Pros: Strong mystery in fun location
Cons: Some supporting characters could be stronger
The Bottom Line:
A wedding murder
Makes Lucy investigate
Fun second story
Best Man Stabbed at the Reception
Normally, weddings are a joyous time. Except when they happen at the start of a mystery, of course. Then, you just know someone is going to turn up dead, which is exactly what happens in Stabbed in the Baklava.
It’s been a few months since we last saw Lucy Berberian, and in that time she has been moving into her new role as manager of Kebab Kitchen, the Mediterranean restaurant her parents started in Ocean Crest, New Jersey. Things are going well, although her parents, who are semi-retired, seem to be having a hard time letting go.
Lucy was thrilled when the restaurant was hired to cater the wedding of socialite Scarlet Westwood. It was short notice and a lot of work, but everyone came together to pull it off, including Azad, the head chef and Lucy’s ex-boyfriend. The reception is going well, until Azad finds a dead body in the back of the catering van.
The victim is Henry Simms, who was the best man at the wedding, and Azad had a public fight with him in the kitchen just a couple of hours ago. Naturally, the police think that makes him a great suspect. It only helps that the catering van was locked and the murder weapon was one of the skewers they’d been using to serve food. Lucy knows that Azad is innocent, but can she find the real killer before he is arrested?
This book is set in a resort town on the Jersey Shore. While we got a bit of a taste of the town in the first book, I felt we got more of one here. And you know what comes next – I’d really enjoy visiting this town. Maybe I’d avoid Lucy’s restaurant so I wouldn’t wind up involved in a murder, but it sounds like there is plenty else to enjoy in the town.
The mystery itself is strong, with plenty of viable suspects. I didn’t know where things were going, and I was usually following along with Lucy’s latest hunch, figuring it would be wrong in the end, but not having a better suspect myself at the moment. When she does piece things together, it is perfectly logical.
The characters continue to be a bit of a mixed bag. Lucy herself is great, as is her best friend and partner in crime solving Katie. The love triangle introduced in the first book is still in play, although I suspect I know where it might be going. Some of the supporting cast still hasn’t been developed enough. This is especially true of Lucy’s mother, who still seems very focused on Lucy’s love life, or lack thereof. The suspects are strong, with the secrets needed to keep us guessing until the end.
And we get three recipes at the end of the book, including baklava. No surprise there, right?
Overall, this was a fun cozy mystery that continues a great series. Grab a plate a hummus and some baklava for dessert and sit back to enjoy Stabbed in the Baklava.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.