The Uninvited Corpse (Food Blogger Mysteries)
1st in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B073NNPM7G
Leaving behind a failed career as a magazine editor and an embarrassing stint on a reality baking show, newly divorced lifestyle entrepreneur Hope Early thought things were finally on the upswing—until she comes face-to-face with a murderer . . .
Hope’s schedule is already jam-packed with recipe testing and shameless plugs for her food blog as she rushes off to attend a spring garden tour in the charming town of Jefferson, Connecticut. Unfortunately, it isn’t the perfectly arranged potted plants that grab her attention—it’s the bloody body of reviled real estate agent Peaches McCoy . . .
One of the tour guests committed murder, and all eyes are on Hope’s older sister, Claire Dixon—who, at best, saw Peaches as a professional rival. And suspicions really heat up when another murder occurs the following night. Now, with two messy murders shaking Jefferson and all evidence pointing to Claire, Hope must set aside her burgeoning brand to prove her sister’s innocence. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer intent on making sure her life goes permanently out of style . . .
Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen!
I know from experience blogging isn’t easy but Hope Early has her foodie/lifestyle blog well under control and making money. That is until she finds the body of local real estate agent Peaches McCoy in the middle of a spring garden tour. Peaches wasn’t even invited to this party, how did she end up pushing up daisies? Unfortunately, her sister, Claire, also a local real estate agent, tagged along to the event with Hope. Due to her rivalry with the victim, she quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. When another murder is committed, Hope’s only hope is to dig into the murders herself because her sister isn’t taking the police’s investigation seriously. While fielding offers to appear on more reality television and trying to keep up with her recipes and blog, she now finds herself following a murderer and getting so close she may be the next dead body they dig up.
The author has got this series off to a great start.
Due to the garden party setting readers are introduced to a lot of characters all at once but soon we are given enough information to keep them all straight. Hope and her sister are nothing alike. Hope is a hard worker, recently divorced and trying to make a success out of her 15 minutes of reality show fame. Many say she should have won that baking show. Claire who probably works hard too, is not very likable, kind of irritating, but Hope loves her and the relationship for them is normal. Hope’s best friend just happens to be the chief of police but that may develop into something more in the future. The secondary cast started to really come alive as the story continued.
The plot is full of red herrings. Almost everyone at the party had an opportunity to kill Peaches, but others could have entered the garden without being seen, so the suspect list is pretty long. The story flows at a nice pace as readers follow along with Hope and her investigation. I had a theory about the guilty party a bit before Hope but the reveal still was a bit of surprise.
I liked the way the story ended with Hope’s housewarming party with an unexpected guest. No corpse this time.
I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I am excited for Hope’s story to continue and maybe Claire will be a little more likable 🙂 The author has laid a nice foundation and left plenty of room for her characters to evolve as the series continues.
About the Author
Debra Sennefelder, the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series, is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.
Born and raised in New York City, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in pre-hospital care, retail and publishing. Her writing companions are her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzus, Susie and Billy.
She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Romance Writers of America.
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