Book Review – Under the Cover of Murder by Lauren Elliott

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Title: Under the Cover of Murder

Author: Lauren Elliott

Publisher: Kensington

Format: Paperback, read the e-book which was given to me by NetGalley

Published on: March 30, 2021

Set in: Greyborne Harbor

Series: Beyond the Bookstore Mystery #6

The small, simplistic wedding Addie’s girlfriend Serena hoped for was highjacked by the groom’s stepmother, Veronica Ludlow, aka The Dragon Lady. Veronica changed all the arrangements without even consulting the bride, that included the venue and the cake. She wanted it to be a social affair everyone would remember. That’s what she got.

Before the society-pleasing wedding was set into elegant motion, a body was found on the beach. Addie Greyborne, a bookstore owner and dear friend of the bride is asked to identify the body. Talk about precursors to trouble before the biggest event in your life. Then more trouble walks onto the yacht during the wedding in the form of an uninvited guest. Lacey, who we learn is a reporter, appears intoxicated. Lacey overhears Addie talking to her boyfriend, Simon, about someone dying and a torn page of a collector’s book. All are concerned that Lacey might cause trouble during the reception. And she did. An argument is witnessed regarding Lacey and the stepmother’s lawyer. It happened hours after Lacey tried hitting on numerous men at the wedding. After searching for her, they assumed she went to bed in the stateroom she was suppose to share with another guest.

During breakfast the next morning, the police announce that an incident occurred on board last night that resulted in the death of a guest. They are going to question all the guests and the yacht’s staff. The next thing they know, the yacht is in lock down. Police Chief Marc Chandler is Addie’s ex-boyfriend. Off the record, he confides in her, even though he really shouldn’t. He informs her that Lacey’s body was discovered by a fisherman in the dock pilings and tells Addie about her wounds. A little interesting fact here is that Lacey was Marc’s high school sweetheart so you know it’s got to be killing him knowing that she is now dead.

Both the police investigation and Addie and her friends’ search for answers kick into gear. There are two dead, a million questions and a lot of possible suspects and no one is going anywhere until it’s figured out.

Under the Cover of Murder would make a good movie. You’ve got a great setting for a high-society event filled with more crimes then you can count. You love, hate or don’t trust a number of characters and you know that Addie is on the right deck when it comes to hunting down clues. She’s not flowery and adorable. She’s a bit clumsy, knows her stuff when it comes to the printed book, and is not afraid to pursue the next clue even if her life can be in danger. One thing I didn’t think was a smart move was how her and her team jotted down notes about the clues they uncovered which would be easily seen by anyone who entered Addie’s cabin. At times, she put herself in real danger, but that’s what amateur sleuths do. Also, informing the yacht owner about the authenticity of his collection could have also gotten her killed. But that’s what make mysteries exciting.

three and three quarters rare books

Denise Fleischer

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

July 18, 2021

 

 

Book Review – Wild Horses on the Salt by Anne Montgomery

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Title: Wild Horses on the Salt

Author: Anne Montgomery

Publisher: Liason- A Next Chapter Imprint

Format: Trade paperback, 327 pages

Published on: July 20, 2020

Set in: Arizona

In order to survive, Becca Quinn had to escape her abusive husband. Empowered by courage and love, her Aunt Ruthie makes arrangements and provides a plane ticket to remove her from harm’s way. Becca recalls arriving at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix and awakening in a small cabin.

Here she meets Gaby, her aunt’s friend and the inn’s owner, who offers her a safe harbor. She is also welcomed to the area by Gaby’s boyfriend, Walt, who is the inn’s cook and a blacksmith and Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper. The three are loving and talented individuals that quickly become Becca’s support system.

Hoping to pay for her lodging and food, Becca accepts a job at the inn. Her controlling husband didn’t allow her to have personal funds so she had to earn her way. She helps out wherever she’s needed. She learns about the challenge of the wild horses and their struggle to survive the cruelty of man taking over their habitat. Becca learns that the horses are rounded up and at times killed. She joins in the efforts of a horse rescue group in locating and treating an injured stallion.

Her love of art draws her to Walt as he creates his impressive sculptures and to Noah who teaches her beekeeping and how to remove garbage from the river. She enjoys bird watching with Oscar, a retired psychiatrist.

But no matter what, her husband is always a threat. She knows that sooner or later he’ll find her and try to force her to return home. That this temporary sanctuary will not be more than that unless she ends his control over her.

WILD HORSES ON THE SALT centers on two issues: one domestic abuse and the other the survival of these beautiful horses. The stallion’s POV was natural, interesting and helped me to see what it was like for them on a daily basis. It’s unreal in this day and age that we don’t have better solutions. This is happening in real life. As for Becca’s difficult life, I wanted to care about her, but I couldn’t pick up on her emotions. I felt closer with Gaby, Walt and Noah. I didn’t think it was necessary to have all the background information about the setting and the horses. It seemed like a class lesson and not woven into the story through dialogue making it fit in better.

I learned how the residents of that area had to respect nature and adapt to how harsh it can be. How others tried to protect the horses and a few welcomed them on their land. How there are strangers that can be closer than family in protecting you and welcoming you in their lives. I also found it unique for the chapters to be three pages long and to actually work out fine that way.

Three wild horses out of five

Denise Fleischer

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

July 10, 2021

 

Guest Blog Post – 7 Fascinating Facts about Daphne Du Maurier and Rebecca

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By Kate Carlisle, author of Little Black Book

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of two ongoing series: the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills uncover old secrets, treachery and murder; and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries (as seen on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors’ closets, but murder victims, too

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

The first line of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, and one of the most evocative opening lines of all time, in my opinion. I’m a huge fan of Du Maurier. A great honor of my career was winning the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. So when I sat down to write the latest Bibliophile Mystery, Little Black Book, I was eager to feature Rebecca as the rare book around which the mystery unfolds.

In case you’re not familiar, my heroine, Brooklyn Wainwright, is a world-class bookbinder who has an unfortunate habit of stumbling across dead bodies. And the murder victims always have some connection to a rare and precious first edition in Brooklyn’s care.

One of my favorite parts of the writing process is the research. In fact, I have to be careful not to go so far down the research rabbit hole that I neglect to, ahem, write the book. It’s just so fun and captivating to dive into the history of a book and its author. Little tidbits will make it into the final manuscript, though far from everything I’ve learned. So I thought I’d share a bit of what I learned with you today.

7 Fascinating Facts about Daphne Du Maurier and Rebecca

1. The main character, who narrates the story, is never named. I knew this before starting my research, of course, but I’m including it here because wow. How incredible to write a whole book and cleverly manage not to name your main character. From the reader’s perspective, it’s terribly unsettling, which adds to the foreboding mood.

2. The book was inspired by Du Maurier’s own feelings of jealousy toward her husband’s glamorous ex-fiancee.

3. Du Maurier turned in her manuscript in April of 1938, and the book was published a mere four months later. Perhaps this explains why the first edition had such an unassuming cover. (Hence the title of my own book, Little Black Book.)

4. Rebecca has never gone out of print. Never. Gone. Out. Of. Print.

5. Less than two years after the book’s release (August 1938 to April 1940), Alfred Hitchcock’s film version was released, which went on to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. Just imagine how little time the screenwriter had to do a treatment! I believe not much time was needed because the story was already pretty perfect and very visual.

6. Du Maurier was 31 years old when Rebecca was published. She enjoyed over 50 years of royalties on a book which took her four months to write (not including the 15,000 words she wrote and destroyed before starting over).

7. Du Maurier’s grandfather, George Du Maurier, created the character Svengali. Can a dark imagination be a genetic trait???

Share an interesting fact about one of your favorite authors!

 To get a limited edition signed bookplate, register your purchase of Little Black Book in the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com! While supplies last.

ABOUT LITTLE BLACK BOOK

San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is on the case when a rare edition of Rebecca leads to murder in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling Bibliophile Mystery series.

Brooklyn and her hunky husband, security expert Derek Stone, have just returned from a delightful trip to Dharma, where the construction of their new home away from home is well underway, when a little black book arrives in the mail from Scotland. The book is a rare British first edition of Rebecca, and there’s no return address on the package. The day after the book arrives, Claire Quinn shows up at Brooklyn and Derek’s home. Brooklyn met Claire when the two women worked as expert appraisers on the television show This Old Attic. Brooklyn appraised books on the show and Claire’s expertise was in antique British weaponry, but they bonded over their shared love of gothic novels.

Claire reveals that during a recent trip to Scotland she discovered her beloved aunt was missing and that her home had been ransacked. Among her aunt’s belongings, Claire found the receipt for the package that wound up with Brooklyn and Derek. Claire believes both her own life and her aunt’s are in danger and worries that some complications from her past are coming back to haunt her.

But just as Brooklyn and Derek begin to investigate, a man who Claire thinks was following her is found murdered, stabbed with a priceless jeweled dagger. With a death on their doorstep, Brooklyn and Derek page through the little black book where they discover clues that will take them to the shadows of a medieval Scottish castle on the shores of Loch Ness. Under the watchful gaze of a mysterious laird and the irascible villagers who are suspicious of the strangers in their midst, Brooklyn and Derek must decode the secrets in Rebecca to keep their friend’s past from destroying their future….

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Book Review – Joint Custody by Lauren Baratz-Logsted and Jackie Logsted

Title: Joint Custody

Authors: Lauren Baratz-Logsted and Jackie Logsted

Publisher: Berkley

Series: The Gatz Chronicles

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: trade paperback, but I read an e-book given to me from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Published on: January 5, 2021

Set in: Brooklyn, New York

Read an Excerpt: here

Eating a box of chocolates to get The Man and The Woman back together was all part of Gatz’ master plan. Gatz is a 3-year-old border collie and he loved them so much he felt this was the only way to unite them. The only problem was that the Valentine’s Day candy could kill him.

Looking back to the past, it’s clear that the collie is no ordinary dog. When he was living at the shelter, he actually chose his Dad. Call it fate, as they were walking home,  The Woman noticed Gatz and came right up to them. She simply couldn’t walk away without checking out the adorable dog. She even named him Gatz after her favorite protagonist.

The book is mainly told through Gatz’ point of view. Though he originally bonded with The Man, he was drawn to The Woman, as well. He tells how The Man and Woman became a couple and how all their lives changed for the better.

Until the separation.

Then Gatz realizes there’s another Man. He’s a good-looking author who wants The Woman to edit a new genre he wants to write. But Gatz is learning there’s probably something more going on that can stand in the way of The Man and the Woman reuniting. For one, The Woman seems to be getting closer with The Other Man. Since Gatz spends time with both of them in their new separate lives, he sees The Other Man and The Woman heading into her room. He also sees The Man bringing home Bar Women. Even a weekend in the Hamptons with The Other Man and the Woman and her family doesn’t do anything to convince Gatz that they should be together.

What I found interesting is the dog actually showed signs of character growth. He realized what was best for the two people he loved. His goal changes when he knows he has to do the right thing. Read the book and find out what that is. The Man clearly has a lot of issues: he prefers being isolated, not good in a social setting, lacks confidence and has no clue when it comes to wardrobe. I’m not really sure how such an outgoing woman could find The Man attractive other than his writing. Maybe opposites attract and their love for Gatz is what created a temporary seam in terms of love. Either way, I prefer the Other Man for The Woman.

three and a half out of five weekends with Gatz

Denise Fleischer

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

June 25 2021

Note: Don’t give your dogs chocolate. It’s deadly.

 

 

Guest Blog Post:  How I Came to Collaborate with Jessica Fletcher By Terrie Farley Moran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As someone who has been a devotee of Jessica Fletcher and Murder, She Wrote since the first television episode aired nearly forty years ago, I was thrilled when, while the show was still in prime time, Donald Bain was hired to write the Murder She Wrote books. Now we could share Jessica’s exploits by reading about them between television episodes.

All these years later the Murder, She Wrote television series is in non-stop reruns and viewed by fans all over the world. And the books, which are generally published at the rate of two a year, fill the shelves of libraries and book stores. And those of us who love Jessica devour the books and the television episodes as if seeing them for the first time.

I will confess right here that approximately fifteen years ago I began to write mystery short stories while hoping to break into the cozy mystery novel market. It was a regular family joke that whenever I would sell a story or get a writing contract, someone in the family would call me Jessica Fletcher. My writing career grew. I won two prestigious awards and began co-authoring with the massively talented Laura Childs. Could my writing life possibly get any better?

It could and it did on the day my agent called to ask if I would be interested in becoming the writer of the Murder, She Wrote series beginning with book number fifty-three. Now any sane writer would have recognized the challenges of writing a book in which the protagonist is beloved by millions and her adventures have been recorded in more than two hundred and fifty television episodes and fifty-two books.

“Challenges?” You ask. “What challenges?”

Well, for one thing there have been character changes which may be hard to keep straight. Did you know that Sheriff Metzger’s wife Adele divorced him and returned to New York years ago? And a few years later he met and married a very bubbly redhead named Maureen.  And if you think Sam Booth is the mayor of Cabot Cove, well think again. A man named Jim Shevlin now holds that job. We all remember when Jessica upgraded from working on a typewriter to a computer. She is now quite adept using her cell phone and can text like a champ. And since Jessica doesn’t drive a car, are you shocked to learn that she knows how to fly a plane?

Fortunately over the years I have watched reruns of the television show dozens of times and I have read most of the books, some more than once. But to be sure I have my facts correct I am forced, forced I tell you, to watch the re-runs of the shows and to re-read the books. Oh, the torture! (heh, heh)

The great joy is that now when I read a book or watch an episode (or three or four in a row) I am not goofing off. I am working! Research! And all that hard work has resulted in my first collaboration with Jessica Fletcher: Murder, She Wrote Killing in Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran.

I sincerely hope Jessica’s fans will enjoy it.

—Terrie Farley Moran

New Title – The Listening House by Mabel Seeley

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ABOUT THE LISTENING HOUSE

Down and out in the Depression, Gwynne Dacres moves into a seedy and sinister boarding house, where she exposes deadly secrets in this classic mystery by Mabel Seeley

After losing her copywriting job, young Gwynne Dacres seeks a place to live when she stumbles upon Mrs. Garr’s old boarding house. Despite the gruff landlady and an assortment of shifty tenants, Gwynne rents a room for herself. She spends her first few nights at 593 Trent Street tensely awake, the house creaking and groaning as if listening to everything that happens behind its closed doors.

A chain of chilling events leads to the gruesome discovery of a mutilated body in the basement kitchen, dead of unknown circumstances. Was it an accident or murder? Under the red-black brick façade of the old house on Trent Street, Gwynne uncovers a myriad of secrets, blackmail, corruption, and clues of a wicked past. As she closes in on the truth, the cold, pale hands of death reach for Gwynne in the night.

About Mabel Seeley

One of the most popular American crime writers of the 20th century, Mabel Seeley was known as “The Mistress of Mystery.” Critically acclaimed titles like The Listening House (1938), The Crying Sisters (1939), and the Mystery of the Year awarded The Chuckling Fingers (1941) have placed her stories and characters alongside those of Agatha Christie, Dorthy Sayers, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Amongst her many accolades and awards, Seeley was most proud of her service as the first director of the Mystery Writers of America. Born on March 25, 1903 in Herman, Minnesota, Seeley is best known for crime novels featuring female detectives who defied the stereotypes of the time as self-reliant and strong-willed Midwestern heroines.

Guest Blog Post – Writing Memorable Animals and Pets by Allie Pleiter

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It won’t take much of a wander down the cozy mystery aisle of any bookstore to tell you that animals and pets feature in many titles. Cats, dogs, and any number of charismatic animal companions grace the cover and plots of most mysteries.

 So….which animal?

On Skein of Death is no exception to the animal companion trend. It took me a bit of thinking to land on the right furry friend for Libby Beckett, the heroine of my series. After all, the series is set in Libby’s yarn shop Y.A.R.N., and the feline species has a…well…mixed relationship with yarn. Could I create a cat who served as the mascot of a yarn shop? Would balls of yarn being chased and pounced on by kitties charm readers, or just serve as an unbelievable distraction?

I have owned cats—two, nearly twenty five years ago—but have owned many more dogs. My current “writing partner” Paisley is a lhasa-poodle rescue with a hefty dose of both fur and character. I also wanted Libby’s pet to be able to “commute” from her home to her shop, and that seemed an easier task for a dog on a leash than a cat in a carrier. And so I selected a canine companion.

The importance of the name

Names matter—whether it’s human characters or animal ones. Libby is a clever gal with a sharp sense of humor, so I knew her dog would need to have a clever, knitting related name. The twisted loops of yarn you see hanging in shops are called hanks. Handy, since Hank is also a common human name, but still has enough style to serve as a clever dog name. By page two of my manuscript, Hank had come into being.

Good breeding

While I could opt for a mixed breed and give Hank any number of characteristics, I wanted to give readers an easily identifiable mental picture. And, truth be told, I wouldn’t mind if I scored fan points with owners of Hank’s breed. Here’s where the fun of authorship kicks in: I could “try on” ownership of any dog breed I wanted, even one I might not ever choose in real life. I knew Libby’s dog needed loads of character.  After a few days wandering through dog websites, I found my attentions returning again and again to the jowly, half-dignified half-grumpy face of the English bulldog. A Winston Churchill of a dog, looking equal parts wise and goofy. And the name Hank most certainly fit.

Four feet with a purpose

Like any character in any story, nobody is just window dressing. Companionship is mere table stakes for literary animals—discerning readers want to know the animal character has a role to play. As such, I make sure Hank does something important to move the plot forward in each of the Riverbank Knitting Mystery books. Not only does he soothe Libby when she’s upset or worried in On Skein of Death, but he leads her to finding a key character. Of course, in this book Hank also gets to play fashion model.  His nordic sweater is one of the favorite designs of Perle Lonager. Your pup can share Hank’s fashion sense, too, as the full pattern for Perle’s Nordic Dog Sweater appears in the back of the book. It’s my hope you have better luck than me—I knit up a lovely tan and turquoise version only to have Paisley turn her nose up at wearing it. Cats aren’t the only pets with attitude, you know.

There you have it—the basics of good animal characters in cozy mysteries. I hope that whether you own a dog, a cat, a turtle, or a parrot, that you’ll be charmed by Libby’s charismatic English bulldog and the fun he brings to On Skein of Death.

Does Hank play an important role in the next Riverbank Knitting Mystery, Knit or Dye Trying? Absolutely!  He and LIbby will be waiting to entertain you, and challenge your mystery-solving skills, in February 2022.

Guest Blog Post – How to Write Your Memories by Julia Buckley

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When I began to plot out my first Hungarian Tea House mystery (Death in a Budapest Butterfly), I made a list of all my memories of my Hungarian grandparents, of my Hungarian-American father, and of the family gatherings we had at my grandmother’s house, eating her cooking and watching her soap operas and hearing her “Hunglish” a combination of Hungarian and English, as she conversed with my father. In this way I had a whole list of cultural details that I could use and adapt in my fictional Riverwood, and in the family of Hana Keller.

For example, I started with food. My grandmother was a very good cook who tended to make the staples of her homeland, so I was treated to a childhood full of Hungarian chicken soup with my grandmother’s homemade noodles (there’s a whole scene in book one about the making of Hungarian noodles), chicken paprikas, szekely goulash and beef goulash, delicious fluffy dumplings, and many other delicious foods that Hana Keller, too, grew up eating and now makes herself.

After the food I borrowed from the language—certain words and phrases that my Hungarian relatives always used to say.

I tapped into Hungarian superstition. I remember my grandmother in particular had various little superstitions about what it meant if you dropped a knife on the floor (A separate fate from what happened if you dropped a fork or a spoon). Hana’s grandmother has a particular superstition about wolves, but for my grandmother it was snakes.

Like my own grandparents, Hana’s grandparents are religious and devoted to family.

The one exception to the rule of family influences the undercurrent of psychic ability in the novel. No one in my family has any sort of second sight, but I wanted to link this special ability to the idea of Hungarian folklore. As the series has progressed, this insight has become quite essential to the overall story.

I really don’t know why I made Hana’s boyfriend Norwegian, but I’ve enjoyed learning bits and pieces of Norwegian culture, too, as I get to know the Wolf family better. I did not realize that Erik had twin sisters until I wrote book two (Death of a Wandering Wolf), and I still look forward to “meeting” his brother Felix, someone I’ve mentioned but have not yet experienced in a writing session.

“Death on the Night of Lost Lizards” taps into Hungarian Christmas traditions, and despite some very specific cultural details, it should serve to remind the reader of their own very special Christmas traditions.

Guest Blog Post – The Story of Benny the Cat by Elizabeth Logan

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There are so many people to thank when a new book comes out—family and friends who are supportive throughout the process; critiquers and beta readers who find flaws, big and small, hopefully before the book goes to press; all the editors and staff at the publishers,’ at various stages in the pipeline.

I’m usually pretty good at acknowledging everyone. Except for this series, the Alaska Diner Mysteries. This time I’m guilty of a serious omission. How could I have left out an acknowledgment to a chief character in the story? Finally, as Book #3, “Murphy’s Slaw,” hits the shelves, I’m giving him his due.

That would be Eggs Benedict, aka Benny, my protagonist’s cat and faithful companion through all three books in the series.

Does Benny exist in our real world or is he “made up,” the way Charlie, the human protagonist is, or Charlie’s friends Annie and Chris, and the rest of the population of (made up) Elkview, Alaska are?

The truth, I now reveal, is that Benny is a composite of many cats who do exist! Early in the process of writing the series, I sent out a request to all my cat-loving friends asking for anecdotes. I also assigned my writing students the task of sharing their favorite cat story. (Cheating a bit? I made up for it by grading all stories “A.”)

If you’ve ever asked a cat lover about her cat, you know the response I got. It was the most productive piece of “research” I’ve ever done. I was showered with stories, long and short. I received photos and videos of cats awake and sleeping, with both mechanical and electrical toys, wrapped around humans’ ankles, perched on high shelves. And low computer desks, as you see in the image.

It was not all straightforward, however. For example, Friend A told me a tale—that her cat ate corn from the cob, running his teeth along the rows of kernels as a human might, while Friend B said, No Way. I did what any former scientist would do: I took a poll. The No’s won and, absent a verifiable video, I deleted the story.

Although Benny is an orange tabby, one of his biggest fans is a domestic long-haired gray cat, i.e., a stray with unknown genetics, “Miss Mia.”

Before I forget and make the same mistake, let me thank Miss Mia profusely for posing for me and bringing considerable charm to this blog post.

 

Book Review – For Batter or Worse by Jenn McKinlay

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Title: For Batter or Worse

Author: Jenn McKinlay

Series: 13th Cupcake Bakery Mystery

Publisher: Berkley

Format: Paperback, but read e-book given to me by NetGalley for an honest review.

Published on: May 4, 2021

Set in: Arizona

Includes: recipes

In Jenn McKinlay’s 13th Cupcake Bakery Mystery, Melanie Cooper and Joe DeLaura are busy with their jobs and whipping up the final arrangements for their small wedding reception at the Sun Dial Resort. They are confident that Mel’s former employee, Oz, will do a marvelous job creating cupcakes for their wedding.

Things were going well until a young woman, a sauce maker at the resort, drops a pan of sauce in the main kitchen and gets yelled at by Chef Miles Gallway. Mel and Joe just happen to be there to go over plans for their wedding. When Oz steps up to bring back order, Miles considers him stepping into his territory. Gallaway not only has a flaming temper, but feels that every mistake will ruin his reputation. The scene is witnessed by everyone in the kitchen.

Shortly after, Miles is found dead and Oz is put on a leave of absence. Because the argument was witnessed by a number of people, that makes Oz the lead suspect. In an effort to keep Oz occupied, Mel asks him to work at her bakery. Knowing that you are considered the leading suspect has to grind away at your nerves, so Mel believes this can help. Unfortunately, the wife of the resort owner further involves him as a suspect which makes things a little more difficult. One plus is that the detective assigned to the case is Mel’s uncle, Stan. A suggestion is made in order to get to the truth. Mel assists as a witness so Oz isn’t alone.

There are several possible reasons Miles was killed. High on the checklist is the way he treats people. Having watched TV chef shows, and you know which one I’m talking about, the setting is extremely stressful to gain the order necessary to get a meal as perfect as possible on the table. There’s also a competitive opportunity and a number of people could be willing to kill for it. There’s also the possibility of a lover’s triangle. Any number of people associated with the resort can be suspects. You just have to read the book to figure out which one killed him and why.

Besides the great cover, it was the compassion of family that not only kept my attention, but made me care about Mel and Joe’s family and poor Oz. Oz had a lot of people that loved him and were willing to put their lives in danger to protect him. There were a lot of twists in this one and a lot of things happening in the end. Jenn tied everything together so that situations were resolved. So glad that Berkley had given me five other books in this series before COVID. Hope to read more.

four out of five bags of cake flour

Denise Fleischer

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

June 12, 2021