Murder's No Votive Confidence

Murder's No Votive Confidence

by Christin Brecher

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Overview

Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .
 
Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptials promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot-tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.
 
When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be canceling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496721402
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Series: Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 16,974
File size: 850 KB

About the Author

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 www.christinbrecher.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Friday morning, I woke up before the first ferry's horn sounded its arrival to Nantucket Island, my hometown. I greeted the day by feeling around my bedsheets until I found my phone. Its bright light kicked in to tell me it was five thirty a.m., and to display a message I'd anticipated for weeks: "Memorial Day Weekend!" Following the announcement was a to-do list that I'd already committed to memory. The exciting days ahead signified the start of the retail high season, and the weekend of Jessica Sterling's wedding. As owner of the Wick & Flame, a small store in town where I make and sell candles, I'd been working on the wedding for two months, since my oldest friend, Emily Gardner, Nantucket's top event coordinator, introduced me to her client. I fixate on every angle when I undertake a project and Jessica Sterling's wedding was no exception.

"I want something historic. Something that captures the spirit of Nantucket, but isn't too cheesy," the bride-to-be had said to me on our first meeting. "I've picked the Melville Inn for the venue, and now I'm thinking about a candle theme."

I nodded professionally, as if this type of proposal came my way every day, but I felt I'd won the lottery. To put it in perspective, the candy store in town has hundreds of orders for chocolate-covered cranberries when the party season hits, but no one has ever had a candle-themed event. I was dying to lead the design, and I was honored to be part of Jessica's fairy- tale wedding. So big was this opportunity, that in my memory I gave my pitch in a flashy conference room with cushy chairs and a PowerPoint presentation. In reality, we were at The Bean, my favorite coffee shop in town.

That day, I proposed something traditional, yet original: a unique wedding scent, inspired by the couple's love, and the wedding's seaside venue. My thought was to infuse the scent into two featured items.

First, a unity candle.

"What's a unity candle?" Jessica had said. I explained that it's a candle that symbolizes a couples' love, which is lit during a wedding ceremony. She liked it.

Second, I proposed to infuse the scent into votive candles to give as party favors to all of the guests. To my delight, Jessica loved both ideas, and gave me the job. We ended our first meeting feeling giddy about the weekend. So giddy that we clinked coffee cups to toast our success. I will never forget the moment that Jessica raised her chai latte.

"You have my votive confidence," she said.

We laughed at the pun, but I took her words seriously.

Following our meeting, I mapped out designs to ensconce the wedding in candlelight, from the simple Siasconset Chapel down the road whose perfect motto is "a lantern held by a friendly hand," to the party tent that would be erected on a picturesque field across from the Melville for the evening reception, to the guest rooms and facilities throughout the inn. Only the ivory-colored votives and unity candle would carry the personalized scent, while the other candles would be dyed pastel shades to match the wedding's color scheme of purple, blue, and pink. Heaven. Really. I'd recommend the idea to anyone, and not just because I'd like the business.

Now, I stretched my arms above my head and wiggled my toes, enjoying the memory of my biggest sales pitch, but moving on to the tasks at hand. In fact, now that Friday had come, I noticed that the morning air held a hint more of the sea than the scent Jessica had signed off on from the five samples I had created for her. I hated to admit it, but one scent in particular struck me as a better match to the weekend weather than the one she had chosen. It had a touch more sea salt and a dash more of white tea. It was late in the game for making changes, but I knew my customer. Only two days ago, Jessica had rescheduled the start of her rehearsal dinner so that she could hire a flock of doves to fly dramatically into the sunset. She was going for perfection. So was I.

I calculated how late I'd be up if I remade over two hundred gift candles and a unity candle, then I tossed off my blanket and sprinted across my squeaky floorboards to the kitchen of my one-bedroom apartment where I grabbed an iced coffee from my fridge. As I closed the door, a sign reading Leftovers, made out of macaroni, slid from its magnet. People like to name their houses on Nantucket. It's a thing. You'll see quarter boards, inspired by sailing ships of yore, hanging on one house after another with names like "Serenity" and "Why Worry." My pasta quarter board was lovingly made by my cousin Chris's young son. Chris is a contractor, and the historic house outside of town that he and his wife bought and lovingly restored came with an old carriage house out back, which they turned into a garage with my apartment on top. It's a one- bedroom with a living room and small kitchen, and other than painting it a soft blue throughout, it's mostly decorated with the items it held the first day I dropped my bags there, seven years ago, after I graduated from college. Hence, the name of my home (and often, the contents of my fridge).

After throwing on my jeans and a thick sweater, I jumped into my red VW Beetle, still zipping up my boots. I cursed the back window that last weekend suddenly refused to close about the last three inches. The weather had been nicer during the week, and I'd forgotten to take the car to be fixed, but now it was c-o-l-d. So cold, it took a minute for my phone to register my fingers as I dialed Emily to let her know I was heading over to my store and then to the Melville. In addition to offering my services to bring anything to the inn this morning, I wanted to make sure that Emily and I stayed on the same page. There was no room for surprises in her meticulously planned event. The call went to voice mail, but it was only six in the morning. Pulling out of the driveway, I left a message.

When I reached town, the streets were quiet and the morning fog still hung low. The vibe would be very different in a matter of hours, when tourists arrived for Memorial Day weekend along with a mob of sailing enthusiasts who come each year for the island's one-of-a-kind annual sailing competition, called FIGAWI, which stands for "Where the #%$! are we?" (Correct pronunciation: where the fug ah we?) The race started decades ago as a dare between two friends, who at one point got lost en route to the island, hence the name. It is now an international sailing event that brings a great boon to local retail. Some folks go into shock over the onslaught of visitors, but the business girl in me looks forward to FIGAWI all year.

Rounding onto the bumpy cobblestone pavement of Main Street, which I like to describe as offering a full-body massage when experienced in my car, I saw my cousins Ted and Docker, who run a private trash removal business. They looked like they were loading nautical supplies into the back of their truck, which seemed a funny thing to do on Main Street, but they often have unusual jobs.

I waved. They waved. My family, the Wrights, have been a fixture on the island for as long as anyone can remember. Only my mother, Millie Wright, had the itch to leave. Like one of Nantucket's legendary whaling captains, my mother would disappear for months at a time while in her twenties, only to return with treasured oils and extracts to make perfumes, her passion. One day she returned home, opened a perfume store and settled, for a stretch, with a different kind of treasure.

"It was a treasure that trumped them all," she used to say. "My little Stella Wright."

I used to love to hear her say this to me. I always felt different from the Wrights with my unruly dark hair and olive complexion, which is at odds with their infamous red hair and fair skin. And whereas they're all willing to laugh things off, I can have, I admit, a bit of a temper when push comes to shove.

Nearing the Wick & Flame, I slowed my car, not that there was traffic, but because I passed Officer Andy Southerland and I knew the cops in town were on the lookout for traffic violations during the busy weekend. As I drove by him, he smiled. I smiled, too, then lifted a finger to my eye and pointed to him to let him know I was on my feet today. It got a laugh, and he returned the gesture.

Andy and I have had a lifetime of friendly antagonism that I've never quite shared with anyone else. We are twenty-nine now, but we've been at it since seventh grade, when I alone smelled a gas leak during a science lab, and Andy called me The Hound. Having spent many afternoons connecting a customer to their perfect scent at my mother's store, my sense of smell had become keen, to be sure, but that afternoon exemplified my talent's pros and cons. On the con side, a teenager does not aspire to the nickname Hound. It suggests a dog, not something you want to be thinking about when you're buying your first mascara. But my classmates howled like dogs to thank me that day in science, and that was that. I still stand by my comeback. I'd like to think I squared my shoulders when I turned to Andy and said, "That's Miss Hound, to you. And be careful. I bite."

They were fighting words. Later that week, he put a frog in my lunchbox. I retaliated by sticking gum in his hair. As they say in the movies, it was the start of a beautiful friendship. Who would ever guess that a guy who loved pranks and teasing seventh-grade girls would choose law enforcement as a career? When I opened Wick & Flame, he offered a conciliatory change of my nickname to The Candle Girl.

"That's Candle Lady," I had responded, shoulders definitely squared by then.

A moment later, I parked in a legal spot in front of the Wick & Flame. Unlike half the stores in town, I keep my place open year-round, but I'd put extra care into my current store window in anticipation of the weekend. As I retrieved the store keys from my back pocket to let myself in, I thought how my brightly colored display was at odds with the dreary morning sky, but I hoped my color palate would make people think of summer days ahead and indulge in a candle or two.

I entered my store where I was greeted by a cacophony of scents, from wild lilies to mango peach to basil and mint. I straightened a new display I'd added last week. It featured a unity candle similar to the Sterling's creation, and it had a small advertisement underneath for personalized wedding scents. Like the Sterling's candle, my display was about six inches in diameter and a full two feet tall. I'd recently found a stronger wax than the coconut bases I usually use, so I could build height while maintaining strength. Word had already spread about the Sterling's nuptials, and I was working on an unprecedented six weddings for June. I hoped by the end of the weekend, a few more people might consider my services. My rent had recently gone up and, quite frankly, I needed the business.

From a room behind the cash register where I also hold candle-making classes, I grabbed a small vial with a sample of the sea salt and white tea oils I had in mind for the alternative scent. In two hours, I'd be back at my shop to greet the Candleers, a self-named band of some of my favorite characters in town, for our last class of "Color Infusions 101." The clock ticking, I popped back into my car and headed out to the Melville.

I've always said that if I had the money for a big wedding, and a man I wanted to marry, I'd love a wedding at the Melville. The inn opened its doors two years ago as a sophisticated, but somehow still understated, inn at a quiet point of the island. Originally an old white elephant of a home, the inn had been renovated and expanded to almost one hundred rooms, which are beautifully appointed with New England dÉcor and antiques. A row of French doors at the back of the inn opens to a swimming pool, followed by a rolling lawn where guests can play croquet while sipping cocktails from Adirondack chairs. The property ends at the harbor where the Melville's private launch takes guests across the sparkling waters in to town, thereby skipping the winding road that takes three times as long to drive. Oh, and the food! The inn has a restaurant, Ahab's, where the aroma of the dishes, and I am saying this as someone who's biased, is as irresistible as the scented candles I make at the Wick & Flame.

Had I known what I was driving toward, however, I might have decided the Sterling scent we had chosen was perfect as it was.

CHAPTER 2

Jessica Sterling was an early riser, too. Or maybe she had as long a to-do list as I had. Either way, I was glad to find her awake when I arrived at the Melville about thirty minutes later. She was having breakfast with her mother at Ahab's. Jessica is a couple of inches taller than I am, and I played JV basketball in high school. Her hair has that golden color that is so bright she looks like a light bulb going off. Her mother is equally tall and gray haired, but an elegant gray that tells you to mind your manners. I had been told by Emily that she was addressed as "mom" by Jessica and "Mrs. Sterling" by everyone else, including Jessica's fiancÉ, Joe Handler.

Some locals have it in for rich people who come to their island. They think they'll be snobs, or disrespectful. Funny thing about being a local on Nantucket is that you can be either a big fish in a small pond, or invisible to the seasonal visitors. Jessica, however, was not the type to see through anyone. She's a good egg. I was dying to meet her fiancÉ, Joe. He was certainly a lucky guy. I imagined he must be some sort of Disney-looking prince with a British accent and maybe small children, waifs, hanging off of him, whom he had saved from peril while wearing a custom-made James Bond — type suit. I don't know. It was a slow spring.

Something about the body language between Jessica and her mother made me pause at the entrance to the restaurant rather than interrupt them. Both mother and daughter had presumably rolled out of bed for an early coffee, but what would have been sweats and whatever T-shirt was on the floor for me, they were in outfits that were perfectly pressed. Jessica was wearing her now infamous engagement ring, which shined ruby, emerald, sapphire, and diamond reflections across the room. The ring did not fit Jessica's approachable personality, but it was a family heirloom and Emily had told me it meant a lot to Mrs. Sterling that she wear it. I like the idea of a huge gaudy ring, but maybe that's because I don't have to lug one around on my finger every day. Ah, who am I kidding? I think I could manage that kind of problem.

"It's not that I think Joe's a bad man," Mrs. Sterling was saying to her daughter. Her brow was furrowed over her coffee cup. "I just hope he's strong enough for you. And, I don't see why you two had to do so much of the wedding yourselves. A mother should be in on everything, even if the groom was a surprise choice."

"I know you're disappointed, Mom," said Jessica. "It breaks my heart. But we won't let you down."

On the one hand, I was suddenly aware that I was walking in on a private conversation. On the other hand, I couldn't walk away from the smell of freshly baked goods and brewed coffee. I inhaled the welcoming aromas.

"Stella," Jessica said with a big smile, perhaps one of relief at my arrival.

It was too late to make a quiet exit. Jessica waved at me and I crossed the room to their table.

"Good morning," I said, shaking hands upon introduction to her mother. "I woke up thinking of you."

"Why doesn't that surprise me? Stella is stellar," said Jessica to her mother. I immediately liked the pun much better than Hound or Candle Lady.

"Hopefully still stellar when you hear me out," I said, as if I were used to the nickname. "I noticed the air is a bit crisper this weekend than we anticipated, and I'm wondering if you would prefer Option Three from the samples we tested for the scented candles. Since we're linking the island to the wedding and the couple, I'll gladly remake the gifts and unity candle, and have them to you this afternoon. No extra costs for you."

Jessica reached behind her and grabbed an unused china cup and saucer from an empty table.

"Sit," she said, and patted an empty chair at their square table.

I sat.

Jessica poured a steaming cup of coffee that looked delicious and pushed it toward me.

"I love that candle, Stella. I expect that it will remind me forever of this special weekend." Jessica suddenly got a little misty. "In fact, I'm planning to order more so I can light them every year on Joe and my anniversary and we can tell the kids all about our wedding."

"I already made you extras," I said, waving off my own set of waterworks. "You're sure you still like it?"

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Murder's No Votive Confidence"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Christin Brecher.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Murder's No Votive Confidence 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
MCM917 1 days ago
This is the first in a new series set on Nantucket Island. Stella Wright is the owner of Wick and Flame a candle store on the island and she is also working with her best friend Emily who is a wedding planner on the island. Stella is providing the candles for Jessica Sterling's wedding. The wedding party arrives and the morning after their arrival Stella goes to the Melville Inn to double check the scent for the candles. As she meets with Jessica and her mother they go into the storage room to look at the unity candle only to not find it there. During the search Jessica's uncle Simon is found dead with the unity candle broke in half. Bill the bartender is arrested rather quickly and something doesn't ring true for Stella. She mentions this to Andy Southerland the handsome cop on the island and friend who called the "hound" growing up. Since the chief from the Cape made the arrest he has been told to focus on the weekend and FIGAWA (think that was the name) crowds and he continues to tell Stella to stay out out of it. Stella is helping her friend Emily as she has to take it easy as she goes into false labor but promises to be there for the ceremony. Stella just seems to come across clues and wants to find the real killer as she does believe Bill is the murderer. There is a famous actress on the island as well as a new reporter in town who is a possible love interest for Stella. Thought Andy was going to fill that role. Not fond of love triangles so hope this is not a long drawn out triangle. Think I am rooting for Andy. Andy came thru for Stella in the end and listened to her ideas and they worked together. There appears to be a lot of other potential colorful characters for future installments. The final showdown with the murderer was pretty dramatic but entertaining and seemed true to Stella's character. Looking forward to the next installment.
MeezCarrie 1 days ago
Murder’s No Votive Confidence is a great debut for the author as well as the series. Delightful characters (including & especially Tinker the cat) keep the story moving at a steady pace amid the chaos of a festival, a wedding, and a murder. There’s a slight romantic angle involving the heroine Stella – and two possible love interests (I’m pulling for Andy!) – and I’m curious to see how that plays out. A clever niche as well for the series, the candle making aspect of the story was lots of fun! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)
CozyUpWithKathy 4 days ago
a fast paced adventure filled with excitement and fun MURDER'S NO VOTIVE CONFIDENCE by Christin Brecher The First Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery Stella Wright is the Candle Lady of Nantucket Island. Surrounded by friends and her large family, Stella loves her hometown and is happy to provide candles to locals and tourists alike at her shop, the Wick and Flame. Stella's current big project is providing candles for the wedding of Jessica Sterling. Her unique scents have become so popular, several brides have begun commissioning her for their own unity candles. As the wedding weekend is about to commence, the bride's uncle is found murdered-killed by Stella's unity candle. When an old family friend is charged with the crime and brides around the island are cancelling their candle orders Stella knows she needs to step in and help solve the murder. With assistance from her childhood friend on the police force and the new journalist in town, Stella is prepared to uncover the many secrets of the bridal party and bring the real killer to justice. I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Nantucket Island with MURDER'S NO VOTIVE CONFIDENCE. A charming setting, smart characters, a fantastic cat, and unique candles combine to enhance a great mystery. Stella is a fun, down to earth protagonist with mad island skills. The supporting cast is just as interesting, from her family to her candle making students to the visiting movie star and the bridal party. I absolutely adore Tinker, a special cat who also possesses some great skills. This first Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery has readers using all of their senses. Scent in particular plays a huge part of the story as well as an integral plot point. The smell of salt air mingled with the scents Stella creates for her candles creates a wonderful ambiance. I felt I was right there on the island. MURDER'S NO VOTIVE CONFIDENCE is a fantastic start to a new series. It's a fast paced adventure filled with excitement and fun. There are lots of undercurrents, especially among the various relationships, that I can't wait to see expanded and explored in future books. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
Dollycas 5 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Stella Wright owns Wick & Flame and has become the go-to person for wedding unity candles. She has created a two-foot-tall unity candle for Jessica Sterling and Joe Handler’s wedding, along with candles for the church, reception, and for the guests to take home all with an original scent approved by the bride. The family and bridal party have checked into the hotel including Simon Sterling, the bride’s uncle who has been asked to walk her down the aisle. New plans must be made when Simon body is found next to the broken unity candle. A visiting police captain known for quickly solving cases makes a fast arrest. A bartender Stella has known for years. Also, brides are tying her to the murder and starting to cancel their orders. Deciding the only way to catch the real killer is by doing her own investigation. She is soon burning the candle at both ends when she searches out a murderer and works to replace the broken candle. She just needs to do it all without becoming the killer’s next target. _______ I love the candlemaking theme of this series and am in awe of Stella Wright’s talent. Setting it on Nantucket is a wonderful bonus! The author introduces us to a wonderful group of core characters. Stella, candlemaker extraordinaire, her female best friend wedding planner and very pregnant Emily, Nantucket Police Officer Andy, male best friend, which may turn into something more. . . or not, and Peter, a journalist who has come to town to report on the wedding. He could also be interested in Stella and wants to help her solve the murder, especially if he gets the scoop. The author does an excellent job developing these characters, making them real and engaging. There is still much to learn but for the first book in a series, it was very well done. Ms. Brecher also introduces a vast number of suspects, some with more motive than others and many with opportunity. The victim’s cat, Tinker also played a major role. This cozy mystery is full of twists, turns, and surprises. I read this entire book in one day. I could not put it down. The pages just kept turning, raising new questions, bringing different suspects to the forefront. I enjoyed the way the story was laid out and the author’s clear descriptions. A romance is hinted at but the relationships are complicated. The mystery came to a very satisfying conclusion. A wedding has its own kind of drama, a dead body takes things to a whole new level. The first book in a new cozy mystery series is hard to write. The author needs to find a balance between introducing the characters and giving readers an entertaining mystery. Christin Brecher excelled at both. She also left me wanting more. I can’t wait for my next trip to Nantucket and Wick & Flame. Murder Makes Scents is scheduled to release on February 25, 2020.
Librarirun 6 days ago
Jessica Sterling and Joe Handler have chosen Nantucket Island, with its natural beauty and quaint charm, as the ideal setting for their Memorial Day weekend nuptials. As the guests begin to arrive at the Melville Inn for the big day, event planner Emily Gardner and her oldest friend, candle shop owner Stella Wright are working around the clock to deliver the perfect wedding. And given their eye for detail, everything is under control--that is, until they encounter one detail they never anticipated--the death of Jessica's Uncle Simon, whose lifeless body is found in the inn's game room just days before he was to walk her down the aisle. Simon has met a violent death, and the murder weapon is the unity candle that Stella hand-crafted for the wedding. The police are quick to arrest Bill Duffy, an islander and bartender at the Melville Inn, who admitted to assaulting Simon during an argument earlier during the evening in question. Jessica, whose family has been on the island for generations, has known Bill since she was a child and doesn't believe he is capable of murder. Setting out to clear his name, Stella questions the people who interacted with Simon before his death and uncovers baffling clues and suspicious behavior. She collaborates with handsome police officer and childhood friend Andy Southerland to identify a motive and vet the list of suspects. And as if finding the real killer isn't enough to keep her busy, because the betrothed couple is determined to proceed with the wedding, Stella must quickly create a new ceremonial candle that will not only wow Jessica and Joe, but also restore interest and faith among the other prospective brides who have begun to associate Stella's wedding candles with bad luck. Murder's No Votive Confidence is a rollicking good read with an engaging cast of characters revolving around protagonist Stella, who has a keen sense for sleuthing. Her clan of Wright cousins is involved in all aspects of island business, and the other long-time islanders have their own strong history with Stella. Author Christin Brecher enriches the plot by introducing several "outsider" characters: a mysterious movie star, a comical cat, and an ambitious journalist. Between the wedding events, murder mystery, and a holiday sailing regatta there is never a dull reading moment. Murder's No Votive Confidence is a welcome addition to summer reading lists. This delightful start to a new series opens up possibilities for more adventures involving Stella, her family and friends, her budding love interests, and her candle shop.
SewWrite 8 days ago
Stella Wright is a candle store owner on Nantucket Island. She is hired to make a unity candle and other decorative candles for an upcoming wedding which would be great advertising for her business. Stella is left scrambling when the candle is used as a murder weapon days before the nuptials. With the help of a new reporter in town Stella follows the clues to find the killer before all the brides who have hired her cancel their big wedding orders and she is forced to close the shop of her dreams. What a great start to this new series. I got hooked from the first page and had a hard time putting it down until I knew how it ended. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
KrisAnderson_TAR 8 days ago
Murder’s No Votive Confidence by Christin Becher is the first A Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery. Stella Wright owns Wick & Flame on Nantucket Island. She has been commissioned by bride-to-be, Jessica Sterling to create candles for her wedding including a one-of-a-kind unity candle. On the day before the wedding, the unity candle is found broken on the floor next to Jessica’s uncle, Simon Sterling. Someone took the candle and bashed in the man’s head (talk about crime of passion). When family friend, Bill Duffy is arrested by a visiting police chief for the murder, Stella sets out to find the real killer. I thought Murder’s No Votive Confidence was nicely written and it had steady pacing. The story is told from Stella’s perspective. I like the lovely setting of Nantucket Island. The author provides beautiful descriptions of the island flora and fauna, the shops, homes and, of course, the ocean. Stella is an affable character who prefers comfort clothes over fancy (much to her friend’s distress), a wee bit clumsy and has a contingent of cousins (I like Kate who forbade the others from cursing—good for her). The secondary characters are introduced with the barest of details. I am sure we will learn more about Stella and the others as the series progresses. I especially want to know more about the Candleers (Stella’s candle class students). I love that Stella is a candlemaker and I hope we get more information on the process of creating candles in future books. Stella provides some helpful candle tips and her creations sound lovely. The mystery was interesting with a unique twist. While I could identify the killer early in the game, I was curious to know more. I had questions and I wanted the answers. Tinker, Simon’s cat, was a great addition to the book. I like how he was involved in the investigation. I enjoyed Christin Becher’s debut cozy mystery and I look forward to reading more of this engaging new series. Murder’s No Votive Confidence is a delightful new cozy mystery that has a scenic setting, a nosy newspaperman, a nervous bride, a meddling mama, a mysterious feline, handcrafted tapers, and one determined amateur sleuth.
ebookaddictsuk 8 days ago
Murder’s No Votive Confidence takes place in the charming small island of Nantucket (a place that is on my wish list to visit sometime!). We meet Stella Wright - candle maker and owner of Wick & Flame, where she makes her gorgeous creations and hosts candle making classes. She has teamed up with her best friend Erin who is a wedding planner on the island and she has managed to create Unity candles for upcoming weddings. As she is making final preparations for the upcoming wedding of Jessica Sterling, the bride and her family are looking for her Uncle who is going to walk her down the aisle - though they don’t expect to find him dead! And the murder wepon was none other than Stella’s heavy Unity candle! It comes to light that the Uncle wasn't the nicest of men, and there were certainly a fair people attending the wedding that would have the opportunity to bump him off - I have to admit the little twists and clues that were meant to throw off the scent of the killer worked as a treat, and just when I thought I had it pegged something else happened and I was taken off in another direction. This was a quick read and a good clean cozy mystery and I thought it was a great start to this series and I look forward to reading more in the Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery Series!
annie2015 17 days ago
This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series...and I really enjoyed it. The characters and the murder mystery captured and held my attention and kept me guessing to the very end. I look forward to reading more books in this series. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or remuneration.
TheCozyReview 23 days ago
Series: Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery - Book 1 Author: Christin Brecher Publisher: Kensington Books Murder’s No Votive Confidence, the first cozy book in a new series by Christin Brecher, Kensington Books is a thrilling adventure through the candle and wedding business, which on their own is difficult at best. Now, throw in a murder, and you have a recipe for disaster. Stella is struggling to keep her business on a paying basis. She loves her work, and her creations are sought after by the public and brides equally. Having one of her lovely unity candles used as a murder weapon could end her business quickly. Being a small business owner is hard enough; now, she also must be a murder investigator. Stella is a promising character, and her exploits will have readers begging for more. She is like many people who want to be their own boss and use what they love and are good at making a living. It isn’t hard to empathize with her character. This type of character works well in a cozy book and a series. Other characters in this cozy book are very likable. They help give Jessica purpose and keep her spirits up when everything is looking down. The setting is excellent and should provide a fantastic location for future books. This is a very well-written book with plenty of action, twists, and turns to keep readers interested and entertained. For a cozy book Murder’s No Votive Confidence hits all the right triggers, it has romance, intrigue and the number one ingredient, mystery. I happily recommend this book and the future series to cozy book lover everywhere.
BookloverUT 23 days ago
Stella Wright, candle store owner, is excited to have an opportunity making candles for an upcoming wedding. But, the impending nuptials take a bad turn when Stella’s unity candle is found broken next to the dead body of the bride-to-be’s uncle. When a local bartender is arrested, can Stella find out the truth before it’s too late? I really wanted to love this novel, but it never kept my interest. I would put down the book, and pick up something else. Then, when I wanted to return to finish this novel, I found I really didn’t care what happened. It just wasn’t for me. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
CozyOnUp 23 days ago
Stella Wright, owner of Wick and Flame candle shop on Nantucket Island, has a knack for matching candle scents and colors to her customers. Working on her first wedding in Nantucket she has made the perfect candles for the wedding and a custom designed unity candle for the happy couple. When the bride’s uncle is found murdered with the unity candle the day before the wedding, Stella finds she also has a knack for getting herself involved in the mystery. This engaging new series is the perfect mix of Nantucket Island location, celebrity encounters, and a whodunit mystery. As a but of a nose myself, I enjoy scents and blends that bring out the best of fragrances to build something delicious to the senses. Looking forward to seeing more aromas blend d together along with the stories as the series progresses.
Anonymous 24 days ago
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time! The story was full of love and joy, the mystery complicated enough that I didn’t figure it out until the end and the characters were so real I laughed with them and even teared up at the end. I highly recommend this book and I can’t wait for the next one! I was provided an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
AMGiacomasso 24 days ago
A good start for a new series. I appreciated the setting, the likable and well developed cast of characters and the candle making. The mystery was good, no plot hole, and it kept me guessing till the end. I look forward to reading other books in this series. Recommended! Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.