Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death

Agora. (Arya Winters, Bk. 1). Oct. 2021. 296p. ISBN 9781951709471. pap. $16.99. M
Murray’s second novel (after The Trouble with Rose) features Arya Winters, whose father couldn’t take her outrageous outbursts anymore, so when she was eight, he dumped her at her Auntie Meera’s in the village of Trucklewood. The pagan herbalist took her in and dealt with Arya’s outbursts. The two recently had a fight, just before Auntie Meera was found murdered and her body left naked and splayed on the kitchen floor. Arya feels guilty that she wasn’t there for her aunt. When a neighbor, Tobias, is killed by a tiramisu Arya baked, she senses the two deaths are connected. Arya, who has social anxiety, has always cut herself off from people. Now she’s forced to talk and interact with neighbors, despite her inability to control her mouth. She finds a small book that connects the murders, but it’s only when a lonely former friend is left for dead that Arya puts the pieces together.
VERDICT In this mystery best compared to The Addams Family, anxious Arya is an intriguing narrator who admits to her faults. With all its sex, discussion of sex, and naked bodies, this is not a cozy mystery, despite the blurbs.
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