I have been making more of a concerted effort to look for books on my to be read pile that are in series I’ve already started instead of always starting new series when I have a free spot in my reading schedule. So I decided it was time to dip back into the Five-Ingredient Mysteries with Final Fondue, the third in the series.
The town of Bayport, Maryland is holding a festival to celebrate their tri-centennial. Val Deniston is participating with a booth featuring food from her café, while her grandfather is hoping to win one of the contests with his chocolate fondue. And Val has talked Grandfather into renting out some rooms in the house they share to visitors in town for the weekend. These particular guests are there to start work on planning a wedding to take place in the area the next spring.
There are some strange undercurrents in the wedding party, but the last thing Val expects is to find one of them dead in the backyard. While it is obvious that a murder has taken place, Val can’t help but wonder if the killer got their intended target. With easy access to the rest of the wedding party, she begins asking questions. Can she figure out what happened?
Val also has some people from her past popping back into her life in this book, further complicating things for both her and the case. That’s not unexpected in a cozy series, but I enjoyed seeing how Val dealing with her past played out and played into this story. At times, I did feel like it slowed down the story a little, however.
The book does have a good mystery. I’m always impressed with how the clues in this series are woven into the story. Once Val has things figured out, it’s obviously the only solution, but I once again only began to suspect just before Val figured things out. As I said above, the pace could have been a little better, but that’s my only real complaint with the book.
The more books I read in the series, the more I’m getting to know Val, her grandfather, and the rest of the regulars, and the more I like them. Grandfather is a hoot all by himself, and he provides some great laughs. Val is strong, and we get to see another side of her here. The suspects are distinct, and I had no trouble keeping them apart.
And, of course, there are the recipes. We get a total of six of them here, including a couple of variations on fondue as well as a casserole and a stroganoff. As always, all these recipes have five or fewer ingredients.
Final Fondue has all the ingredients to be another winner. If you are looking for a tasty read, dip into this book.
And then enjoy the rest of the Five-Ingredient Mysteries.