Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Book Review: The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder (Food Blogger Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery, fun hook
Cons: Took a bit to separate out the characters early on; pacing in second half
The Bottom Line:
Garden party death
Blogger much clear her sister
Makes for fun debut

You Are Invited to a New Series

The instant I heard the premise behind The Uninvited Corpse, I was hooked.  You see, Hope Early, the main character, is a blogger.  I identify with bloggers just a little for some strange reason.  Okay, so Hope actually has a food and lifestyle blog, but still, that connect got me reading this fun debut.

Hope has recently gone through some changes in her life, but she’s landed on her feet.  She’s back in her home town of Jefferson, Connecticut, and she’s turning her blog into a home business.  She’s even enjoying fixing up her new home and taking care of the chickens she’s bought.

However, life takes an unexpected turn at a garden party her friend, is hosting to celebrate the release of this friend’s latest gardening book.  Everyone is surprised when real estate agent Peaches McCoy shows up uninvited.  But that’s not as surprising as when Hope finds Peaches’ body before the event is over.  The police quickly focus on Hope’s sister, Claire, a rival real estate agent.  With evidence stacking up against Claire, Hope begins looking for other suspects.  Can she free her sister?

The book doesn’t take much time getting us to that fateful garden party, which is a mixed blessing.  We are introduced to quite a few characters early on, and I had trouble keeping them all straight at first.  Fortunately, as the mystery went along and we got to know the suspects and regulars better, I was able to remember who they were.  Of course, it helped that their personalities better developed as we spent more time with them.

The good part of getting to the garden party early is that the book starts quickly with a few tense scenes involving Peaches before Hope finds her body.  Hope follows those threads introduced early and finds some other motives and secrets as well.  I did feel the book slowed down a little in the second half, but then it picked up again for the climax, which was great.

As you may have noticed, I do enjoy the culinary cozies quite a bit.  Even if I hadn’t been drawn to the blogger aspect of this book, I would have wanted to read it because of the food hook.  Anyone who enjoys culinary mysteries will be glad they picked this one up and Hope loves to relax and think by cooking.  We get some delicious looking recipes at the end, including a couple of variations of chocolate chip cookies as well as rice pilaf and cinnamon apple bread.

The Uninvited Corpse is an enjoyable debut, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the characters even better as the series progresses.  I invited you to sit back and enjoy the first in what looks like a fun new series.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.

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