Dread on Arrival
(A Hemlock Falls Mystery)
17th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Karen Strelecki
Cover Design by Diana Kolsky
Hemlock Falls, New York, is perfect for tourists with its quaint shops and world famous cooking school and the wonderful Inn at Hemlock Falls. Run by sisters, Meg Quilliam and Sarah Quilliam-McHale. Meg is a master chef with a bit of a temper, watch out for flying saute pans. Sarah (Quill) is the manager with an adorable son Jackson. Her husband Myles, the former sheriff, now works for the federal government and is gone a lot.
In this latest installment a episode of the hit television show Your Ancestor’s Attic is being taped in Hemlock Falls. The host of a competing show Pawn-O-Rama arrives on the scene just in time to cause a little trouble. The hosts of the shows have quite a rivalry going and they decide to settle things between them with a cooking contest that will be taped for both programs.
Things get a little heated as the competition begins, then one of the men keels over dead. Suspicions are that he was poisoned and his rival is the obvious culprit. But he is not the only suspect, even some of the residents of Hemlock Falls are being questioned.
Thankfully the Quilliam sisters are masters at sizing up the suspects and with a little help they will catch the killer.
This is one of my favorite series. The entire set in on my keeper shelf. The quirky characters are delightful. They continue to grow and evolve through each story. Their antics always bring a smile to my face.
With that being said the plot of this one threw me a bit. I love the idea of an Antiques Roadshow type series coming to the town. The characters this theme brought were amazing. I got lost wondering why would these hosts engage in a cooking contest? This idea did bring the story back to the inn and cooking school, but it just felt off. The were appraisers of antiques, not from a cooking show. If rival cooking show hosts came to town this contest was perfect but it didn’t work for me in this circumstance. There was a wedding supposed to be held at the inn with the reception at the cooking school and a murder there may have made more sense. I know after 17 stories it is hard to be new, fresh, current and unique, and please all the fans, this one just missed the mark with me.
The story as it plays out is entertaining and I still enjoyed it. It just left me scratching my head a bit.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”