Book Review: Bodies and Bows (Apron Shop #3) by Elizabeth Penney

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 30th, 2021
Pages: 288, mass market paperback
Source: NetGalley

Bodies & Bows is the third in the charming cozy Iris Buckley mystery series set in an apron shop in Maine–Elizabeth Penney will have you on pins and needles

Iris Buckley is hoping for a bit of rest and relaxation now that the summertime rush is winding down in Blueberry Cove, Maine. Her apron shop Ruffles & Bows has been a huge success, her friendships are stronger than ever, and now she’s ready for all of the end of summer cookouts on the beach that she can handle.

But before Iris can even turn on the grill, Bella’s latest fling, former Olympian sailor and gorgeous bad boy Lance Pederson is killed in a hit and run while jogging at dawn–and all the evidence points to Bella herself.

Suddenly the month of August isn’t looking so restful, since now Iris has been roped into the Lighthouse Rehabilitation Committee, helping her friend Sophie plan a wedding, and–most importantly of all–tracking down a killer and clearing Bella’s good name before everything unravels. 

Lighthouse restoration, a long-lost love, and a bustling apron shop are keeping Iris and Grammie busy in Bodies and Bows, the third book in Elizabeth Penney’s series. Iris and her grandmother want to expand their business, but they’ll need help. 

Iris’s friend Bella also needs help, after her boyfriend is killed and she is arrested. Iris and her group of girlfriends hop on the case to free Bella while they also work on opening the old lighthouse as a tourist attraction. The daughter of the last lighthouse keeper lends some mementos, and Iris finds an old love letter. Can she reunite the pair?

I love the interaction between Iris and grandmother, and how Iris’s friends are all supportive of each other. The warmth of all the characters makes these books like chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. The plot is solid, even if the reader might figure out the murderer a bit sooner than they’d like.

A lot of cozies have niche shops that probably wouldn’t make it in the real world, but Iris and Grammie have a solid game plan, and they even need to take on help so they can increase their product lines and fulfill more custom orders. 

Highly recommended.

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