Review of Death Of A Toy Soldier


Death Of A Toy Soldier

Vintage Toyshop Mystery, Book #1

Barbara Early

5 Stars


Liz McCall grew up in a playful winter wonderland but it was never her dream to manage her father’s vintage toyshop. However, after he sank his entire police pension into the business, someone needed to help him turn his dreams into reality—and keep him from sneaking off to patrol the not-so-mean streets of East Aurora, NY.

The mood goes from nice to naughty when a nervous man, who was trying to have his antique toys appraised, is found in the shop with a lawn dart through his chest. Suddenly, Liz’s business plan is plunged into deep freeze, while she and her father find themselves toying with a cold-blooded killer who’s playing for keeps.

Now, it looks like Christmas might be cancelled for the neighborhood kids if Liz can’t wrap up the case in Barbara Early’s delightful debut Death of a Toy Soldier.  (Goodreads)


The characters were well rounded, well developed and three dimensional.  I really enjoy getting to meet Liz, her dad, her brother and sister-in-law.  They are a close knit family and spend a lot of time together.  Her father is a bit of a character and I really enjoyed all the jokes he made throughout the book, some of them were quite funny.  I also thought that the sisters were great characters and I hope they make a return in the next books.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the story, I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place around me and eavesdropping on conversations.  

The theme of the series is unique and very clever.  It was so great to read about all of the old toys from my childhood (and some of the old candies, too).  I could picture the toys in my mind and remembered playing with some of them with fond memories.  It will be fun to read about more of the vintage toys in upcoming books.  I wish there was a vintage toy shop where I live, it would be awesome to have a place like that to visit.

The mystery is well plotted and carried on well throughout the entire story.  There were enough suspects to consider, enough twists and turns and enough red herrings to keep even the most experienced arm chair detectives guessing as to who the killer was.  

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery with a nostalgic theme (who does not remember the toys that they grew up with?).   I had a smile on my face through much of the book.  If you have not read this book yet, do yourself a favor and read it.