15 Minutes of Flame (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery)
by Christin Brecher
About 15 Minutes of Flame
As Stella Wright’s Nantucket candle store thrives, her knack for solving mysteries burns equally bright—especially when a Halloween haunted house uncovers evidence of a centuries-old murder . . .
When Stella’s friend inherits a creaky, abandoned home in Nantucket, she knows it’s the perfect setting for the town’s annual Halloween fundraiser. A deserted, boarded-up building on the property—once used as a candle-making shop—adds to the creepy ambiance. But as Stella explores the shack’s dilapidated walls, she discovers a terrible secret: the skeleton of a Quaker woman, wrapped in blood-soaked clothing and hidden deep within a stone hearth . . .
While police investigate, Stella wastes no time asking for help from friends with long ties to Nantucket’s intricate history. The key to the murder may lie within a scorching 18th century love triangle that pit two best friends against one another over a dubious man. But before the case is solved, another life will be claimed—leaving Stella to wonder who in Nantucket is friend, and who is foe . . .
We arrive in Nantucket just before Halloween and Wick and Flame owner Stella Wright is helping the Girl Scouts set up a haunted house for a fundraiser. When Stella checks out a shack on the property she finds it used to be a candle making shop. With the owner’s approval, she is taking down a sign from the mantle to display in her shop. But she finds more than she bargained for. She finds a skeleton. From the clothing, it looks to be a Quaker woman and she has been there a while. It is not long before this skeleton leads to another and then a dead body.
To calm fears, Stella moves into the house while the police investigate, but Stella just can’t stop herself from doing her own sleuthing. When she starts to uncover some key facts she knows she is on the right track. A track that could get her life to be snuffed out next.
In this third installment, the author brings some of Nantucket’s history to light. With a 100-year-old skeleton entombed in the shack you know, there has to be a dark story.
I love the way Stella continues to develop over the course of this series. She is smart and truly has her friend and local cop, Andy’s number. She works her way into the police investigation and persuades him to fill her in on what they have and what they are working on. Reporter and boyfriend, Peter was a little distracted this time but by the end, we know why. Emily was under the weather but helped Stella as much as she could. All of Brecher’s characters are well developed and have a purpose in the story. The dialogues were also very well-written
Ms. Brecher unraveled the old story alongside the current one seamlessly with plenty of twists and turns. There is also quite a treasure hunt that ends up being very important to the story. The pacing was perfect. The ending was so well-played out. Finishing this book on Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie’s birthday was very apropos.
I do love the candle making theme. This time readers learn about candle clocks. I was totally captivated by them and loved that Stella was teaching a class on how to make them.
15 Minutes of Flame has it all, great characters, mystery, murder, betrayal, and secrets. There is a fair amount of humor too. I really enjoyed this story! I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
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