Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery; Hope
Cons: Characters could be better developed
The Bottom Line:
Why was Hope’s neighbor murdered?
A strong mystery
Can Hope Find the Hidden Killer?
Last year, I enjoyed getting to meet Hope Early and her family and friends. I was drawn to her because she is a food blogger, and I love culinary cozies and blogging. I was looking forward to visiting with her again in The Hidden Corpse.
Hope’s neighbor Peggy Olson has come to Hope for help after catching some stuff on fire in her kitchen. Peggy had fallen asleep only to wake up to the smoke. What bothers her is she didn’t even remember starting to cook anything. When Peggy’s house burns down the next day with Peggy inside, Hope feels extremely guilty for not saying anything to protect Peggy from accidentally doing this again. That guilt changes when the police find evidence that it could have been arson. A second body in the house only further confuses things. Can Hope figure out what happened to her neighbor?
The mystery itself is very good. There are several things going on here and potentially several motives that kept me guessing. At one time or another, I was sure I knew who it was, and I was completely sure it was a different person each time I thought I had it all figured out. Yet when the killer is finally revealed, everything makes sense.
My issue with this book is the characters. Yes, Hope is a great main character, but I felt like the supporting characters weren’t nearly as well developed. In fact, a couple of them are very annoying here; we need to see more well-rounded characters to make us appreciate them more. On the other hand, I found the suspects to be good. Since I was jumping from one suspect to another as I went along, I was obviously buying them as real characters.
As a blogger myself, I certainly found Hope’s career interesting. She’s taking a photography class here, which allows her to interact with some other food bloggers. It’s a different world than book blogging and what I do, but I still enjoyed reading about her career as I went along. And, obviously, I love culinary cozies, so the fact that Hope enjoys cooking was a plus as well.
Speaking of which, we get six recipes at the end of the book for such things as Lemon Ricotta Cookies and a Meatball Sub Casserole. They definitely sound delicious.
I really am hoping that the series regulars become better rounded characters as the series goes along. However, the mystery itself is strong enough in The Hidden Corpse that fans of culinary cozies will enjoy it.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.