Final Fondue: A Five Ingredient Mystery
By Maya Corrigan
Val Deniston runs the Cool Down Café at the Racket & Fitness Club in the Chesapeake Bay town of Bayport. She thought her life was finally moving along when she was hired as a cookbook publicist in New York City. Drafting her cookbook was what she did in her free time. An incident with a client has her losing her job and the life she prefers. She moves in with her grandfather and divides her time helping him run a bed and breakfast in his vintage home and aksi works at the café.
Right before the town’s tri-centennial celebration, her former boss asks her to work and is even willing to offer her a pay increase. So now she’s caught not knowing which choice to make and no time to make it because she’s been so busy.
After the guests of bride-to-be Jennifer settle in her grandfather’s home, Val takes off for town. There she runs into Chef Henri La Farge who dead-ended her job when he grabbed the steering wheel that caused an accident when she was driving him. Because he had to go to the hospital, his restaurant closed. So he says. Making matters worse, he’s a judge in the cook off her grandfather is going to participate in. He’s also in town to publicize a new restaurant he’s opening in Washington.
Just when Val thought the day couldn’t get any worse, she nearly stumbles on the body of bridesmaid Fawn, one of her grandfather’s guests. After calling the Bayport Police, Chief Yardley, Officer Wade, and 2 EMTS come to the scene of the crime. All present are questioned and the facts begin to surface about Fawn’s life.
Val is staying at her cousin’s since all the rooms are rented. She gets to know the guests by preparing breakfast for them and by working at a booth in the festival. If things weren’t crazy enough, she meets the groom’s ex who is staying with his mother. The problem is the groom’s mom might like her more.
When Val begins receiving threats, she wonders if Fawn was the target or if she was. Her grandfather is quick to point out that there may be an Alfred Hitchcock pattern of events falling into place.
There’s plenty of possible motives: jealousy, resentment, or maybe there’s something totally unrelated. You’ll have to read the book to find out.
I love cozies and this one doesn’t disappoint. The storyline is not deep, but it keeps you wondering what the truth is. The threats linked to the Hitchcock posters were a good tie in. Having half of the suspects right under the same roof was pretty darn frightening to me. I cared about Val’s safety and hoped she’d get her life back on track. I know she loves her grandfather and he means well, but sometimes he likes to take credit for everything. Val is entitled to her own goals. I did not expect the ending to be a twist. She got me there.
Three and a half fondue forks out of five
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