This is a sadly disappointing story.
There's a perfectly decent little story in here, but unfortunately, it's buried in clunky, obvious prose and dialog that is so obvious that the only comparison is to the "As you know, Bob" clunkers much mocked in science fiction. The characters in a science fiction story don't need to explain to each other how the everyday tools of their world work. Lady Marmalade doesn't need her friends to explain to her things she's known for years.
Harry and Genevieve Appleback are old friends of Lady Marmalade. They've lived in the current abode in Hightown since 1941. It's now 1947, and Frances Marmalade last saw them six months ago. So why does she need to hear the story of how and why they bought the place as if it's new information? So that the reader will know! And the author can't think of any more subtle or plausible way to convey the same information.
The mystery concerns the murder of Maude Bloomfield, wife of one of the two owners of Bloomfield Confectionery. Suspects include her husband Ambrose (of course), his lover, the Bloomfields' son and his wife, who want an increased allowance to support their Australian ranch, Ambrose's brother Owen, and Maude's stepdaughter from a previous marriage, who has her own resentments.
Oh, and there are all the women at the confectionery that Maude is insisting be fired.
It's too bad the murderer is also depressingly obvious.
I received a free electronic copy of this book, and I am reviewing it voluntarily.