I usually start with the Goodreads book description before starting my review but I’m starting this one with a little, well for want of a better word, confession. I’ve made no secret of my love for cozy mysteries. I haven’t read as many as I usually do this year but I have plenty sitting on my nightstand and dresser (where I’m now keeping my overflow) just waiting for me to catch up. But there is a sub-genre of cozy I absolutely adore and that brings us to the Goodreads summary of The Tale of Oat Cake Crag:
from Goodreads: In the Lake District, noisy test flights of the new hydroplane are disrupting life in the village of Near Sawrey. Miss Beatrix Potter can barely hear herself think-which she needs to do for the new case she’s just taken up. Her friend Grace Lythecoe has been receiving some anonymous letters, threatening her good name.
Now Beatrix must proceed quietly, so as not to arouse village gossip. And while her visit to Near Sawrey has proven to be anything but quiet, there is yet another piece of business for Beatrix to address: that of her own future. When she’s offered a second chance at love, she decides that sometimes causing a disturbance can be well worth the trouble.
Okay, so I love when actual historical characters are the crime solvers. This series stars Beatrix Potter and I just love them. But, then I love them all. Whether it’s Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen, or Mark Twain I’m all in. There’s a series with Groucho Marx I can’t get enough (sadly there are only 6 but I love each and every one). I know Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Wollstonecraft both have series but I haven’t read them yet. I know I’ll have a soft spot for them.
Now about Oak Cake Crag, the seventh in the series is one of the lighter ones. I know lighter of a light genre but this was more a character piece where the mystery takes a back seat. I read some Beatrix Potter when my kids were little and enjoyed her stories but I really didn’t know much about her. Albert includes some historical information in the beginning and ending of the books which helps with the context and I did look up a bit about her and I have to say I think I like what I know about her. Her character in the books is very enjoyable as are all the towns people in the Land Between the Lake where Potter’s actual farms were and are in the stories.
On a side note this is also another type of cozy sub-genre, I don’t know exactly what it’s called but it’s where animals help solve the crime. Now, I don’t read much of this genre and I’m not a particular fan but I do rather enjoy it here and it makes sense given Potter’s relationship with animals.
So, is this a great work of Literature? No. Will the Nobel Committee be looking this one over? No. But, will you have a nice fun read over the summer? Absolutely. And, what more do you need while kicking back in a hammock?
Oh, and I just found a link to a page with a list of cozies where real people are the detectives here. I think I’ll be working more cozies into my summer reading rotation. Yippee!!