Saturday, September 17, 2016

By Cook or by Crook

Author:  Maya Corrigan
Series:  A Five Ingredient Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Published:  November 2014

Description:  Take one burned-out city girl. Add a crusty codger, a pinch of gossip, and a dash of romance. Stir in a generous helping of murder and you've got the ingredients for one truly delicious mystery. . .

Haunted by the car accident that ended her career as a cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has traded in the chaos of New York City for a quieter life near the Chesapeake Bay. Living with her curmudgeonly grandfather in the tourist town of Bayport is hardly glamorous, but she enjoys working at the Cool Down Café at the local fitness club, and she finally has time to work on her long-planned cookbook. But when one of the club's patrons is found dead, she'll have to cook up a scheme to find the killer. As the number of suspects rises like crabs in a bucket, it's out of the pan and into the fire for Val. If she can't find the culprit soon, she might as well be chum in the water.

My Review

As you can tell from the publication date on this book, it is another one that has been on my TBR pile for quite awhile now.  I have to be honest and say it feels pretty good to be digging into the pile and making progress on dwindling it down.

This is the first book that I have read by this author and I found it to be a very enjoyable read.  The author has a fluid writing style that kept the pace of the book moving along until the big reveal at the end of the story.

For a first book in a series, I thought this story had a good cast of characters that were well written.  I thought the author did a good job of developing the characters as the story progressed allowing the reader to get to know them much better.   Val was very likable as the protagonist.  She was an accidental sleuth out to clear the name of her cousin but always made sure she kept in touch with the police regarding her theories and the events that were unfolding.  

I liked the theme of the book being centered around five - five ingredients, five suspects, five clues, etc.  The five suspects provided plenty of clues, twists and turns througout the story. The suspects were plausible and for the most part the motives were believable.  I thought the author did a nice job of tying togther a couple of plots/mysteries that seemed to be unrelated but in the end connected together very well in a realistic manner.

The only thing missing for me was that I didn't feel like we got to know the town.  Part of what I enjoy about cozy mysteries set in a small town is when the author describes the place and settings so that the reader can almost picture themselves wandering the streets or stopping in the restaurants.  Unfortunately, I didn't get that from this book.  I didn't make me like the book any less, I guess I felt it would have been nice to be able to picture the town, the cafe or the diner as I was reading the story.

I thought this was an enjoyable book with an interesting premise around the five theme.  I liked the characters and enjoyed the mystery.  I will be back to check out the book number two in this series.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good book. I need to do what you're doing, start working on my overflowing TBR pile.