Sunday, April 7, 2019

Review - The Birthday Mystery

Title:  The Birthday Mystery
Author:  Faith Martin
Series:  Jenny Starling #1
Format:  Kindle ARC
Genre:  Mystery/Thrillers
Date Published:  December 7, 2018
Publisher:  Joffe Books
No. of Pages:  245
My rating: 4 Stars


Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. 

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

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

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

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

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


Jenny Starling is both highly rated and highly sought after. She is a traveling cook and her current job is to cater the twenty-first birthday party of upper-class twins, Alicia and Justin. As soon as Jenny arrives, however, she is greeted by the police. Sadly, a young man has drowned in a pond and the police have to determine whether or not it was an accident.

Nonetheless, Jenny goes right to work. Shockingly, however, a guest suddenly dies. This suspicious death has no shortage of guests because they had all gathered together for a toast. When it is determined that not only poison is suspected, but that it may have been in one of Jenny’s recipes, she is determined to get to the bottom of things. Yes, she wants justice, but she also has a reputation to uphold.

Jenny has the uncanny ability to assess a situation and discover clues that truly baffle the police. She makes a great amateur sleuth. As a matter of fact, there are five books in this Jenny Starling series, and I read each and every one of them all in just a few days. I adore Jenny and how she manages to solve these murders, no matter what the circumstances are. 

Formerly published as Birthdays Can Be Murder under Faith Martin’s pseudonym, Joyce Cato. 

Many thanks to Joffe Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion. 


Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! The first 15 books in the series are available now.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing 'spooky' crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired 'proper' whodunits. So, if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

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