Welcome to my MTMC Tours stop for Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death by Amita Murray!
I think this is my first time reading a cozy mystery — and I loved it! Definitely a genre I need to dig up more of 👀👌🏻 The story follows the abrasive and blunt, Arya Winters, as she accidentally gets tangled in a murder investigation in her small English village. The thing about cozy mysteries is they feature ordinary people going about their ordinary lives but also, there’s murder. And this one definitely wins points from me for including CAKES (so many cakes — poisoned ones, but also not poisoned ones) and some really great neurodiverse rep.
“You know, you’d be happier in life if you watched fewer crime dramas and got out more.”
I don’t argue with this assessment of my life. She probably has a point.
First let’s talk about Arya!! I could not help but love her 😂 She is SO blunt and honest, and has Tourette’s and also a social anxiety disorder. Arya is lonely because she wants to be lonely, and a lot of her character arc is about realising letting people in is okay. She doesn’t have to constantly be on guard, constantly be ready to attack. But her childhood was rubbish, her parents worse, and now she’s losing the only people she felt close to — because murders. I felt for her a lot. She’s also such a refreshing character because she really does not care and will avoid people so hard. 😂👌🏻 I also liked her wit and quips. It’s nice when a book balances dark topics with some lightness. It also really unpacks themes of loneliness — the difference between enjoying being alone VS being alone as a defence mechanism.
“Pop around if you want a cup of coffee. I make killer coffee,” I hear him say behind me.
I guess I could retort that I make a killer tiramisu, but it’s probably better that I don’t.
Arya also is a baker by profession, and all her creations have a Tim Burton twist. This is fabulous and I do want her cakes immediately. I mean, her tiramisu was poisoned and leads her to be under investigation for murder a bit. But the pineapple cupcake sounded great (and non-lethal).
The mystery itself is full of interesting twists and quirky characters. Like their little town is crammed with the most odd and funny people, truly. And Arya is sort of forced into talking to people (her most hated activity ever) as she looks for clues. It’s a quietly paced book, very character focused also, and there’s a bit of a romance with the author next door. Following Arya as she uncovered clues was super interesting too. I do think the ending begs for a sequel though!! It was 😭👌🏻.
Definitely pick this one up if you’re a fan of character-centric stories, cosy mysteries to unravel, and fun and engaging writing!
And head over to my instagram page for the INTL giveaway.
Title: Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death (#1)
Author: Amita Murray
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Genres: Cosy Mystery, Thriller
Purchase a copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Book Depository | Indiebound | Blackwell’s
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Arya Winters is your typical cozy heroine. She lives in a cottage in a small English village, and bakes for a living–well, she specializes in macabre desserts. She has the standard nosy neighbors, who she avoids ruthlessly due to her social anxiety. And, oh, she also has a mild case of Tourette’s.
When her neighbor Tobias Yards turns up dead, no one seems to connect it to Arya’s Auntie Meera’s recent death, so she takes matters into her own hands. All she has to do to uncover the truth is to get over her aversion to Other People. Besides that, it’s just a matter of getting beyond some yellow tape, dodging her former BFF Tallulah from secondary school, and getting into her new neighbor, writer Branwell Beam’s, pants–he seems strangely reluctant.
What Arya doesn’t realize is that the murderer is dangerous, preying on lonely people who’ve experienced trauma, and that she might have to do all she can to not become the next victim.
Amita is a writer, based in London. Her first novel The Trouble with Rose came out with Harper Collins in 2019, with the German edition coming out with Random House Blanvalet in 2021. Having lived in and around Delhi, London and California, Amita likes to write funny things about cultural encounters and relationships. She thinks of herself as a bit of a nomad, though a previous tutor also aptly suggested the label “cultural abyss.” (Use in a sentence: Amita, you’re a cultural abyss.) In 2016, she was shocked when her short story collection won the SI Leeds Literary Prize at a magical award ceremony at the Ilkley Literature Festival. Actually, it was so magical, she’ll be talking about this prize for years, just wait and see. (And don’t say you weren’t warned.) The collection was partly written under a Leverhulme Writer-in-Residence grant at University College London in 2015, and stories appear in Wasafiri, SAND Berlin, the Berkeley Fiction Review and others. She’s held writerly residencies with Leverhulme/University College London and Plymouth University/Literature Works. She has taught advanced fiction at the University of East Anglia and CityLit London.
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