Val is on a Collision Course with Murder
I’ve got to admit, I don’t quite understand the fascination with the Titanic. It’s a tragedy, and thinking about it depresses me. But I know there are people obsessed with it, and one of them helps create a great set up for S’more Murders.
Val Deniston has gotten another client for her fledgling catering business. Otto Warbeck wants her to recreate the full ten course meal that the first-class guests were served the final night on the Titanic. And he’s planning for this dinner party to be served on his yacht. Val knows it will be lots of work, but when Otto keeps offering more money, she eventually agrees.
When the guests arrive the night of the event, Val realizes that not all is as it seems. Several of the attendees seem to hardly know each other. A fight breaks out before the first course is even served. But disaster hits half way through the evening when Otto disappears off the yacht. Was it a tragic accident? Or was it murder?
Before we get any further, I do want to talk about the title. Yes, the main dinner that Val is preparing is Titanic themed. No, they didn’t serve S’mores on the Titanic. Yes, the title does make sense once you’ve started the book. That’s all I am going to say about it. Well, I will also say that, being the punny guy that I am, I absolutely loved that title, especially for a fifth book in the series.
The mystery is good. The book takes about the right amount of time for the set up – giving us initial impressions of the suspects and introducing possible motives – before Otto disappears. There are some good twists along the way, as well. I do feel like the ending was a little fast, but those final clues couldn’t have been planted earlier in the book since they are what lead to the logical climax. Well, mostly logical. When I was thinking about the book after I set it down, I did have one question about what happened, but it was minor and could be something I missed.
The characters are good. Val, her grandfather, Bethany, and Gunner are the main recurring characters. Other characters we’ve met before make cameos, but it was nice to get to spend more time with the core characters and the suspects.
As we’ve come to expect with this series, there are some five-ingredient recipes at the end of the book. This time around, we get six of them inspired by the food talked about in the book. And yes, that includes a classic S’more and a savory S’more that sounds intriguing.
S’more Murders is a fun addition to this series. Fans will be happy to find out what Val and her family and friends are up to here.
Indulge in the rest of the Five-Ingredient Mysteries.