Bel, Book, and Scandal (A Belfast McGrath Mystery) by Maggie McConnon (Amazon Link)
Description: Maggie McConnon rings in Christmas in Bel, Boiok, and Scandal,the third adventure for everybody's favorite Irish-American culinary artist turned amateur sleuth.
Bel McGrath tries her best to keep herself on the straight and narrow but she just has a taste for trouble. This time danger arrives in the form of a newspaper left behind by visitors to Shamrock Manor--and a photograph that jolts Bel out of the present and back into a dark chapter from her past. The person in the photo is Bel's best friend Amy Mitchell, long gone from Foster's Landing, at a commune in upstate New York shortly after her disappearance. The picture, and Bel's burning desire to find out what happened to Amy--and whether she may still be alive--is the catalyst for a story in which old secrets are revealed, little by little...and certain characters are shown to not be as genuine as Bel once thought.
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: I enjoyed the previous book in the series and I love mysteries from the past.
My Impression: I love a good quirky family in books and the McGrath clan has quirky in spades. And because they all work together at Shamrock Manor they see a lot of each other which means arguments and hi-jinks abound. The characters are really fun and I loved their interaction though if I was Bel I think I'd be looking for a job far far away.
In the previous book, the mystery of just what had happened to Bel's childhood friend Amy was an ever present mystery. When they were both 17 Amy had disappeared without a trace and while a discovery at the end book lent an ominous tone to whatever had happened nothing was ever really known until this book. I really enjoyed Bel's investigation though she does get a little impulsive at times (okay quite a bit) however, with her emotional involvement in the case it was easy to understand her reasoning.
This was a really fun read with quite a crazy cast of characters and a good mystery. I enjoyed finding out just what had happened and felt like I got to know Bel a bit better through the investigation.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! I'm looking forward to the next book already.
Would I Recommend This Book? Definitely! If you enjoy cozy mysteries this is a fun one. If you haven't read the previous books no worries! You can jump in right here.