way to meet Lady Avonsleigh. Lady Luck is Joyce Cato’s The Castle Mystery (Jenny Starling #4) follows the ‘traveling’ cook/chef, Jenny Starling. It has been a dream of Jenny’s to work and live in a castle. When she sees the advert for a cook at Avonsleigh Castle In Oxfordshire, she immediately sends in her application with her recommendations. Luck is with Jenny as she receives a phone call from Lady Avonsleigh who wishes to make an appointment with her. Jenny packs up her red van and is on her way to meet Lady Avonsleigh. Lady Luck is on Jenny’s side, and she is hired. Jenny is excellent with English cuisine which is a hit with owners of the castle. As Jenny is getting to know the staff, one of the staff is found dead in the conservatory. (A bit like Clue!) When the inspector arrives and sees Jenny, he realizes that this woman is the one who solves murders. The inspector just shakes his head. The mix of personalities, background stories, and Henry provide the reader with a mystery which could end confusingly, but, to be honest, I liked where Henry is put the best. 3.75 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Reads & Reviews

    I'm exploring the cozy mystery genre and this is the first one I truly enjoyed. The puzzle was well developed and I like Jenny Starling as a protagonist. Light reading with humor and engaging twists. After all the troubles in the world, sometimes a little escapism is necessary.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    I want to start this off by saying this was not a bad book. The plot was intricate and well thought out. The characters were well built and the voice of the text flowed well. My main problem was that I couldn’t really get into this book until about halfway through. I felt like the first half was akin to walking through quicksand. But when all the action started happening, that was when the story started for me. Most of this was excellent. There were a few scenes that got left out that I couldn’t u I want to start this off by saying this was not a bad book. The plot was intricate and well thought out. The characters were well built and the voice of the text flowed well. My main problem was that I couldn’t really get into this book until about halfway through. I felt like the first half was akin to walking through quicksand. But when all the action started happening, that was when the story started for me. Most of this was excellent. There were a few scenes that got left out that I couldn’t understand. As a mystery lover, the part at the end where they discover the killer and show you how that happens, that is key for me to loving a book. Here it was skipped as the detective and his co-hort hid behind a screen to hear all the revelations, but those revelations didn’t come in a way I could see. The detective refers to it at the end and that was all. I was let down. I didn’t get to experience the climax of the story and that is what forced me to rate this book as a 3. As I said, outstanding mystery construction and character development. But if we don’t get to follow along and experience the “whodunit” I fear others besides me would feel let down and not want to check out other works this author has to offer. I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marion

    In this 4th book in the series Jenny Starling has secured the position of cook for Lord and Lady Avonsleigh not only are they real food lovers but reside in a genuine castle. Jenny is over the moon. That is until the second day when Eva, governess to Lady Roberta , Lord and Lady Avonsleigh`s grandaughter is found stabbed to death in the conservatory. Are one or more of the household responsible? With the local police and Jenny reluctantly assisting they set about discovering who amongst them is the In this 4th book in the series Jenny Starling has secured the position of cook for Lord and Lady Avonsleigh not only are they real food lovers but reside in a genuine castle. Jenny is over the moon. That is until the second day when Eva, governess to Lady Roberta , Lord and Lady Avonsleigh`s grandaughter is found stabbed to death in the conservatory. Are one or more of the household responsible? With the local police and Jenny reluctantly assisting they set about discovering who amongst them is the murderer. Their investigations uncover as many motives as they do suspects,plenty of twists and turns to keep you entertained. Once again a well thought out plot, an excellent set of characters a thoroughly enjoyable read. A whodunnit with a touch of humour. Thanks to Joffe books for the chance to read this as an ARC.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Simon Leonard

    This is book 4 in the cosy Jenny Starling mysteries so it is advisable that you read the previous ones first so you get the idea of how Jenny works and all the scrapes she manages to get herself into prior to this book. In this book Jenny manages to get herself in yet another scrape, but this time she is planning on getting a permanent position working as a caterer in a castle, when someone is murdered. Again Jenny decides that she can help the police work out who the murderer was and what their This is book 4 in the cosy Jenny Starling mysteries so it is advisable that you read the previous ones first so you get the idea of how Jenny works and all the scrapes she manages to get herself into prior to this book. In this book Jenny manages to get herself in yet another scrape, but this time she is planning on getting a permanent position working as a caterer in a castle, when someone is murdered. Again Jenny decides that she can help the police work out who the murderer was and what their motive was. As with the other books Jenny has the amazing knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and out sleuthing the police whilst investigating the murder . There are some funny moments in the book and it does tie up very nicely at the end.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    This is my favorite in the Jenny Starling series. I love that it sets and an Old English Castle. The cast of characters is varied, some likeable and some not very likable. Miss Harris gives us an excellent story line fills with well-developed characters and an excellent murder mystery. The protagonist, Jenny Starling, is an excellent well-rounded heroine. She's extremely likeable and very relatable. I just really enjoy reading her stories and look forward to the next book in the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lel Budge

    The Castle Mystery, is #4 in the Jenny Starling series by Faith Martin. Jenny has accepted a job as Lord and Lady Avonsleigh’s cook. They are a small family but live in a castle. She quickly settles in and enjoys the new job, but then there is a murder and as usual Jenny uses her quick, bright intelligence to help the police find the killer. A brilliant, easy to read, murder mystery, with a light sense of humour and thoroughly entertaining. Thank you to the publishers, the author and NetGalley for The Castle Mystery, is #4 in the Jenny Starling series by Faith Martin. Jenny has accepted a job as Lord and Lady Avonsleigh’s cook. They are a small family but live in a castle. She quickly settles in and enjoys the new job, but then there is a murder and as usual Jenny uses her quick, bright intelligence to help the police find the killer. A brilliant, easy to read, murder mystery, with a light sense of humour and thoroughly entertaining. Thank you to the publishers, the author and NetGalley for a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest and unbiased review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sally Smith

    A Pleasant and Enjoyable Cozy Whodunit If you enjoy English, cozy mysteries, then you will enjoy the Jenny Sterling mysteries. They're great when you want an easy, enjoyable read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ginny

    I would have given this one 4 stars....if it hadn't been for the tortoise. He was way too distracting for me....because the things he did were totally UNbelieveable. To me anyway. Maybe I'm just an old 'fuddy duddy'. ;+) Other than that tho....I have enjoyed every Faith Martin book I have read so far.....(all the Hillary's...and now I'm about to start the 5th in the Jenny Starling series)

  25. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Simmill

    Starting a new job is never easy. It is just as well Jenny knew she'd be perfect for the live in position at Avonsleigh Castle. Everything was going smoothly, the interview went off with just a small bout of nerves and she slipped into the role like a hand in to a well fitted glove. The food earned compliments, as well it should when prepared by a woman whose passion is cooking. But this incredible start came with a complication, someone in the house had a murderous agenda, Jenny has barely had Starting a new job is never easy. It is just as well Jenny knew she'd be perfect for the live in position at Avonsleigh Castle. Everything was going smoothly, the interview went off with just a small bout of nerves and she slipped into the role like a hand in to a well fitted glove. The food earned compliments, as well it should when prepared by a woman whose passion is cooking. But this incredible start came with a complication, someone in the house had a murderous agenda, Jenny has barely had time to unpack when they struck, and more concerning issue that she is forced by her new employer to help the police get to the bottom of this tragedy. Hints and clues threaded amidst an involved plot ensure you'll be contemplating events alongside Jenny as the investigation occurs. Well written in the appropriate tone for the setting which adds authenticity to what proves to be an enjoyable read. This is certainly the kind of book you can play whodunit while reading. If you pay attention as events unfold you'll certianly work it out.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joan - xstitchfan

    3.5/ 5 stars This was my first mystery by Joyce Cato even though it is book #4 in the Traveling Cook series. It is a fun cozy read set in an English castle with murder suspects galore - both upstairs and downstairs. The only one without a motive was Henry the pet tortoise! The author assumes over and over that I had read the earlier entries in the series, but I was still able to follow this book easily. I was surprised a recipe or two wasn’t included in a book about a sleuthing cook - possibly a 3.5/ 5 stars This was my first mystery by Joyce Cato even though it is book #4 in the Traveling Cook series. It is a fun cozy read set in an English castle with murder suspects galore - both upstairs and downstairs. The only one without a motive was Henry the pet tortoise! The author assumes over and over that I had read the earlier entries in the series, but I was still able to follow this book easily. I was surprised a recipe or two wasn’t included in a book about a sleuthing cook - possibly a recipe for an English pudding like Spotted Dick? By the way, don’t miss reading the epilogue which made me chuckle. The book ends with a small swipe at certain American eating habits which puzzled the book’s English characters. Happy Reading!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Quartknee

    This is another compelling installment of the series. I figured this one out around 59%, so the climactic structure felt too heavy-handed and emotionally manipulative with all of the off-page disclosures and revelations. Yes, everything is ultimately laid out at the end, but getting there felt far too forced. I really appreciate the toning down of the whole "Junoesque" stuff. In the first few books, it felt more like a soapbox insertion pushing some sort of body positivity messaging. Here, it's l This is another compelling installment of the series. I figured this one out around 59%, so the climactic structure felt too heavy-handed and emotionally manipulative with all of the off-page disclosures and revelations. Yes, everything is ultimately laid out at the end, but getting there felt far too forced. I really appreciate the toning down of the whole "Junoesque" stuff. In the first few books, it felt more like a soapbox insertion pushing some sort of body positivity messaging. Here, it's less like an ax to grind against skinny cooks or cheerleading for the fat acceptance movement and more like a natural response to a tall woman of stout stature who likes to nibble throughout the day and tastes everything she cooks. The cook who eats a meal by the small tasting for flavor moments is a stereotype for a reason. Jenny is still young, smart, and pretty so she can just keep ahead of the ramifications, but this lifestyle will eventually catch up with her. I know many professional chefs who struggle with this sort of thing. Huffing and puffing whilst running through the castle beside the Inspector is already a sign of ill health and diminishing vitality for a gal in her mid-20s. I expect it will become a bigger issue for her as she flirts with 30, especially if she's still single and an itinerate cook. The door is left open for her to return to the castle and perhaps she could settle down there - provided the current Lady of the castle remains at the helm. I was disappointed to find that the smart, handsome Sargent from book #3 couldn't find a way to reappear and flirt with Jenny. I thought they had excellent chemistry and some level of mutual attraction beyond the fact that he likes to eat, and she loves to cook while both being observant and intelligent. The way these books are structured leaves little room for a romantic subplot - a standard trope in Cozies like this - but I'd love to see something develop for Jenny. Her principles and convictions serve the narrative well, but this is the fifth murder, she's solved, and each time she runs away at the end. Always a different reason, and I get that it's a way to avoid the "Jessica Fletcher is the killer" meme or the idea that she's a murder magnet. Still, as the series evolves, I'd like to see Jenny mature a bit on a personal level as well. The author/Jenny never mentions her famous chef father in France - if he was, it was so brief I missed it. With all of the father-daughter issues and Lordship succession stuff explored throughout this case, I think it's a missed opportunity to mine some of Jenny's backstory. As the author presents it here, Jenny isn't very self-aware. I guess she can only reflect on murderous events rather than events from her personal history. As shown on-page, Jenny is only capable of second-guessing the motives of killers rather than her own. I understand that she retreats to the safety of the kitchen, the security of routine, the surety of following step-by-step processes of a recipe, and the comfort of food. Still, at some point, Jenny must come face-to-face with these avoidance issues. Finally, what's up with that turtle? If the turtle was meant as comic relief, it fell flat. I found it more annoying than anything remotely amusing. At the very least, Jenny never resolved the mystery of the turtle's movements. It's not a creature that can jump and the chairs/cupboards/tables where a character discovers the turtle are impossible without human help. So whodunnit?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kerry https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com Robinson

    Each time a new Jenny Starling tour arrives in my email I get really excited. Faith Martin never fails to impress me with her lighthearted writing style and her lovable characters. With The Castle Mystery she’s more than done it again. I have to say that this one is my favourite so far. Jenny arrives to a more permanent position than usual working as a cook to the Avonsleigh family. It doesn’t take long before Jenny begins to notice a little tension amongst the staff and surprise! surprise! Befor Each time a new Jenny Starling tour arrives in my email I get really excited. Faith Martin never fails to impress me with her lighthearted writing style and her lovable characters. With The Castle Mystery she’s more than done it again. I have to say that this one is my favourite so far. Jenny arrives to a more permanent position than usual working as a cook to the Avonsleigh family. It doesn’t take long before Jenny begins to notice a little tension amongst the staff and surprise! surprise! Before long there’s a seemingly unmotivated murder! Using her usual charm, wit and instinct, Jenny sets out to solve the murder by looking closely at all the suspects and so finds not everything is as it seems. With many suspects having motive and an impossible task of figuring out the how, can Jenny solve this one? Ms Martin always chooses the most beautifully English settings for her novels and it’s one of the reasons I love this series so much. I love the insight into the lives of castle dwelling, boat owning people and the settings are describes so well, I am always transported there. This book is no different and for a few hours – I lived in that castle amongst the works of art, the grand halls and the beautiful surroundings. The Lord and Lady are such likable and mischievous characters I fell in love with them easily. There’s nothing as fun as mischievous older characters with a bit of a spark. Jenny of course is such a brilliant woman, down to Earth and no-nonsense with a talent for cooking the most mouth-watering meals to the point that I often sit daydreaming about her dishes in the middle of reading. I had great fun contemplating all the little clues that are scattered throughout the story. There are so many red herrings to work through it’s almost impossible to fully work out the who, the why and the how until it is revealed but it’s rare to actually have so much fun reading a book – it becomes a very interactive experience. If you love a good cosy, locked room mystery then I highly recommend this series. They don’t need to be read in any order so check out the one that tickles your fancy the most and start there. I’m wondering now where Ms Martin will take us for Jenny’s next adventure. Read my reviews of the other books in the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Read

    This is the fourth story in the excellent new series from this author featuring travelling cook Jenny Starling, and was previously published as "An Invisible Murder" under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato. Jenny is in her late twenties and stands an impressive 6 feet 1 inch. With her blue eyes and shoulder length black hair she cuts a curvy and attractive figure which captivates a lot of the gentlemen she meets. Believing that vegetarians and vegans are some sort of alien species not to be tol This is the fourth story in the excellent new series from this author featuring travelling cook Jenny Starling, and was previously published as "An Invisible Murder" under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato. Jenny is in her late twenties and stands an impressive 6 feet 1 inch. With her blue eyes and shoulder length black hair she cuts a curvy and attractive figure which captivates a lot of the gentlemen she meets. Believing that vegetarians and vegans are some sort of alien species not to be tolerated at any cost, she wants to bring back good English cuisine to the world (none of that foreign stuff that her "celebrity chef" father is so fond of). Unfortunately in her travels as a cook-for-hire she has become embroiled in several murder investigations. Her ability to read people has helped her root out the culprit much to the consternation of several CID departments! In this story Jenny's ancient cherry red van is making its way to Avonsleigh Castle. Jenny has an interview and high hopes for what sounds like a dream job. She's not wrong as Lord and Lady Avonsleigh take an immediate liking to her and offer her the job on the spot. Once again the author demonstrates her ability to describe the various characters in a way that the reader very quickly feels they know them. It's an old fashioned set up, including a home schooled granddaughter with governess and art tutor, and an assortment of domestic staff who are surrounded by antiques and valuable paintings. Unfortunately it doesn't take long for one of these valuable artefacts to become the murder weapon - and the governess in the conservatory meets her end!! Her Ladyship insists that the local police enlist Jenny's help but with a very limited murder timeframe and several witnesses who saw absolutely nothing can she actually solve this baffling case? Once again a great murder mystery is delivered in an effortless easy manner. I am also loving the inclusion of an eccentric animal character in each book which the author has a real talent for describing. Henry in this story is no exception and a great addition, and I am already reaching for book five. Very enjoyable!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    This is the fourth in the series of Jenny Starling, traveling chef. I have read the previous three and have enjoyed all. Jenny has secured a post in an art filled castle near Oxford. The Avonsleighs have lived in the castle for centuries and are reknown for their vast and valuable collection of paintings. The current Lord and Lady of the castle appreciate their responsibility as caretakers toward their collection, but don’t have that great of an interest in art. What they enjoy is their food, es This is the fourth in the series of Jenny Starling, traveling chef. I have read the previous three and have enjoyed all. Jenny has secured a post in an art filled castle near Oxford. The Avonsleighs have lived in the castle for centuries and are reknown for their vast and valuable collection of paintings. The current Lord and Lady of the castle appreciate their responsibility as caretakers toward their collection, but don’t have that great of an interest in art. What they enjoy is their food, especially traditional english fare. Enter Jenny Starling, chef extraordinaire. Everything is going well, Jenny has clients who enjoy her food, she has a helpful kitchen maid., Elsie. The castle staff, Meecham the butler, his daughter the lady’s maid, Gayle, Janice, the parlor maid, Eva the governess, Malcolm the art tutor, and Lady Roberta, granddaughter of Lord and Lady Avonsleigh are all friendly and appreciate her cooking. On Jenny’s second day at the castle, Eva, the governess is found dead, stabbed with a priceless dagger in the conservatory. One of the household is responsible, and Jenny is once again reluctantly there to assist the local police. Many motives are uncovered along with a few red herrings. I was pleased to see Jenny becoming more like Miss Marple and less like Agatha Raisin. Readers who enjoy traditional cosies will enjoy this series Many thanks to netgalley and Joffe books for an arc. Recommend

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