Saturday, July 7, 2012

Book Review: And Murder for Dessert by Kathleen Delaney

I've taken a vacation from reading cozy mysteries for quite a while. I met Kathleen Delaney earlier this month, picked up her And Murder for Dessert, and decided I needed a break from the serious non-fiction reading I've been doing for several weeks. And what a break it was.

Set in the wine country in California, we meet Ellen McKenzie working in real estate and engaged to the local chief of police. When Ellen's sister calls to inform her that her niece, Sabrina, and her husband Mark are coming to live with her, Ellen once again bridles at her sister's presumption, but since the young couple is on its way, she can do nothing but make them welcome. Soon, Sabrina ropes her into helping plan an upscale dinner at the winery where Mark is the wine master.

The guest chef is a nightmare right out of hell's kitchen. He's histrionic, unstable and downright mean. Many readers will cheer when he ends up dead in a vat of wine. The weaving of several secondary story arcs into a  whole keeps the reader wondering who killed the chef. More importantly, readers will want to solve the crime and unravel the secrets themselves.

Kathleen Delaney understands both the wine business and real estate, although real estate doesn't figure in as strongly as it did with her Dying for a Change, available in Kindle version only. Right now, that is. Dying for a Change is scheduled for a new release in print later this year.

I confess. I guessed who the killer was about half-way through. I enjoyed the way the author tied up all the arcs and brought to story to a successful conclusion. Even if you figure it out, too, this is a fun read.

Available in print and on Kindle, it's a read well worth it.

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