Book Review: The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder

Thank you to Marla White for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.


After injuring herself on the job as a Los Angeles cop, Mel O’Rourke leaves the force battered both physically and mentally. Looking for a fresh start, she moves to a quiet mountain town and opens the Babbling Brook Inn. Excited for her new life, Mel decides to participate in the town’s holiday cookie contest, but her newfound joy crashes when one of her guests turns up dead in her lobby.

Mel is tempted to attribute the death to natural causes, but when another guest dies, her cop sense kicks in. The local Sheriff tells her to stand down, but with her own life in danger, Mel won’t back off. With everything on the line, she has to push through her own fears to catch the killer before more bodies drop, perhaps even her own.



  • I love a good cozy mystery any time of year. The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder is the cozy mystery to add to your reading list this holiday season. However, I also felt that this book wasn’t limited to the holidays. It truly is a cozy to be enjoyed year round.
  • I loved that the twists and turns prevented me from figuring out the murderer’s identity. This, of course, is what keeps a reader turning pages.
  • I loved the setting of the story. The Babbling Brook Inn introduced a variety of eclectic characters. Each was unique, engaging, and leapt off the page.
  • I loved that this book read like it belonged on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries – always a plus for me!
  • I loved that Mel wasn’t a damsel in distress.
  • I loved the touch of a love triangle. With two men vying for her attention, Mel O’Rourke might have a decision to make in a future installment. I can only hope that this is just the beginning for more mysteries requiring Mel’s sleuthing skills.


The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder is the perfect cozy mystery to add to your reading list this holiday season. Rest assured, this delightful story is an enjoyable read any time of year. The twists and turns will keep you guessing until the end. The eclectic cast of characters in and around the Babbling Brook Inn leap off the page with their individual and engaging personalities. Mel O’Rourke is no damsel in distress, but she does find herself in the middle of a potential love triangle. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is only the first in a series of future cozies and hope to follow Mel along on her journey.


Marla White started her illustrious career as a storyteller at the age of four by drawing on the TV screen to help Winky Dink get out of mortal danger, earning her a firm spanking.  Deterred by the negative feedback, she studied to be a park ranger instead until she realized it was really a TV show about park rangers she liked, not the actual outdoors.  She enjoys a career in television as well as teaching story workshops at UCLA Extension.

Appropriately, she found out on April Fool’s Day she’d sold her first book, “The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder” to Wild Rose Press.





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