Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: Toast Mortem - 16th in the Hemlock Falls Mystery series
Author: Claudia Bishop
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: June 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Hemlock Falls
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Claudia's Website/Blog: www.claudiabishop.com
A really wonderful readers' experience.
A famous chef and author of culinary books has built a Culinary Academy in the small town of Hemlock Falls. There is already an Inn there owned by two sisters, Sarah "Quill" Quilliam-McHale an artist and Margaret "Meg" Quilliam, a Master Chef. This obviously leads to a lot of animosity between the owners of these two establishments. Bernard LeVasque, the chef at La Bonne Goute Culinary Academy, is a very self obsessed person who thinks that he and only he can satisfy the palates of the townspeople and tourists and is taking all of the food business away from the Inn at Hemlock Falls. As the Chef succeeds in taking the lion's share of business away from the Inn, someone decides that enough is enough and takes the Chef off the menu for good. There are many suspects who include the two sisters; one of the former chefs at the Academy who is now working for the sisters and who also has had some trouble in the past with the IRS; some members of a group called WARP who are booked at the Inn and no one can figure out just what WARP means; and also a very large, yellow cat named Bismark that attacks at will anyone who gets in his way.
This book is a hoot to read and you'll find it very interesting trying to figure out who did the dirty deed of stabbing the obnoxious chef in the back. He had so many enemies there is a huge list of suspects including the cat although he does not have opposable thumbs so is probably innocent. The author has written fifteen other Hemlock Falls mysteries along with others. Toast Mortem is a very enjoyable book and also includes some recipes for those readers who love to read AND cook. I'm delighted to recommend this book to mystery readers of all ages. Enjoy and I'll talk to you soon,
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