Cover Image: Breaking the Mould

Breaking the Mould

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Who Clobbered Scrooge...?
A Vintage Kitchen mystery. The local Scrooge is found murdered in the run up to the Dickens Days festival and Christmas. There are no shortage of suspects but Jaymie is ever determined to catch the culprit. Perhaps a little slower than others but still an enjoyable cosy and a worthy addition to this entertaining series. As always, vintage recipe included.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great little cozy mystery perfect for the Christmas/holiday season.  I loved reading this with a cup of tea!  Great little cozy with a nice plot twist.
Was this review helpful?
Another excellent edition to a wonderful series! Full of twists and turns that leaves you wanting more and enjoying each moment until the end when the killer is caught!
Was this review helpful?
It's Christmas time in Queensland and Jaymie has been working on diorama of the Cratchit Christmas as a display for the Dickens Days festival.  Arriving to finalize the display, Jaymie discovers the town Scrooge - Evan Nezer - dead.

The mystery was fun and cleverly woven into the holiday preparations for the town and Jaymie's family. Such an enjoyable cozy.
Was this review helpful?
Breaking the Mould is the 8th installment in the 'Vintage Kitchen Mystery' series written by Victoria Hamilton. I have only read two previous books, but had no problems following the story. I will go back and read the ones I missed, as there is character development that I have missed out on.

In this outing, the small town in Upper Michigan is preparing for Dicken's Days. Jaymie is working with the town handyman to set up when they have a run-in with Evan Nezer, the town Scrooge. He wants them off his property and to actually disband Dicken's Days. He has issues with several people in town and is not a well-loved resident. When he ends up dead, in Jaymie's diorama killed by a pudding mould, there are several suspects.

The characters are well-developed. They have some great relationships, strong character traits and are very likeable and relatable. The victim was one who was easy to dislike. He was arrogant, rude, pompous and self-righteous. It was easy to see motive involving many characters. The story was well-paced and both the mystery and the stories of the characters held my interest. I loved the setting of Christmas and Dicken's Days and the humour of the victim's name. There were times in this story that I thought I had it all figured out, then realized that I was completely off track. I enjoy that when I read a mystery. It is always great when I figure out the mystery just before the final reveal, but it usually takes tying up all the loose ends to figure out motive. This story did not disappoint in that respect. My one niggle was Jaymie's situations. When being questioned by the police, she became quite hostile which was something that I was not expecting at all. I also have come to enjoy the presence of her stepdaughter in the books and she was almost invisible in this one. Other than those small issues, I enjoyed this story and will continue to read A Vintage Kitchen Mystery series.
Was this review helpful?
The mystery was complex with an abundance of suspects and motives.  It was kind of cutesy with the Evan Neezer bit, but OK, it's a Christmas read.  Other aspects keep me from giving more than an OK rating.  

Don't recall this series trying so hard to be PC with the dwarf/little person daughter and the mixtures of gay, Jewish and Muslim characters, etc.  They don't seem to be a natural element to the story, but as if they were deliberately placed there to be inclusive.  Perhaps it was the author's pandering attempt at "good will to all men".

The treacly aspect didn't engage me and I kept putting the book down to read other books.

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Breaking the Mould is the 8th installment in the 'Vintage Kitchen Mystery' series written by Victoria Hamilton. I've read all the previous books and received a copy from NetGalley this time (thank you). I was excited to catch up on the series and because it was a Christmas-themed tale.

Jaymie is on the team to prepare for the Dickens Festival in their the upper Michigan / on the border with Canada town of Queensville. While preparing one of the outdoor fixtures with a local carpenter, the owner of a house nearby has a fit -- a real Scrooge -- because part of it needs to be secured by a small anchor that would reside on the very edge of his property. It's been like that for years, but this is the man's first year living in the house rather then renting it out. He's a professor at the local college as well as generally disliked by most people. Of course, he ends up dead... and which local resident was it. Current or ex wife? Son? Handyman? Housekeeper or her son whom the villain ruined for no good reason? Plus several other townies are involved. This time, it's a vintage mould that does in the murder victim. Readers are treated to a fun history of vintage Christmas items and stories, including a few delicious-sounding meals that we might want to try. Meanwhile, Jaymie visits with her friends and grows closer to her new husband, Jakob, and his daughter, Jocie.

Hamilton is a good writer who keeps us interested not only in the main mystery but all the supporting cast sub-plots and shenanigans. I enjoy catching up with the different personalities and learning about connections between the families. The villain was a righteous jerk who deserved what happened to him, in my opinion (and in book world only)! Jaymie also stands up for herself in this book to her newspaper reporter boss and the new police detective. While both were great scenes, I think it possibly came to close together and made me question whether there were too many changes in Jaymie all in quick fashion. I like her strength, but she also needs to be a little sneaky and subtle sometimes to get the job done.

Now that I'm current on 2 of the author's series, I might need to check out one of her other ones. The next book in this series wouldn't be available until this fall (not even sure there is one yet either) and the other series I read has been on hold for a while. Has Anyone else checked out her other books and have thoughts to share?
Was this review helpful?
This is a fun cozy series that I enjoy.  This is book 8 in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series and it's a great addition. Jayme is excited about the start of the Dickens Days Festival.  It's a big fund raiser for the town and her vintage kitchen store is one of the sponsors.   When the town scrooge is found dead in her display hut there is concern the festival will have to be canceled.  Jayme and all her friends work to solve the murder so Christmas won't be a washout .  This can be read as a stand alone book but the background and characters are all important from previous books.  I really enjoy learning about some of the antique kitchen equipment that I remember seeing as a child.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is the eighth book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series.  Jaymie Leighton Miller is back, happily married and getting ready for Christmas.  She's helping the town with Dickens Days, and when Even Nezer (haha on the name) is found murdered, she has to help find the culprit so the festival can go on.

This book and the others in the series are classic cozy mysteries.  Read them if you want to spend a quiet afternoon with a good mystery.

Thanks to Beyond the Page Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I've enjoyed all of the books in this series, so it was no surprise to really like this one as well. I thought the parallels to Scrooge were clever, and I was glad to catch back up with all of the characters in the series. I really like the direction Jaymie's life has taken over the last few books, and am enjoying her new husband's Christmas tree farm being part of the series, as well as his delightful young daughter. In order to fully enjoy Breaking the Mould, the previous seven books in the series should come first.
Was this review helpful?
This is the second book in the series that I've read and it remains delightful! I don't think I learned as much about vintage kitchen accessories as I did in the previous book but I did still learn about them and was educated in a very fun and subtle way. The characters remain well-written and I enjoyed the dialogue a great deal. In addition to this, I absolutely LOVED the idea of Dickens Days and all the ways that Charles Dickens was woven throughout the story. The family continues to grow as well and I love watching this blended family come into their own. The "whodunnit" was handled very sneakily. I loved the layers and didn't come close to guessing the who or the why. All in all, it was a fantastic story that I recommend. 


Thank you to Victoria Hamilton, Beyond the Page Publishing, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this story and share my honest thoughts and opinions with others.
Was this review helpful?
Jaymie Müller is enjoying being married and a mother, writing a cookbook, updating her food blog and anticipating Dickens Days festival, a December fundraising event.  But the fly in the ointment is Evan Nezar whose vile antics threaten the event. Then he turns up dead. The mystery has numerous strong suspects and a fair but surprising, to me anyway, resolution. A visit with Jaymie and her family and friends remains delightful. Recommended!
Was this review helpful?
Another great cozy mystery set in  Queensville,Michigan at Christmas time. And Jaymie has another  mystery  to solve; this one  the murder of a character right out of Dickens – Evan Nezer the town Scrooge . Join Jaymie as she unravels the clues left, and get ready for the holidays season In this holiday read that has a  great cast of characters with lots of twist in turns perfect for a holiday break . This book is another great addition to this  fun series- Lisa
Was this review helpful?
Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton is the eighth book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series.  Jaymie is getting ready for the Christmas season and the town's Dickens Days.  The local scrooge, Evan Nezer, is trying to stop it once again.  He seems to be picking fights with everyone.  Unfortunately for Evan he makes the wrong person angry and winds up dead in the diorama Jaymie helped make.  In order to bring the killer to justice and save Dickens Days, Jaymie jumps in to investigate.  This is a lovely series full of wonderful characters.  Breaking the Mould is a nice addition to the series.
Was this review helpful?
Bah humbug! Scrooge inspired story line.  A themed Christmas book where  a murder occurs as the town is preparing for the Dicken's Day celebration. Evan Nezer (a play on names from a Christmas Carol) a nasty town member is found dead by Jaymie.  The problem is there are so many potential suspects and so many leds to follow will Jaymie be able to figure out who did it in order to ensure the town can have their Dicken's Day celebration.

This is book 8 in the series.  I didn't not read the other books and was not lost.  But I am looking forward to go back to read the other books so I can get to know the characters better.  I enjoyed the mystery and I was able to figure out who did it but is wasn't easy with all the different clues that make you second guess who you think did it.  I would recommend this book it was fun to read and well written.  I love a good cozy mystery and this book won't disappoint.
Was this review helpful?
Princess Fuzzypants here:  Okay.  I confess.  I love plays on words so when two of the key characters in this book set just before Christmas were named Evan Nezer and Jacklyn Marley, I knew I was in for a treat.  The murder victim makes Scrooge look like a philanthropist, before the ghosts.  He is a totally reprehensible excuse for a human and all the ghosts past, present and future could not have melted his heart since he clearly did not have one.
This litigious misery wants to destroy the town’s Dicken’s Days that herald the Seasons’ festivities.  Between the people he has damaged, hurt or destroyed, the line goes around the block as to who might want him dead.  There is hardly anyone grieving but to be bashed on the head with an antique pudding mould and then staked through the heart with holly does seem a bit excessive.  Clearly the murderer is trying to pin suspicions on either Jaymie or the old gent with whom Evan Nezer has a confrontation.  
As the story unfolds and Jaymie discovers the villain, there is a certain sympathy for everyone who crossed the victim’s path.  I must admit I did suspect the killer but there were lots of motives swirling around.  It’s a good mystery with lots of nuances, particularly in how different people deal with the things life presents.
There are some great characters, including Jaymie, her husband Jakob, their daughter and pets.  There is a strong undercurrent of acceptance and appreciation for people who do not fit a “mould”.  I like that.  Since there are few “perfect” characters, the stories always seem more realistic.
Five purrs and two paws up.
Was this review helpful?
Any book that includes a yummy cookie recipe is a winner! At the end of this somewhat serious cozy mystery, you will be delighted with a recipe for Holiday Hermits. The author tells us that Queensville, Michigan is the setting for this cozy mystery series is, or at least used to be, the spice capital of the USA. 

Jaymie is the protagonist of this complex cozy mystery. She is newly married to a charmer with a beard, Jakob Muller, and mother now to his darling daughter. The family business is a Christmas tree farm, but Jaymie also blogs about vintage cooking. And lately, she has developed a new avocation- that of amateur sleuth. In fact, she has solved seven prior mysteries, as this is number 8 in the series.

We catch up with this sincere young woman in November as Queensville and its Historical Society prepare for their annual Christmas season Dickens Day Festivals. The town scrooge, Evan Ezer (get it?) is once again being his disruptive self, but this year, the Ghost of Christmas actually does him in. Jaymie finds his body in her “A Christmas Carol” diorama on the town square.

Everyone in town had a beef with Evan Nezer and it’s going to take time for the police to solve his murder. Jaymie jumps in to solve it so that Dickens Days can move forward. As the book progresses, we meet many townsfolk and are given many views and opinions of the Nezer family. Can Jaymie persevere and find the killer, or is the killer going to find her first?

I agree with other reviewers who have noted that now there are eight books in the series, the back story and all the characters are a bit much for a reader new to the series, like me, to sort out. And there wasn’t as much cooking and holiday fun as I had hoped. Jaymie also is rather preachy in her opinions about current affairs.

Still, it’s a good read and I’m sure fans of the series are delighted with it. You can expect a well-crafted story from this experienced and best-selling author. Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. Victoria is the national bestselling author of two mystery series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries, as well as the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.

Thank you to New Galley and Beyond the Page Publishing for the ARC. This is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
For me, this series holds a special place in my heart. The first book in this series (A Deadly Grind)  was my first every cozy mystery, which started my obsession with the cozy genre. Now to the present book (book 8) in the series, this book is just as good if not better than that first book. This book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone mystery or as part of the series.  I love how the characters have developed and changed with each relationship and new interaction. The characters are still wonderful and have their little quirks but are now much more complex characters. The mystery is well-written and plotted with several red herrings though out the story to keep you engaged and guess whodunit. The setting of the Christmas season was a wonderful touch to the storyline to include Jaymie’s husband’s Christmas Tree Farm. This is still one of my favorite series and I recommend this book to any mystery fan and fans of vintage cookery and recipes. A bonus for readers at the end of the book, there is a recipe included. 


I voluntarily agreed to read a copy of this book supplied by NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and in no way have been influenced.
Was this review helpful?
I think this is my favorite cozy mystery that I have read thus far. I seriously never would have guessed the killer. It really kept me intrigued the whole way through. Highly recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book.
Was this review helpful?
I felt a bit lost in this book. There was a lot going on, tons of characters that I had trouble keeping straight, and a lot of backstory to the series that I think I missed not having read any of the other books in this series yet. The tie-ins with "A Christmas Carol" and other Dickens references were abundant and cleverly done. Also, the solution to the mystery felt a bit forced and not very strong, so I was left with a bit of a let-down at the end of the book. This is another cozy mystery, but I wouldn't call it a culinary mystery because there was only one recipe included in the book, at the very end, though the hermit cookies do sound yummy and I'd love to try them!! I'd give this book another chance if I am able to read the previous books in the series. I just felt like there was a lot that I didn't know about the characters and the series so I didn't really connect to them in this story.
Was this review helpful?