Leave It to Cleaver

Leave It to Cleaver

by Victoria Hamilton


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In the brand-new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of White Colander Crime, someone with an old grudge decides it's time to bury the hatchet . . .

"Smartly written and successfully plotted, the debut of this new cozy series . . . exudes authenticity." -Library Journal on A Deadly Grind

Vintage cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton has agreed to help her sister clear out the house of a deceased older neighbor, and she's thrilled at the prospect of discovering antique kitchenware and other treasures-until she opens a vintage trunk in the cellar and finds the remains of a teenage girl with a cleaver buried in her skull. When the body of a second girl is found just days later in a nearby river, the clues all indicate that the crimes are connected-and that the culprit's motives are hidden in the past.

Jaymie just wants to cut and run, but the victims were both high school classmates of her sister when they disappeared, and that makes Jaymie the perfect person to help the local police investigate the killings. As she dredges up old memories and even older rivalries and jealousies, her list of suspects grows. But Jaymie knows she'll have to whittle it down to just one, and fast, because someone has decided to cut their ties to Jaymie-in the most fatal of ways . . .

Includes a vintage recipe!

Praise for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries:

"All the right ingredients . . . Small-town setting, kitchen antiques . . . and a bowlful of mystery. A perfect recipe." -New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert

"[A] charming new series." -New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly

"A chilling whodunit." -Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Well-plotted with several unexpected twists and more developed characters." -The Mystery Reader

"Jaymie is a great character . . . She is inquisitive and full of surprises!" -Debbie's Book Bag

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946069306
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing
Publication date: 06/21/2017
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series , #6
Pages: 278
Sales rank: 169,912
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Victoria Hamilton is the pseudonym of nationally bestselling romance author Donna Lea Simpson. In addition to the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, she also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series and blogs at Killer Characters. Visit her website at victoriahamiltonmysteries.com.

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Leave It to Cleaver 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Surprise killer.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Leave It to Cleaver is the sixth book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, but the first that I have read. This can definitely be read as a standalone. While Jaymie is helping Becca clean out the old Paget house for liquidation after the death of the elderly woman living there, they discover the body of Delores Paget stuffed in a trunk in the basement. Delores was a one time friend of Becca’s who is believed to have left town at the age of 16 in 1984. Things get even more interesting when the body of a second missing teen who disappeared on the same day as Delores, is found in her car in the lake. Police are worried about trying to solve a two decades old murder. Even more interesting, the girls are found wearing the same handmade sweater. In an unusual twist, Chief Ledbetter actually asks Jaymie to help him investigate since she knows so many people in town who would have been friends with one or both of the missing girls. The story goes back and forth between 1984 and the present. While in the past, you learn about various characters and what they were doing at the time. While all this is going on, there are also shower and wedding plans taking place. I really liked Jaymie. She is smart, caring, friendly and subtle. The other characters, Becca, her fiancee Jacob, girlfriends Heidi and Valetta all play an important role in the story as well as clues to solving the crime. They are a great group of friends and family living in the small town in Michigan. Victoria Hamilton has written an excellent mystery that will have you guessing until the big reveal. The misdirects were great. The reasons behind the murders were surprising and the perpetrator was not what I was expecting. Overall this is a very well written, well plotted and interesting cozy mystery that I would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book moves really well, storyline was believable, a good book to get lost in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read!!!
LibbyMcKinmer More than 1 year ago
When vintage kitchen cookware and cookbook collector Jaymie Leighton agrees to help her sister clean out an old house when a neighbor passes away, she has no idea she’ll find much more than some vintage kitchenware! When the sisters open an old trunk they find in the basement, they discover a teenager girl’s body, and there’s no doubt it was a murder because the cleaver is still in the victim’s skull. Just a few days later, a second young woman’s remains are discovered in the river, and pretty soon the clues show the murders are linked. Since both girls were classmates of Jaymie’s older sister when they disappeared, she’s soon drawn into figuring out what happened all those years ago. Jaymie must sort through old high school rivalries and romances to figure out who is willing to kill today in order to cover up yesterday’s murders.
csrsvivr More than 1 year ago
A double wedding of two sisters is a few weeks away. First is the joint wedding shower and solving a cold case that involves Jaymie’s sister, Becca’s friends. Jaymie’s fiancé, Jakob and his daughter Jocie try to provide a “safe” place for Jaymie as Chief Ledbetter wants her to help solve a murder that took place in 1984. Who will Jaymie and Chief Ledbetter determine killed two teenage girls? Will all of this interfere with final wedding plans? Victoria Hamilton continues to warm our hearts with this installment of the “Vintage Kitchen” mysteries. Wondering where the continued journey will take us!
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
Leave it to Cleaver by author Victoria Hamilton is the 6th book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, but the first that I've read - and it's great! Very fast-paced and suspenseful, and the transition between present day and 30 years in the past (and back again) is smooth. It was hard to put down once I started reading it. Nice relationship between the sisters (Jaymie and Becca), and the mystery is very well-written. I'm going to go back to the beginning of this series so that I can get some background, and I really did enjoy this installment, but it should be noted that the book can be read as stand-alone. Nicely done, Ms. Hamilton! :Highly recommend! A+
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
Leave it to Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton is my favorite book in the series. The story was intense and so well written that I found myself loving every minute of it. Jaymie Leighton is my favorite character. She is a true vintage girl and knowing that she found love and a family of her own makes me so happy. When I got to the end of the story, I had a huge smile on my face, so happy to participate in the wedding. The story itself is very interesting when the mystery of a missing teen resurfaces, after Jaymie finds the body, stuffed in a trunk. Shortly thereafter, another body is found and the speculation is they are connected and the one common factor is Brock Nibley, Valetta's brother. Jaymie doesn't have time to investigate, she's getting married and life is busy. When the chief admits he needs her help, Jaymie finds the time to uncover the truth. I've been a huge fan of this series and each one keeps getting better and better. I voluntarily read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue . . . LEAVE IT TO CLEAVER by Victoria Hamilton The Sixth Vintage Kitchen Mystery Wedding bells are in the air, but it is alarm bells that ring out amidst all the preparations. First Jaymie Leighton and her sister, Becca, find a body in a house they're cleaning and then another is found submerged in a car in the river. The bodies are those of two girls, classmates of Becca, who disappeared on the same day in 1984. At the time it was thought that the girls had each run away, but now it looks like murder. Prompted by the chief of police, as well as her own curiosity, Jaymie starts investigating these cold cases. Although she was a baby at the time, her sister and friends were contemporaries of the girls. Will any of them be able to share some insight into what happened? Is the killer long dead? Or is the killer still in their midst? Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. This saying fits LEAVE IT TO CLEAVER perfectly. An old missing persons case (two actually) leads to a new investigation. There are borrowed diaries and the blue of the water! To top it all off, Jaymie's investigating all works around her and her sister's dual wedding! While LEAVE IT TO CLEAVER is the "wedding book", it isn't overly sentimental. The relationships, both between Jaymie and Jakob and Becca and Kevin, aren't gushingly romantic and sugary sweet. These are adult relationships and are more real and honest, therefore more meaningful. Victoria Hamilton delves into Becca's past in this latest installment of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. The story switches from the present to the days before the girls went missing in 1984. We get a better idea of Becca's teen years and see why she mothers Jaymie so much. We also get to see the deepening relationship between Jaymie and Jakob as well as with his daughter, Jocie. Indeed the whole story revolves around the differing relationships between parents and children as well as those between siblings. LEAVE IT TO CLEAVER is a great addition to the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. A well plotted mystery through two time periods provides great backstory and develops the characters even more. Recipes Included. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled to hear that the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries had new life breathed into them, and would live on! So many of my (and yours no doubt) favorite cozy mystery series have meant with an untimely end this year. Thank goodness this series will be staying with us. Another stupendous installment in the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, book six, LEAVE IT TO CLEAVER is my favorite so far! I know a smidgen of that is because I thought we’d lost this series, but the main reason is that this story was so very well written. Author Victoria Hamilton takes readers on a journey of a mystery from the past. One that becomes very much part of present for Jaymie Leighton and her sister, Rebecca. Ms. Hamilton did a superb job switching from the present to the past, and then back again. I never felt lost, and the story never felt disjointed. Quite the contrary. I looked forward to each shift in the timeline as it just made the mystery more intense. So very well done. As well as being a whodunit, LEAVE IT TO CLEAVER was a sweet story of love and family, and fresh beginnings. Beginnings to me that will most certainly enhance what is already a great series. And don’t close the book before you check out the vintage recipe from Jaymie’s kitchen, and read the excerpt of MUFFIN TO FEAR from Victoria Hamilton’s Merry Muffin Mystery series!
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Leave It to Cleaver - Vintage Kitchen Mystery Book 6 Author: Victoria Hamilton Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing Published: 6-23-2017 Pages: 352 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers and Suspense Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Culinary Mystery; Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery ASIN: B07212HWRC ISBN: 9781946069290 Reviewed For: NetGalley and Beyond the Page Publishing Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.75 Stars With their double wedding to plan Becca and Jaymie are hard pressed to keep their business going. They agree to clean out a house for Leslie Mackenzie in preparation for placing it on the market. While working in the basement they find an old trunk. When they open it they find skeletal remains with a cleaver in its skull wearing a red sweater. A sweater Becca recognizes as belong to a school mate who over 30 years before. Just days later another body is found submerged in the river and a second body is discovered wearing an identical sweater. The only connection between the long missing girl are the identical homemade sweater and the man they both dated, Brock Nibly. Jaymie and Becca begin asking Becca's old classmates about the girls and their lives and receive lies and evasion. Will they find the killer and still make it to the church on time? Victoria Hamilton provides characters that show strengths and weaknesses. Making them appear more real. The writing is well done. What is special about this book is we see the love and caring between the sisters even though their is nearly a generation between them. Jaymie begins to show herself to be a mature and capable. As always Hamilton's creative writing skill brings the story to life. I look forward to reading more of the Vintage Kitchen mysteries in the future. My rating of "Leave It to Cleaver" is 4.75 out of 5 stars.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Leave It To Cleaver by Victoria Hamilton is the sixth book in A Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. Jaymie Leighton is thrilled when Jakob Muller proposes to her on Valentine’s Day. Jaymie loves Jakob and adores his little girl, Jocie. Jaymie and her sister, Becca have agreed to clear out the Paget house for Lesley Mackenzie. The perk is getting first pick of the items. They go to the basement where they come across an old truck. Upon opening it, they discover a body clad in a red sweater with a cleaver in the skull (can you imagine what the yarn must be made of to not disintegrate). Back in 1984, Becca knew Delores Paget who owned an identical sweater. Delores supposedly left town that year and was never heard from again (now we know why). A few days later, Jaymie watches while divers pull up old Ford Falcon with a body inside wearing a red sweater identical to the other victim (that is some yarn). The victims are identified as Delores Paget and Rhonda Welch. Becca knew both victims in high school and they disappeared from town at the same time. The common link between the two girls is Brock Nibley. Chief Ledbetter asks Jaymie to listen for any details that will help him with this case. Jaymie considers this the green light to start nosing around and asking questions. The killer is less than thrilled with Jaymie’s inquiries and will not hesitate to strike again. Will Jaymie make it to her own wedding? Leave It To Cleaver contains good writing and the story has a nice flow/pace. Jaymie Leighton is a great character with her big heart and love of vintage items. The mystery was complicated (thank you Victoria Hamilton) and fun to solve. The best part of a cozy mystery is following the clues and see if I correctly guessed the killer’s identity. I liked finding out more about Becca and what happened after Jaymie was born. The story goes from present day back to 1984 (and then back again). I am not a fan of this technique, but the author pulled it off (it was not confusing or overdone). I give Leave It To Cleaver 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only part of the story I did not like was Heidi. She is planning the wedding, and I found her maddening. Leave It To Cleaver is the sixth book in the series, but it can be read alone. The ending will leave readers with smiles on their faces.
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
Leave It to Cleaver is the sixth book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, but the first that I have read. It is a truly a gripping and page-turning book that holds your interest right from the beginning to the surprising ending. Jaymie Leighton and her sister, Becca, are cleaning and clearing out a house to get it ready to sell when they come upon a body in a trunk in the basement with a cleaver imbedded in its skull. Becca knew a girl who used to live in that house and recognized the sweater on the body, and knew it had to be her friend Delores Paget, whom everyone thought was missing because she had run away. When another body is found just days later submerged in a car in a nearby river, and that body turns out to be Rhonda Welch, another girl who was thought to have run away, Jaymie realizes that these two deaths cannot be a coincidence. The book transitions between 1984 when Becca, who is 15 years older than Jaymie, was in school with Delores and Rhonda, to the present, where Jaymie, who has solved several murders, begins to investigate the crime, and Victoria Hamilton ties it all together beautifully. As she investigates, Jaymie finds there is no shortage of suspects, as she receives many evasive answers and downright lies. All the while, she and Becca are trying to keep their businesses running as well as plan a double wedding with their fiancés Jakob and Kevin. Victoria Hamilton has written a wonderful mystery with many twists and turns, and kept me guessing until the very end. Although Leave It to Cleaver is the sixth book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, it can definitely stand on its own, and I never felt like I was missing anything from the earlier books. The characters are well-developed, and for the most part, likable, and I especially enjoyed Jaymie and Becca's many friends. I cannot wait to start reading this series at book one, A Deadly Grind. I highly recommend this book and am so glad that I have found this series! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Leave It to Cleaver is the sixth book in the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series. It is a standalone read. While I’ve only read four out of the six books, Leave It to Cleaver is my favorite. The story, which is told in third person, finds Jaymie Leighton’s relationship with single father Jakob Muller proceeding quite nicely. The romance girl in me is very, very happy. Jaymie’s life is finally settling down, though she is very busy with her newspaper column, volunteer work, and various business endeavours. But things are about to get even busier on both the personal and murder investigation fronts. While helping her older sister, Becca, clean out the old Paget house for liquidation, they come across the body of Delores Paget stuffed in a trunk in the basement. Delores was a one time friend of Becca’s who suspectedly left town at the age of 16 in 1984. The whole town of Queensville, Michigan is wondering what happened to Delores and why. But things get even more interesting when the body of a second missing teen thought to have also ran away is found. Police are at a loss as to how to proceed with two decades old murder investigations. The girls don’t seem to have anything in common except having dated the same guy. Both are from different social and economic circles. The girls seem to have disappeared around the same time, but no one is really for sure. Even more interesting, the girls are found wearing the same handmade sweater. Jaymie gets a request from Chief Ledbetter to help him investigate since she’s friends with so many people who knew the teens. She reluctantly agrees and in the course of investigating, makes some new discoveries about her sister as well as her friends. The story goes back and forth between 1984 and the present. While in the past, you are able to read about various characters and get a feel for their state of mind all those years ago. But of course, the killer is closer than Jaymie or anyone knows. Jaymie’s life gets puts in jeopardy through no fault of her own and a surprise hero arrives to save the day. Victoria Hamilton has written an incredible mystery that will have you guessing until the big reveal. The misdirects were great. The reason behind the murders were surprising. In the end, I was left with a box of tissue sitting next to me and my heartbreaking. I am so excited this series is continuing and I can’t wait for the next installment. **Received a copy from the publisher and reviewed the book voluntarily.**