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Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Jenny Starling has a summer job Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Jenny Starling has a summer job cooking at a prestigious Oxford college. But she’s not expecting murder on the menu. Then womanising taxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is found with a knife in his neck in the dining hall. Everyone is in classes at the time of his death. So, frustratingly it seems they all have an alibi. However there are many suspects, including Maurice’s wife and his lover. The college and police need Jenny’s help to solve this perplexing case. But can Jenny keep her concentration with a budding romance on the cards? This is the fifth in a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page. Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis. <


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Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Jenny Starling has a summer job Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Jenny Starling has a summer job cooking at a prestigious Oxford college. But she’s not expecting murder on the menu. Then womanising taxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is found with a knife in his neck in the dining hall. Everyone is in classes at the time of his death. So, frustratingly it seems they all have an alibi. However there are many suspects, including Maurice’s wife and his lover. The college and police need Jenny’s help to solve this perplexing case. But can Jenny keep her concentration with a budding romance on the cards? This is the fifth in a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page. Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis. <

30 review for The Oxford Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gail C.

    The Oxford Mystery is the fifth in the Faith Martin series featuring Jenny Starling. In this novel, Jenny has accepted a summer position as head cook for an Oxford University that opens its doors during the summer to groups and organizations for retreats and conferences. The school’s idea is to add much needed funds to their cofers, the organizations like having the prestige of meeting in a well respected institution and Jenny’s idea is to have a confirmed place to live and guaranteed income for The Oxford Mystery is the fifth in the Faith Martin series featuring Jenny Starling. In this novel, Jenny has accepted a summer position as head cook for an Oxford University that opens its doors during the summer to groups and organizations for retreats and conferences. The school’s idea is to add much needed funds to their cofers, the organizations like having the prestige of meeting in a well respected institution and Jenny’s idea is to have a confirmed place to live and guaranteed income for a few months. None of them are planning for a murder, but that’s what they get. Maurice Raines, president of a taxidermy society Jenny dubs “The Great Jessies”, is murdered on the first day of the conference. The murder occurs in the main hall where the group meetings are held and when classes are in session the students and faculty assemble for meals, meetings, etc. Because the hall had been emptied of people either rushing to enjoy an unexpected buffet set up by Maurice or attendees participating in other lectures or demonstrations, the question arises as to who other than Maurice was in the hall. With everyone seeming to have a solid alibi, the police are stumped. Once again, Jenny is plunged into the middle of an investigation, and once again she encounters a reluctant Detective Inspector and his Sergeant. This time, the bursar of the college has gotten wind of Jenny’s previous successes in solving murders and he is focused on as quick a resolution as possible to save the college any embarrassment. He quickly pushes Jenny into the middle of the investigation, telling the staff to take any suspicions they have directly to her. While the detective’s on the case aren’t enamored of Jenny’s help, her reputation has grown enough for them to realize she may be of some assistance. Their goal is to discover the perpetrator before Jenny, a feat their colleagues have been unable to accomplish. Possible murderers range from a jilted lover to a jealous spouse. Who would want Maurice dead? He was pompous and often saved the plum assignments and lectures for himself, but was that any reason to murder him? Sure, he had engaged in his share of extra marital affairs, but was his wife, who was having an affair of her own, resentful enough to have murdered him? What about the wife’s lover? Did he get rid of Maurice in order to clear the way for his relationship to become more than an affair? Did one of the other taxidermists want to do away with Maurice in order to further their career? From the beginning, there are some clues that stand out as being important, however, no one other than Jenny seems to know how they fit together. As in the previous novels featuring the junoesque cook, nothing is quite as it seems until she explains everything to the authorities. Then the reader, along with the detectives, may be sitting there wondering “How did I miss that?” As in the other books in the Jenny Starling series, this mystery stands alone. Jenny is the only recurring character and there is only a brief reference to her earlier exploits. The mystery is well crafted, both with clues and red herrings, although I had reached the correct conclusion about the murder and other events, it was still enjoyable to read how Jenny reached her solution. My thanks to NetGalley and Joffe Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. The opinions stated her are entirely my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Helga

    A clever plot! An enjoyable cozy mystery! Faith Martin never disappoints. A taxidermy society is holding their conference at a university in Oxford and Jenny is hired to cook for the attendees during their stay. The body of Maurice Raines, the somewhat tyrant president of the society who also was known to be a womanizer, is found in the university hall, stabbed in the throat. As usual there are many suspects; the ones who have been bullied by the victim in different ways and would like to see him A clever plot! An enjoyable cozy mystery! Faith Martin never disappoints. A taxidermy society is holding their conference at a university in Oxford and Jenny is hired to cook for the attendees during their stay. The body of Maurice Raines, the somewhat tyrant president of the society who also was known to be a womanizer, is found in the university hall, stabbed in the throat. As usual there are many suspects; the ones who have been bullied by the victim in different ways and would like to see him dead. But something is wrong with the crime scene. Who was the victim expecting, since there were two untouched coffee cups on the table? Why was the victim so adamant that all the attendees should partake of an uncharacteristic free meal offered by him? Thanks to the author, Joffe books and the NetGalley for providing me with a copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Jenny Starling #5 Jenny Starling has a summer job catering at a prestigious Oxford college. But she's not expecting murder on the menu. Then womanising taxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is found with a knife in his neck in the dining hall. Everyone is in classes at the time of his death. So, frustratingly it seems they all had an alibi. However there are many suspects, including his wife and lover. This book was first published as "Deadly Stuff" under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato Jenny Starling #5 Jenny Starling has a summer job catering at a prestigious Oxford college. But she's not expecting murder on the menu. Then womanising taxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is found with a knife in his neck in the dining hall. Everyone is in classes at the time of his death. So, frustratingly it seems they all had an alibi. However there are many suspects, including his wife and lover. This book was first published as "Deadly Stuff" under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato. It seems everywhere Jenny gets a job there's a murder but then there wouldn't be this lovely murder mystery series if there wasn't. Jenny is working at St. Bede's college Oxford catering for their conference business. It's at one of the first conferences that the body of Maurice Raines is found. Local police officers DS Peter Trent and DI Trevor Golder are willing to accept any help Jenny can give them. I really like this cozy murder mystery series. Jenny is a likeable character. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I would like to thank NetGalley, Joffe Books and the author Faith Martin for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling is a traveling cook and somewhat an amateur detective. When she snags a summer job working at Oxford College, she fervently hopes and prays that no murdered bodies show up. However, those prayers are not answered. When the body of a not-particularly liked president of the taxidermy society is found with a knife in his neck, Jenny once again gets involved. There are many suspects whic Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling is a traveling cook and somewhat an amateur detective. When she snags a summer job working at Oxford College, she fervently hopes and prays that no murdered bodies show up. However, those prayers are not answered. When the body of a not-particularly liked president of the taxidermy society is found with a knife in his neck, Jenny once again gets involved. There are many suspects which keeps the level of suspense qutie high as Jenny and the police start investigating. There's the wife who is having an affair ... the multitude of women who have been used by the man ... colleagues that he has insulted, bullied, and ignored. Although not a suspect, my favorite character to watch for was Norman ... who kept showing up in the most unusual places. Once again, this is a well written mystery with memorable characters. Although this is 4th in the series, it is easily read as a stand alone. Many thanks to the author / Joffe Books / Netgalley / Books n All Promotions for the advanced digital copy of this engaging crime fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    It wouldn't be a British whodunit series without at least one of the tales taking place in a bastion of higher education! This, the fifth of the scrumptious Jenny Starling series, takes place in one of the hallowed colleges of Oxford. I must admit I found this book, which was significantly shorter than previous offerings, not quite as riveting a read but we are given a further peak into Jenny's private life, which was most fascinating, when she sets eyes (and lips!) on a gorgeously available male It wouldn't be a British whodunit series without at least one of the tales taking place in a bastion of higher education! This, the fifth of the scrumptious Jenny Starling series, takes place in one of the hallowed colleges of Oxford. I must admit I found this book, which was significantly shorter than previous offerings, not quite as riveting a read but we are given a further peak into Jenny's private life, which was most fascinating, when she sets eyes (and lips!) on a gorgeously available male attending a conference at the college. An entertaining, if icky, murder mystery centred around a Taxidermists Convention, we are treated to a puzzling investigation that is solved with Jenny's usual low key aplomb, much to the consternation of both the investigating officers and the murderer. I loved the inclusion of Norman, the escape artist chameleon - very entertaining.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jannelies

    This fifth book in the Jenny Starling series was a bit disappointing for me. Not because of the setting (beautiful Oxford college), or the plot (very nicely found) or the writing (flows nicely) or the characters. No, I am a bit disappointed because there is just not enough cooking in this book; the emphasis lays clearly on solving the crime. And since we already know that Jenny will always solve the crime, due to her unique way of thinking, there are no surprises. Jenny goes to work in a beautifu This fifth book in the Jenny Starling series was a bit disappointing for me. Not because of the setting (beautiful Oxford college), or the plot (very nicely found) or the writing (flows nicely) or the characters. No, I am a bit disappointed because there is just not enough cooking in this book; the emphasis lays clearly on solving the crime. And since we already know that Jenny will always solve the crime, due to her unique way of thinking, there are no surprises. Jenny goes to work in a beautiful old Oxford college, where during the summer holidays the halls are rented out to different groups of people, mostly for holding conferences. Jenny is a little surprised when the group she will be cooking for consists of taxidermists, but hey, they have to eat, don't they? But what are they eating? Jenny doesn't do any cooking herself, this time. There is a large staff and all she has to do is keep an eye on things. Although there is a nice recipe for a herb omelette, and a recipe for porridge (mixed feelings), Jenny just wanders around, talking to people and thus solving the murder. Nice read but I hope that in the next book Jenny does some real cooking again. Thank you NetGalley and Joffe Books for this digital copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Oxford Mystery, the fifth novel to feature travelling cook and amateur sleuth Jenny Starling. Jenny accepts a summer job at St Bede’s College, Oxford catering their conference business but she has been there twenty four hours when she stumbles across the dead body of Maurice Raines, chairman of the Greater Ribble Valley & Jessop Taxidermy Society. I thoroughly enjoyed The Oxford Mystery which is a light hearted read with an I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Oxford Mystery, the fifth novel to feature travelling cook and amateur sleuth Jenny Starling. Jenny accepts a summer job at St Bede’s College, Oxford catering their conference business but she has been there twenty four hours when she stumbles across the dead body of Maurice Raines, chairman of the Greater Ribble Valley & Jessop Taxidermy Society. I thoroughly enjoyed The Oxford Mystery which is a light hearted read with an ingenious solution. As ever in this series it relies on Jenny’s knowledge of human nature and ability to put snippets of fact and gossip together into a cogent whole. The information is all there but while I guessed some of it I missed the massive twist and the why. Nevertheless it is fun trying to work out where Ms Martin is going. I don’t read many cosy mysteries as they tend to lack sufficient grit and realism for my taste but I enjoy this series for the puzzle, the lighthearted tone and the gentle humour. It’s like stepping back in time to a more innocent time despite the range of human passion on display. Jenny is a good protagonist for the series, fairly perfect in her physical appearance, intelligence and people skills. It adds to the feel good factor and lightness in the novel. The Oxford Mystery is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anissa

    A 3.5 rounded up. I loved the setting at Oxford and the quirky taxidermist society conference attendees. The murder happened quickly enough (in chapter three of ten) leaving the main of the book for solving it. There were many suspects and the culprit fairly clear (along with the Why) but there was also a secondary murder plot entwined that made for a neat twist. Also to the good here, Jenny has a bit of a romance with a man she meets and the fact of people being agog when they take in her size A 3.5 rounded up. I loved the setting at Oxford and the quirky taxidermist society conference attendees. The murder happened quickly enough (in chapter three of ten) leaving the main of the book for solving it. There were many suspects and the culprit fairly clear (along with the Why) but there was also a secondary murder plot entwined that made for a neat twist. Also to the good here, Jenny has a bit of a romance with a man she meets and the fact of people being agog when they take in her size and find her attractive waned considerably. So too have the "Junoesque" mentions. This reader was pleased, indeed. Oddly, Jenny is so involved in the investigation and so central to it that there's little going on in the way of her cooking or interacting with her kitchen staff. I often found myself wondering when we'd get around to that but it didn't really happen. I like that in each book the way Jenny interacts and solves the crime is a bit different but this is the least she's been involved in her actual profession and it wasn't my favourite. Inspector Morse is often referenced in the story and I have to say, this did feel more like that than a Jenny Starling adventure. Again, not a bad thing but not quite on brand. Points to Norman, the wily lizard in this one that escapes his habitat regularly and keeps a wry eye on things. He must know Herman from the last book. Perhaps there's an amphibian and reptile conference happening at St. Bede's as well. I still want the details on the professor's snake and the dishwasher. While I didn't love it like the last, it's still a very good mystery and not one in the series I'd advise skipping. I'm looking forward to the next.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Larum

    This is the fifth in the Jenny Starling series and, I have to admit, my favourite so far. This time, Jenny is employed by an Oxford college (St Bede's) to cook during the summer holidays for the various meetings and conferences being held there. The first society is a taxidermy one with a president called Maurice Raines, who is pompous, egotistical and a bit of a bully. He is also a Lothario, convinced that he is God's gift to women-kind. His wife also is 'playing away' and, as she has the money This is the fifth in the Jenny Starling series and, I have to admit, my favourite so far. This time, Jenny is employed by an Oxford college (St Bede's) to cook during the summer holidays for the various meetings and conferences being held there. The first society is a taxidermy one with a president called Maurice Raines, who is pompous, egotistical and a bit of a bully. He is also a Lothario, convinced that he is God's gift to women-kind. His wife also is 'playing away' and, as she has the money, is one of the first suspects after Jenny discovers Maurice's dead body in the Hall. Jenny's reputation as a solver of crimes has preceded her and, once again, the police aren't too pleased to find her already ensconced as the fount of all wisdom but the staff are happy to bring their clues to her and, once again, she solves the crime before the police do. I'm glad that there are fewer references to her 'junoesque' stature in this book as I was finding that irritating. However, I do like the animals who are finding their way into each story. Norman the lizard doing his anthropomorphic best in this story, although I preferred the tortoise in an earlier book. I am sure this will be as eagerly welcomed as the rest of Faith Martin's books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Dee

    Jenny Starling is back, and preparing to cook for a conference of taxidermists in Oxford. With her usual highly acute observational skills, she is perfectly positioned to help the murder squad called in to deal with the death of the head of the taxidermy society. I missed the detailed food descriptions that were a highlight of “The Riverboat Mystery”, a previous book in the series. But all in all, another Starling mystery is a great way to while away a rainy day!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gail C.

    The Oxford Mystery is the fifth in the Faith Martin series featuring Jenny Starling. In this novel, Jenny has accepted a summer position as head cook for an Oxford University that opens its doors during the summer to groups and organizations for retreats and conferences. The school’s idea is to add much needed funds to their cofers, the organizations like having the prestige of meeting in a well respected institution and Jenny’s idea is to have a confirmed place to live and guaranteed income for The Oxford Mystery is the fifth in the Faith Martin series featuring Jenny Starling. In this novel, Jenny has accepted a summer position as head cook for an Oxford University that opens its doors during the summer to groups and organizations for retreats and conferences. The school’s idea is to add much needed funds to their cofers, the organizations like having the prestige of meeting in a well respected institution and Jenny’s idea is to have a confirmed place to live and guaranteed income for a few months. None of them are planning for a murder, but that’s what they get. Maurice Raines, president of a taxidermy society Jenny dubs “The Great Jessies”, is murdered on the first day of the conference. The murder occurs in the main hall where the group meetings are held and when classes are in session the students and faculty assemble for meals, meetings, etc. Because the hall had been emptied of people either rushing to enjoy an unexpected buffet set up by Maurice or attendees participating in other lectures or demonstrations, the question arises as to who other than Maurice was in the hall. With everyone seeming to have a solid alibi, the police are stumped. Once again, Jenny is plunged into the middle of an investigation, and once again she encounters a reluctant Detective Inspector and his Sergeant. This time, the bursar of the college has gotten wind of Jenny’s previous successes in solving murders and he is focused on as quick a resolution as possible to save the college any embarrassment. He quickly pushes Jenny into the middle of the investigation, telling the staff to take any suspicions they have directly to her. While the detective’s on the case aren’t enamored of Jenny’s help, her reputation has grown enough for them to realize she may be of some assistance. Their goal is to discover the perpetrator before Jenny, a feat their colleagues have been unable to accomplish. Possible murderers range from a jilted lover to a jealous spouse. Who would want Maurice dead? He was pompous and often saved the plum assignments and lectures for himself, but was that any reason to murder him? Sure, he had engaged in his share of extra marital affairs, but was his wife, who was having an affair of her own, resentful enough to have murdered him? What about the wife’s lover? Did he get rid of Maurice in order to clear the way for his relationship to become more than an affair? Did one of the other taxidermists want to do away with Maurice in order to further their career? From the beginning, there are some clues that stand out as being important, however, no one other than Jenny seems to know how they fit together. As in the previous novels featuring the junoesque cook, nothing is quite as it seems until she explains everything to the authorities. Then the reader, along with the detectives, may be sitting there wondering “How did I miss that?” As in the other books in the Jenny Starling series, this mystery stands alone. Jenny is the only recurring character and there is only a brief reference to her earlier exploits. The mystery is well crafted, both with clues and red herrings, although I had reached the correct conclusion about the murder and other events, it was still enjoyable to read how Jenny reached her solution. My thanks to NetGalley and Joffe Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. The opinions stated her are entirely my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Jenny Starling has a three month assignment in her job as a traveling cook. She is delighted. She has a prestigious job at a prestigious university and she will be soon serving several taxidermists who are there at a convention. While Jenny is thinking up a choice menu, an unnamed person is plotting murder. When taxidermy president Maurice Raines is found murdered, Jenny quickly slips into her effective role as an amateur sleuth. With all of the conventioneers having strong alibis, both Jenny and Jenny Starling has a three month assignment in her job as a traveling cook. She is delighted. She has a prestigious job at a prestigious university and she will be soon serving several taxidermists who are there at a convention. While Jenny is thinking up a choice menu, an unnamed person is plotting murder. When taxidermy president Maurice Raines is found murdered, Jenny quickly slips into her effective role as an amateur sleuth. With all of the conventioneers having strong alibis, both Jenny and the police definitely have their work cut out for them. As it is, Jenny is dividing her time between cooking and sleuthing, but this time she also has a romantic interest. In this series to-date, Jenny’s focus has never been directed towards romance. It was a delight to see something blooming in that direction. I am not sure what is next for this series, but I certainly look forward to seeing more of Jenny in the future. Many thanks to Joffe Books, Books n All Promotions and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion. Formerly published as Deadly Stuff under Faith Martin’s pen name Joyce Cato.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jane Thorndale

    Good plot shame the writing is so flowery This is the first book I've read by this author. My overall impression is that it would benefit from a really good professional edit. Too many of the sentences are over long and repetitive. It's a shame as the narrative is generally quite good. However at times it reads like a Victorian novel in its use or overuse of flowery language.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rekha

    I love Jenny Starling series! I have been following this series from book #1 and so far, From solving a mystery at the birthday party to encountering a ghost in the castle (which later turned out to be a tortoise) to a part-time cook at the Oxford College, Jenny's journey so far has been adventurous. The welcoming change in this book was no doubt a tinge of romance in Jenny's life! James Raye! I hope James makes an appearance in the next book! Overall, this was a good read. I did find the story I love Jenny Starling series! I have been following this series from book #1 and so far, From solving a mystery at the birthday party to encountering a ghost in the castle (which later turned out to be a tortoise) to a part-time cook at the Oxford College, Jenny's journey so far has been adventurous. The welcoming change in this book was no doubt a tinge of romance in Jenny's life! James Raye! I hope James makes an appearance in the next book! Overall, this was a good read. I did find the story to be a tad dull and Jenny wasn't as enthusiastic as she used to be in the other books. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    joseph d murphy

    Get Stuffed! Get stuffed! I enjoyed the unusual group of subjects and was entertained to the point that I would recommend this book to all mystery and thriller fans . I am a big fan of the author and her main characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ileana Renfroe

    Description THE OXFORD MYSTERY by Faith Martin Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling has a summer job cooking at a prestigious Oxford college. But she’s not expecting murder on the menu. T Description THE OXFORD MYSTERY by Faith Martin Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective. Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO. Jenny Starling has a summer job cooking at a prestigious Oxford college. But she’s not expecting murder on the menu. Then womanising taxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is found with a knife in his neck in the dining hall. Everyone is in classes at the time of his death. So, frustratingly it seems they all have an alibi. However there are many suspects, including Maurice’s wife and his lover. The college and police need Jenny’s help to solve this perplexing case. But can Jenny keep her concentration with a budding romance on the cards? This is the fifth in a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page. Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis. JENNY STARLING In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch, and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother. Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van, and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies. THE AUTHOR FAITH MARTIN is the best-selling author of the DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE mysteries, which have sold over 1 million copies globally in just over a year. My Review: The fifth in the series, and by far one of my favorite. I loved this book. Easy to read and how can you not enjoy a good story about a murder in oxford. This book kept me glued to every page until the very end. Excellent work and I cannot wait until the next installment. This book was provided to me for free in exchange for my honest opinion. So, go out right now and buy the book, it is a great mystery and you will not be disappointed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Quartknee

    By now, I'm accustomed to this unusual structure for a cozy mystery, and I pay particular attention to the gossip and people before the first body appears. I guessed the victim early-on and had the culprit nailed down (as one-of-two shortlisted). That's not to say, this isn't an enjoyable read: it is. I'm glad to see Jenny have a bit of romance even if it is presented in the same smug manner as Jenny herself. She's not a feminist icon, but the way the authors describe her, Jenny comes across as By now, I'm accustomed to this unusual structure for a cozy mystery, and I pay particular attention to the gossip and people before the first body appears. I guessed the victim early-on and had the culprit nailed down (as one-of-two shortlisted). That's not to say, this isn't an enjoyable read: it is. I'm glad to see Jenny have a bit of romance even if it is presented in the same smug manner as Jenny herself. She's not a feminist icon, but the way the authors describe her, Jenny comes across as if the author has an ax to grind or a point to prove. With so little of her backstory or personal self-reflection in yet another installment, our Sleuth still seems rather one-dimensional. We're told many things about her but not shown much. Her parents and their stories are compelling and exciting, and I'd love to see how their influence colors her profession and lifestyle choices. In this story, we're told she's discerning about choosing her romantic partners as if there were a whole slew of other eligible men all vying to get with her. That's not the case we're shown. A large, full-figured Amazonian conquest might be appealing at a visceral level, but regardless of the initial interest, it never seems to go beyond physiological titillation. Most of these interested men are married or older or both, so there's no real sexual tension involved in their interactions. It's all just the narration telling us there's some spark of interest or that many men are aroused by novelty, and Jenny is undoubtedly novel in her Junoesque arrival. I keep hoping that the Sergeant from the Riverboat Mystery will reappear. I liked their chemistry -- She loves to cook, and he loves to eat! Also, they were both intelligent and good at a sly jab or two. Unless I missed it, I think he was single and interested, but Jenny never says much about why she wouldn't get with him. I'd love to see her get a stable assignment at a place like that castle, and because she's dating a copper, she gets pulled into a case. She'd be great going undercover to "help out" in the kitchen as the kerfuffle uproots ordinary life -- all the while, reporting to her boyfriend and his coworkers about casual conversations and her astute observations. I think such a scenario plays to her strengths while also allowing Jenny to grow and evolve. This scenario would, of course, require giving more room to the secondary storyline of her personal life, which is something the authors still seem reluctant to do. Creating stand-alone cases can be done whilst also inserting a bit more of a series arc. I've already tucked in with the next installment in the series because I find Jenny a compelling and astute sleuth. Because of the unusual structure of these books, I think fans of the Cozy Mystery genre should check out this series, and I recommend it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brian Williams

    Thanks to Joffre Books and Netgalley for a review copy of this eBook. The views expressed are my own. This is a slick whodunit murder mystery with a standout amateur detective, Jenny Starlight who is also a professional cook. It is set at an Oxford University college during summer recess when the college does a steady business hosting conferences. Jenny is hired to do the catering for the summer conferences, and later it develops she has some sleuthing talent. The first conference is a group of Thanks to Joffre Books and Netgalley for a review copy of this eBook. The views expressed are my own. This is a slick whodunit murder mystery with a standout amateur detective, Jenny Starlight who is also a professional cook. It is set at an Oxford University college during summer recess when the college does a steady business hosting conferences. Jenny is hired to do the catering for the summer conferences, and later it develops she has some sleuthing talent. The first conference is a group of taxidermists, the Greater Ribble Valley & Jessop Taxidermy Society. It is run by Maurice Raines who early on is found dead by Jenny in a deserted conference hall, stabbed in the throat. The police are called in and find there's several potential murderers. Maurice was not well regarded and had a penchant for chasing women while away from his wealthy wife. She and her boyfriend are targets of the police investigation. Jenny's reputation as an amateur detective is soon discovered and Detective Inspector Trevor Golder reluctantly decides he cannot ignore her talents. It's a complicated investigation, with numerous red herrings to occupy Inspector Golder and his sergeant, but with perseverance and Jenny's assistance the killer is identified. Jenny is the star of the show, a witty and assured person, who skillfully manages to help the police without provoking their ire for interfering in their work. The police characters are benign, readers don't get to know about their personal lives at all; the story is not about them unlike some police procedural novels. However, they are competent and pleasant officers. Readers learn a little about each of the suspects, but their backgrounds do not dominant the story. The portrayal of the college's bureaucrats is hilarious, and an accurate.sendup of organizational management. It's essentially a story about the crime and the search for the killer, without a lot of drama, social or political commentary. Norman the chameleon is a good touch of whimsy too. It's the fifth of a series, but can easily be read as a standalone. RECOMMENDED: It's a smoothly written whodunit mystery story that is easy to read and enjoy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Over recent months I've become a great fan of cozy mysteries so, when I saw this fifth book in the series featuring Jenny Starling being launched, I knew I had to read 'The Oxford Mystery'. Also, it has a culinary theme which I love and a little light humour. The first three books - The Birthday Mystery, The Winter Mystery and The Riverboat Mystery were all so good, I knew it was likely that Faith Martin had written a winner with this book, too, and I was right! Best-seller author Faith Martin ha Over recent months I've become a great fan of cozy mysteries so, when I saw this fifth book in the series featuring Jenny Starling being launched, I knew I had to read 'The Oxford Mystery'. Also, it has a culinary theme which I love and a little light humour. The first three books - The Birthday Mystery, The Winter Mystery and The Riverboat Mystery were all so good, I knew it was likely that Faith Martin had written a winner with this book, too, and I was right! Best-seller author Faith Martin has also written the ‘Detective Hillary Greene’ mysteries. Faith Martin’s writing skills set the scene beautifully for this novel and in this case, the drama takes place at a prestigious Oxford college. Her character development was wonderful, particularly that of Jenny, living and loving life as a travelling cook. She is happy travelling the country catering for different events and cooking great food. She doesn’t like having to divert her attention from baking delicious cakes or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve murders. She is great at reading people and unmasking killers, always with a good dose of humour. There are many suspects in this mystery, with clues and lots of red herrings to keep the reader guessing. It was a thoroughly satisfying read and I often found myself asking the same questions as Jenny and I was kept in suspense to the end. The pacing in The Oxford Mystery was very good and I never lost interest, as it wasn't long before something intriguing would happen. Things came together for a marvellous denouement and wrapped everything up very neatly. I'm definitely looking forward to the next novel featuring Jenny Starling and other books by the author, Faith Martin. The Oxford Mystery whets your appetite for more to come. I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my request, from Joffe Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Read

    This is the fifth story in the excellent new series from this author featuring travelling cook Jenny Starling, and was previously published as "Deadly Stuff" under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato. Jenny is in her late twenties and stands around 6 feet tall. With her blue eyes and shoulder length black hair she cuts a curvy and attractive figure which captivates a lot of the gentlemen she meets. Jenny's mission in life is to serve good food, in fact food comes above anything else in her eyes. This is the fifth story in the excellent new series from this author featuring travelling cook Jenny Starling, and was previously published as "Deadly Stuff" under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato. Jenny is in her late twenties and stands around 6 feet tall. With her blue eyes and shoulder length black hair she cuts a curvy and attractive figure which captivates a lot of the gentlemen she meets. Jenny's mission in life is to serve good food, in fact food comes above anything else in her eyes. Unfortunately in her travels as a cook-for-hire she has become embroiled in several murder investigations and her uncanny ability to read people has helped her root out the culprit putting many a CID detective to shame! In this story Jenny's ancient cherry red van is making its way to the dreaming spires of Oxford University, She has taken a summer job at St. Bede's college which hosts conferences and events during the holidays. The advertising for these events boasts fine cuisine, so who better than Jenny to fill the position, and a lengthy contract with accommodation thrown in is not to be sniffed at. First up on the guest list is the Greater Ribble Valley & Jessop Taxidermy Society, or Great Jessies as Jenny thinks of them, a rather mixed bunch of individuals with a shared hobby. They are led by their womanising president Maurice Raines who wastes no time in getting himself murdered. Seemingly they all have motive of a sort but infuriatingly all have alibis, and our reluctant amateur detective is dragged in to aid local police in establishing the truth once again. Another baffling murder mystery story with a great cast of characters to keep the reader guessing to the last chapter.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Swathi

    Though I read this book a long back, I still remember the important plot points which is its biggest victory in my view point. This is my first introduction to Jenny Starling, the 'junoesque ' cook , a total contrast to frail Ms.Marple. Jenny Starling is a currently unemployed cook looking for a summer job that will offer a steady income and a roof over her head for a brief while. When a catering job comes her way, she quickly jumps into the pan preparing for a long, restful and boring term. Lit Though I read this book a long back, I still remember the important plot points which is its biggest victory in my view point. This is my first introduction to Jenny Starling, the 'junoesque ' cook , a total contrast to frail Ms.Marple. Jenny Starling is a currently unemployed cook looking for a summer job that will offer a steady income and a roof over her head for a brief while. When a catering job comes her way, she quickly jumps into the pan preparing for a long, restful and boring term. Little does she know that she is going to plunge head long into a murder case !! Maurice, an unpopular but powerful fellow who loves to wield his power over his minions is found stabbed in the dining hall . Maurice Raines has lot of 'friends' who would rather see him dead and a wife who is on a secret liaison with another man. And then we have a harem of women with whom Maurice had affairs . Who among these killed him? Is the murderer among these menagerie or is he/she someone not in plain sight? Jenny Starling finds herself in the middle of the murder mystery and at odds with the local police who first view her and her deductions with suspicion. They then get into competitive spirit to find the criminal before Starling can and ultimately have to cede to Starling's intuitive deductive skills. The book is a interesting mix of taxidermy, food and mystery and stays to the spirit of Cozy Mystery. I particularly loved the fact that all the clues were out there but one is unable to stitch it together to form a logical pattern until Jenny Starling shows how. Thankfully the romantic interlude was kept to the minimum and the focus was more on the mystery which made the book whole lot enjoyable. The final reveal will leave you surprised for sure..

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scilla

    Jenny Starling again manages to discover the culprit, which as usual is the last person you and the police suspected. Jenny has taken on a position at Oxford's St. Bede's College for the summer. Her cooking will mainly be for conferences. The first conference is the Greater Ribble Valley & Jessop Taxidermy Society. It begins with a delicious dinner by Jenny. The President of the Society, Maurice Raines, is clearly a lady's man. His wife, Laura, who has all the money in the family is disillusione Jenny Starling again manages to discover the culprit, which as usual is the last person you and the police suspected. Jenny has taken on a position at Oxford's St. Bede's College for the summer. Her cooking will mainly be for conferences. The first conference is the Greater Ribble Valley & Jessop Taxidermy Society. It begins with a delicious dinner by Jenny. The President of the Society, Maurice Raines, is clearly a lady's man. His wife, Laura, who has all the money in the family is disillusioned with her marriage, and has met a very attractive younger man, Simon, who is recently divorced. While her husband is at St. Bede's, Laura has asked Simon to join her at a hotel at the beach. The next morning, Maurice Raines arranges for everyone to leave the hall for a free lunch after his lecture where he presents a large stuffed bear. Shortly thereafter, Jenny finds his dead body with a knife sticking out of his neck. She calls for the police, answered by Detective Golder and Sargeant Trent. They are soon told the Jenny has been asked to keep her eye on the investigation and to keep the Bursar informed. Meanwhile, Simon, had received a text to meet Laura at St. Bede's, and isn't sure whether Laura had set him up while Laura is worried that Simon might have murdered her husband. The police become convinced that Simon, the man seen leaving St. Bedes is a murderer (there have been other major suspects as well). At the end, Jenny has to tell the police what really happened.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Misfits farm

    I love this series. There is something about Faith’s writing that quickly draws you in and a warmth of character that you can’t help but like,This is the fifth book in the Jenny Starling series., each one I think could be a stand alone but why miss out on the rest? A travelling cook who appears to have a knack for not only being around where there is a murder but a sterling reputation for solving the crime, much to the chagrin of the local police force. This time Jenny is in the hallowed portals I love this series. There is something about Faith’s writing that quickly draws you in and a warmth of character that you can’t help but like,This is the fifth book in the Jenny Starling series., each one I think could be a stand alone but why miss out on the rest? A travelling cook who appears to have a knack for not only being around where there is a murder but a sterling reputation for solving the crime, much to the chagrin of the local police force. This time Jenny is in the hallowed portals of St Bede’s college Oxford for the summer where a series of conferences are taking place. The first one on the agenda is that of a group of taxidermists. Loving both reading and cooking, these are just up my street and have given me several ideas for cooking- some dishes I hadn’t heard of. eg. Bacon Clanger. Maybe don’t read these if you are hungry- they may give you an appetite! I think my only criticism (and its tiny) is that we keep being reminded of Jenny’s six foot, junoesque build which is a tad repetitive. That said she is not a woman to mess with and has a nose and ears for what is around her. Who wouldn’t love her as a neighbour or friend.?Then again…..she is always around when there is a murder so perhaps not! A wonderful read to curl up with and enjoy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marion

    Its summer vacation time and Jenny has secured the position as cook for the duration at St Bedes college. It is the conference season and the first group booked in are a taxidermist society. All seems to be going well on the first day as all the members enjoy the meals Jenny Starling is known for. Unfortunately Jenny finds herself once again having to step in and aid the police when the President of the society Maurice Raines is found stabbed in the neck, with a fleshing tool, in the dining hall. M Its summer vacation time and Jenny has secured the position as cook for the duration at St Bedes college. It is the conference season and the first group booked in are a taxidermist society. All seems to be going well on the first day as all the members enjoy the meals Jenny Starling is known for. Unfortunately Jenny finds herself once again having to step in and aid the police when the President of the society Maurice Raines is found stabbed in the neck, with a fleshing tool, in the dining hall. Maurice not the most well liked person amongst the society members seems to have offended quite a few people, the society treasurer has been using the funds fraudulentley, add to that the fact that his wife after many years of suffering from his extra marital relationships has begun an affair of her own and there are plenty of suspects for us to choose from. The question is can Jenny once again solve the mystery and bring the killer to justice. A cleverly thought out plot with lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing, a thoroughly enjoyable read. Thanks to Joffe books for the opportunity to read this as an ARC , definitely looking forward to number 6 in the series now.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary C

    This is the second of the Jenny Starling books I've read and it was an entertaining mystery taking place in Oxford, one of my favorite cities in England. Most of the story takes place in one of the colleges, so Oxford itself is kind of a backdrop rather than a player. Jenny's itinerant cooking business has her feeding a conference of a society of taxidermists, and a more unloveable crowd of people you could not find. I couldn't find any one of them I would welcome as a friend. That apart, the mys This is the second of the Jenny Starling books I've read and it was an entertaining mystery taking place in Oxford, one of my favorite cities in England. Most of the story takes place in one of the colleges, so Oxford itself is kind of a backdrop rather than a player. Jenny's itinerant cooking business has her feeding a conference of a society of taxidermists, and a more unloveable crowd of people you could not find. I couldn't find any one of them I would welcome as a friend. That apart, the mystery of who killed the society's president, and why, was intriguing and plausible. I do wish that the author wouldn't constantly make reference to Jenny's shape and size - I am tired of staturesque and Junoesque descriptors and frankly find this bordering on obsession by the author. It weakens the story, too, in my opinion. Others may not find this objectionable, and I wouldn't say NOT to read the book because of it. This cozy's an enjoyable way to pass the time. Readers who have not read any others in the series will not be at a disadvantage - there is sufficient backstory that you can read this as a stand alone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jane Hunt

    A murder mystery in Oxford, and you automatically think of ‘Inspector Morse’, neither detective, in Faith Martin’s Oxford Mystery, are of this calibre, but thankfully for them, Jenny Starling, Cook, people watcher and amateur sleuth is. The strange world of taxidermy is the theme for this mystery, a conference at Oxford during the Summer break, with a cast of quirky characters and a sinister crime ready to unfold. Clues and misinformation are plentiful, and despite the gravity of the crime, there A murder mystery in Oxford, and you automatically think of ‘Inspector Morse’, neither detective, in Faith Martin’s Oxford Mystery, are of this calibre, but thankfully for them, Jenny Starling, Cook, people watcher and amateur sleuth is. The strange world of taxidermy is the theme for this mystery, a conference at Oxford during the Summer break, with a cast of quirky characters and a sinister crime ready to unfold. Clues and misinformation are plentiful, and despite the gravity of the crime, there is a strong humorous streak in this story. Although the plot has the appearance of simplicity, it isn’t, and the actual murderer, although in plain sight is not easy to spot. Jenny Starling remains an enigmatic presence and there is even a touch of romance for her in Oxford, but this is hinted act rather than explored. I received a copy of this book from Joffe Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Grace Koshida

    Traveling chef Jenny Starling has a summer job cooking at St. Bede's, a prestigious Oxford college. While the faculty are away for the summer, the college hosts various conferences including a group of taxidermists. The taxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is a pompous womanizer who is found dead with a knife in his neck. All the taxidermy members who either in lectures or partaking the free lunch at the time of Raines' murder. The college and the local police need Jenny’s help to find t Traveling chef Jenny Starling has a summer job cooking at St. Bede's, a prestigious Oxford college. While the faculty are away for the summer, the college hosts various conferences including a group of taxidermists. The taxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is a pompous womanizer who is found dead with a knife in his neck. All the taxidermy members who either in lectures or partaking the free lunch at the time of Raines' murder. The college and the local police need Jenny’s help to find the killer. At first, the police's prime suspects are Raines' wife and her lover Simon Jenks but Jenny points out various flaws in their investigation. The reader has to suspend disbelief about the killer's spur-of-the-moment murder and timing. I received an eARC via Netgalley and Joffe Books with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Phil Dunlop

    So far, the best Jenny Starling book Obviously I'm a a definite Faith Martin fan, having read all the kindle versions available, perhaps I'm a bit biased here, but I think not. I've enjoyed all 5 Jenny books so far, but if the 5 I think this is the best. Why? Well that can be difficult, but I'm thinking in this book Jenny is revealed to be more personable, skilled not only in her knowledge of a cook, but also in organization, other interests, a budding romance, and we'll able to really THINK. It' So far, the best Jenny Starling book Obviously I'm a a definite Faith Martin fan, having read all the kindle versions available, perhaps I'm a bit biased here, but I think not. I've enjoyed all 5 Jenny books so far, but if the 5 I think this is the best. Why? Well that can be difficult, but I'm thinking in this book Jenny is revealed to be more personable, skilled not only in her knowledge of a cook, but also in organization, other interests, a budding romance, and we'll able to really THINK. It's also great to see the series does not follow a rote structure and that Jenny can operate in different environments. I certainly hope there will be more Jenny, and more of Ms Martin's other series. We can't have any more Hillary, but we surely need more from Faith Martin!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    This is the fifth in the Jenny Starling series however I don't think you need to have read any before. I have read two other books (not in sequence) but the books are very descriptive about Jenny so the background reading didn't add too much. I enjoyed this cosy murder mystery and I like that Jenny doesn't spell out who the murderer is however this story it was just too obvious who the murderer was. The only one who had no alibi! I was really hoping for a bit more from Faith Martin. I probably wo This is the fifth in the Jenny Starling series however I don't think you need to have read any before. I have read two other books (not in sequence) but the books are very descriptive about Jenny so the background reading didn't add too much. I enjoyed this cosy murder mystery and I like that Jenny doesn't spell out who the murderer is however this story it was just too obvious who the murderer was. The only one who had no alibi! I was really hoping for a bit more from Faith Martin. I probably would read another Jenny Starling book as I do enjoy them however this wasn't my favourite in the series, Thank you to netgalley for providing me with an ARC.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Belmont

    The Oxford Mystery is an intriguing mystery with wonderful writing and warm, realistic characters. Faith Martin’s writing draws you in and it is just beautiful. I read this novel as a standalone and it worked well, however, now I feel like I’m missing out on a wonderful series and must go back to read the rest! I loved the mystery, it kept me guessing until the reveal and that is so important in a story like this. I highly recommend checking out The Oxford Mystery.If the rest of the novels are as The Oxford Mystery is an intriguing mystery with wonderful writing and warm, realistic characters. Faith Martin’s writing draws you in and it is just beautiful. I read this novel as a standalone and it worked well, however, now I feel like I’m missing out on a wonderful series and must go back to read the rest! I loved the mystery, it kept me guessing until the reveal and that is so important in a story like this. I highly recommend checking out The Oxford Mystery.If the rest of the novels are as good as this one, I think this is a fantastic series. *I recieved a copy of this book for a blog tour with Books N All Book Promotions. All opinions are my own.*

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