Monday, September 25, 2017

A Catered Costume Party: A Mystery with Recipes

Salutations!  Turkey Trot Murder by Leslie Meier (I enjoyed it) will be out on Tuesday, September 26 along with A Hive of Homicides by Meera Lester and This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber.  Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge will be released on October 10.  It is the latest A Helen Grace Thriller and it is wonderful (action packed).

A Catered Costume Party by Isis Crawford is the thirteenth A Mystery with Recipes novel.  Bernie and Libby Simmons have agreed to cater Darius Witherspoon’s Halloween party at the Berkshire Arms (the old Peabody School).  They do not wish to return to the building, but bills must be paid.  They are surprised Darius was still going through with the party since he wife, Penelope went missing three weeks prior (methinks something hinky is going on).  The celebration is in full swing, but the guest of honor has yet to make an appearance.  Suddenly a scream rings out and the guests can see the Darius’ body hanging outside the French doors.  The police rule it a Halloween prank gone wrong, but the Simmons sisters have other ideas. They waste no time in diving into their investigation to prove that Darius was murdered and identify the culprit. 

A Catered Costume Party is the thirteenth book in the series, but it can be read alone (easily).  While the book is easy to read (for the most part), it has a slow pace (the roof scene went on forever).  The sisters’ constant speculation and questions bog down the story along with the repetition of details (the crime scene, Darius’ life, their business, Michelle and their father, Sean).  I did like how the author started the novel with Darius offing his wife (this is not a spoiler).  It sets the stage for the rest of the story.  The killer’s identity is easy to discern.  I knew how the story would play out after I read the beginning (do you think I have read too many mysteries?).  While I identified the culprit early in the story, many readers will be surprised when the perpetrator is revealed.  My rating for A Catered Costume Party is 3 out of 5 stars (it is okay). I am shocked that the sisters are still in business with the small amount of time they spend at A Little Taste of Heaven (no wonder they are having trouble paying their bills).  Sean Simmons girlfriend, Michelle is irritating and dislikable.  I wish the author had not written her into the series.  The sisters’ childishness regarding Michelle has gone on far too long.  I can certainly understand their disdain but does it have to be brought up so often in the story.  Libby and Bernie’s squabbling got on my nerves (I read to be relaxed, not irritated.  Plus I can go down the street to my sisters if I wanted to experience bickering).  I ended up skimming through the last half of this book just to reach the end and verify the killer’s identity.  I do want to mention that there is mild foul language in A Catered Costume Party.  I read A Catered Murder (first book in series) when it first came out and after reading A Catered Costume Party, I notice a lack of growth/development Libby and Bernie Simmons.  One thing I enjoy about cozies is how the characters develop of the course of the series.  We get to know and love the characters.  In this case, the Simmons’ sisters seem to be going backward with regard to their behavior.  I have come to the conclusion that I am not the right audience for this series.

I appreciate you visiting today and reading my review.  On Tuesday I will be sharing my thoughts on Wagging Through the Snow by Laurien Berenson.  I hope you will stop by and see what I have to say about the latest A Melanie Travis Mystery.  May each of you have a outstanding day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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