Salutations! On July 11 Rachel Hauck's The Writing Desk will be released. Rachel Hauck is the author of The Wedding Dress, The Wedding Shop and The Wedding Chapel. Maya Corrigan is the author of A Five-Ingredient Mystery series. The books in this series are By Cook or By Crook, Scam Chowder, Final Fondue, and the latest The Tell-Tale Tarte (get the Poe reference). You, as a reader, can follow Maya on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.
The Tell-Tale Tarte by Maya Corrigan is the fourth book in A Five-Ingredient Mystery series. Val Deniston is shocked when her grandfather, Don Myer comes home with a new look. She can tell that he up to something, but Granddad is claiming client confidentiality. Val is leaving the mall with her best friend, Bethany O’Shay when she sees a man resembling her grandfather collapse in the parking lot. The man, thankfully, is not her Granddad. The man does not survive, and he is dressed in Granddad’s new look (same haircut, glasses, hat, and clothes). What has Granddad gotten into this time? At dinner that evening with Gunnar, Val discovers the deceased is Emmett Flint. Emmett was an actor with the local theater group along with Gunnar. Gunnar, unfortunately, recently had an argument with the man and benefits from his death which puts him at the top of the suspect list. While catering a book club dinner, Val discovers Granddad’s new job. He was hired to impersonate Rick Usher. Was Emmett Flint hired to perform this task as well? Was the killer after Emmett, Granddad, or Rick Usher? Val soon finds herself embroiled in a mystery surrounding author, Rick Usher. To get closer to Usher, Val accepts a job as the families’ personal chef. Val needs to clear Gunnar’s name and keep her grandfather safe. When Val is not scouting for clues, she is working at the Cool Down Café, testing recipes for The Codger’s Cookbook (another one of Granddad’s projects), and exploring ways to get her contract on the café renewed. Will Val uncover the killer before he strikes again?
I found The Tell-Tale Tarte to be a slow starter. I had a hard time finishing this cozy mystery. The pace starting out slow and failed to improve. There is a repetition of information. I find it annoying to find the same details repeated over and over. I have not been able to warm up to Val and her grandfather (or any of the characters). I felt that the characters are lacking in depth. Val is a hard character to like. She does not exude warmth or friendliness. The grandfather’s antics just got on my nerves. Why does it have to be one zany thing after another? I do not mind a little bit of quirkiness, but Granddad is over-the-top. He expects Val to support him in his subterfuge (which she does). My rating for The Tell-Tale Tarte is 3 out of 5 stars. The mystery was interesting, but uncomplicated and could be solved early in the story. The suspect pool is minute and the killer sticks out (might as well have been an arrow pointing at the individual). The subplot of Val’s café contract was too dominant in the book. The details about the contract and who would take over the space are mentioned frequently. The “romance” between Gunnar and Val does not feel real. It is like the author determined that there should be a romance in the book so she put it in. I just do not feel the connection or affection between them. I did enjoy the Poe references in the book. I am a fan of Edgar Allan Poe and his works (did a paper or two on him in college). There are recipes at the end of the book from the Codger.
If you are a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, you should take a look at the adult coloring books available for sale. I am currently reading Two Nights by Kathy Reichs. I will be sharing Gladden the Heart by Olivia Newport next time. I sincerely hope you have a lovely Saturday. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
The Avid Reader