A Room With a Roux
by Sarah Fox
For anyone still enjoying the lingering spirit of Christmas, I heartily recommend Sarah Fox’s A Room with a Roux. Although nothing about the cover or title suggest a holiday tale, it emits wintery, Christmas vibes from its beginning. The scene is set as our main characters Marley and Brett travel from their beach home to Holly Lodge nestled in the mountains. It is a small, quiet, isolated, snowy retreat that makes the perfect backdrop for a Christmas murder mystery.
Marley, owner of the Flip Side restaurant, and Brett, summer landscaper and winter construction worker, have only been married three months so there is a lot of sweet romance in their interactions. Their weekend getaway gets cut short by a murder. They leave as soon as they can, but Marley’s penchant for getting to the truth is activated when other Holly Lodge guests retreat to her town of Wildwood Cove. Then most of them return to Holly Lodge for a memorial service where they are snowed in for a “locked room” type of scenario.
Marley works hard to uncover the murderer before she or someone else becomes a second victim. There are many possibilities, but none seem to have a strong enough motivation to provoke murder.
Along the way, we get to know the characters. Brett and Marley are nice, generous, and community minded. There is a side story that demonstrates this spirit well when a mini-mystery emerges as ornaments disappear repeatedly at the Festival of Trees. Join Marley and Brett as they enjoy each other’s company along with lots of cups of hot chocolate in a wintry atmosphere. The author has a talented touch in stopping the chapters at just the right point to make the reader shout “one more chapter.”
Read a few days after Christmas, A Room With a Roux, is probably my favorite read of this Christmas season—likable characters, wonderful atmosphere, just the right touch of adventure, and a well-plotted mystery. This cozy mystery is a winner!
I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: 1. #7 in the Pancake House Mystery Series, but you would have absolutely no problems reading it as a standalone!
2. Tempting recipes end the book: Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze, Cinnamon Pancakes, and Gingerbread Muffins.
Publication: January 12, 2021—Kensington
I suspected he enjoyed stirring up trouble for his own amusement, and I couldn’t help but dislike him for it.
I tore off the paper, already knowing that the best present was having the company of my husband and two closest friends.
Time seemed to pass at an excruciatingly slow pace. At first I watched everyone by the light of the fire and candles, searching their faces for any sign of guilt, even as I pretended not to be studying them. After a while, it became more and more difficult to keep my eyes open, despite my worries about a killer being among us.