A Curious Woman by Jess Lea

The book is a quirky and intriguing cozy mystery.

What was the book about?
Bess Campbell is a curator in the most atypical hipster museum, and she loves her job there. It fills her days with fun and exciting ventures.  When she has to visit the infamous standoffish owner of another museum, Margaret Gale, to retrieve an unusual antique collectible, things don’t go as expected. After a disagreement about the object, Bess hopes never to see Margaret again . . .  not until a murder mystery involves them both. Will they be able to overcome their differences and absolve themselves?

Featured Tropes
Lesbian-fiction, murder mystery, ice queen, set in Australia, cozy mystery, hip gallery, age-gap light romance, drama, enemies to lovers, opposites attract, suspense, body positivity

Book Strengths
It is an excellent, intriguing mystery; the beginning is a bit slow and unconventional but picks up, and it turns into a fascinating journey. The main plot is to find out who is behind the mysterious deaths, and the author did a great job making it difficult for the reader to discover the killer until the last minute. Several subplots are well done and distract the attention from the main crime. It is delightful, witty, quirky, and the sense of humour is dark but entertaining

Book weaknesses
It is easy to get lost between scenes since they don’t indicate when there is a different scene. Some actions are odd, like the romance at the end of the book, but everything else, in general, makes sense.

Character Chemistry
Both characters hold fascinating characteristics, Margaret is formidable, a bit of an ice queen, and very snippy. Bess is all about positivity, and after a challenging experience that made her leave her old life behind, she thrives through life with joy, a job she loves, and bicycle rides. One fascinating thing I like to see in lesfic is non-perfect characters, like Bess, a curvy woman. They couldn’t be more different, an unlikely pair. Despite or maybe because of all these differences, their chemistry works very well in their favour.  Just a couple of things didn’t work for me. Their first sexual encounter is a weird one. I still don’t get the way it was developed. Their relationship gets worked out by the end of the book, but it was definitely not what I expected.

Wrap up
The book is an unexpected delight, full of quirky and peculiar characters. If cozy mysteries are your thing, this is the book for you.