Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters, good mystery
Cons: Pacing could be better
The Bottom Line:
Filled with mayhem and murder
Fun story for us
Cooking with a Killer
Cooking with a Killer
The Poppy McAllister series by Libby Klein is only on book three, but it has already gained a loyal following thanks to the fun, quirky characters. They are on full display yet again in Restaurant Weeks are Murder.
Poppy is thrilled to be helping Tim during the local Restaurant Week competition. While their relationship is complicated, the fact that he asked her to be part of his team means a lot. Unfortunately, the third member of their team is Gigi, who also has her sights set on Tim, although Tim doesn’t seem to even notice. The three will have to work together to create different dishes every day with mystery ingredients for a panel of judges. Their competitors are other restaurant owners in town, and the winner gets a nice prize check and publicity.
Things get complicated quickly when there is a problem with the hotel where the judges were going to stay, and Poppy volunteers the not quite open yet bed and breakfast she is working on with her aunt. Then, on the first day of the competition, someone sabotages the ingredients. As things spiral out of control, Tim and Poppy find themselves at the center of it all. Can Poppy figure out what is happening?
I already mentioned how fun the characters are, and that holds true. While Poppy may be our main character, she is the calm observer to some of the antics going on around her, usually led by Aunt Ginny and Figueroa, Poppy’s trouble making cat. These two are sure to leave you laughing, although I did find some of Figueroa’s antics here painful. Then again, I’m also allergic to cats, so I could sympathize with his victim while still laughing at his antics. The suspects are memorable in their own right and really stand out from each other while bringing their own comedy to the mix.
As with the first two books in the series, I do think the plotting could have been tighter. At times, the character’s antics slow things down. I’m not saying the mystery is at all bad, however. There is plenty happening with motives, secrets, and clues. I had no clue where things were going until Poppy figured it all out.
While I’ve only mentioned Tim so far, loyal readers know he is but one part of a love triangle. Gia is still around plenty, so the love triangle is still in full force. Actually, it was kind of nice to see more of Tim in this book since I’ve felt Gia was getting the majority of the page time so far. And, while this is book three for us, it’s only been four months for the characters, so this doesn’t bother me. After all, Poppy has been busy solving three murders and getting the bed and breakfast ready to go during that time. Is it be resolved in this book? You’ll have to read it to find out.
Once again, there are seven recipes at the back of the book. Since Poppy makes Paleo items, all of the recipes are Paleo friendly, including Black Forest French Toast, biscuits, and a no bake specialty cheesecake.
Restaurant Weeks are Murder continues to entertain with fun characters and a confusing mystery. Fans will be delighted with this book. And if you haven’t discovered this series yet, now’s the time to jump in before you get further behind.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.