by Sandra Murphy
Details on how to win a copy of A Catered Mother’s Day at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Ellen Hadley’s had enough. Her family doesn’t appreciate her, they don’t help around the house and consistently forget birthdays and holidays like Mother’s Day. An offhand remark from her friend Bernie puts an idea in Ellen’s mind—drastic times call for drastic measures.
Bernie and Libby run A Little Taste of Heaven, a bakery and catering shop. With Mother’s Day right around the corner and the lack of gift buying plans by many husbands and children, they’ll be open on Sunday for the last minute panicked shoppers. That means they’ll have to have everything baked, bagged and tagged so the register can keep on ka-ching-ing.
Ellen’s plan gets in the way though when her hiding place, a seedy motel, becomes a crime scene. Ellen checked in to the Riverview Motel. After she went out for a bit, she found the body of a dead man on the bed when she returned. Of course, who to call but Bernie since she swears Bernie talked her into this cockamamie idea in the first place.
The sisters drop everything to help out. Ellen says she’s never seen the man before. Libby thinks he looks familiar. When Bernie tries to call the police, Ellen takes off through the woods, Bernie and Libby in pursuit. Of course, now’s the perfect time for Ellen’s husband to show up with the police. Imagine trying to explain to your dad, a former cop, what you were doing in the woods at a murder scene.
Sean is certainly not pleased with the girls but they manage to get back into his good graces. With a lot of digging, they’re able to discover that Ellen did know the victim. It’s impossible to get a straight answer from her on anything. Ellen’s been under a lot of stress with her husband’s business problems, the kids, her own business (homemade dog and cat treats) and its expansion (she was unwilling on that part.)
Motives and suspects are many—Ellen might have been having a kind-of affair, her business partner wanted to franchise, her husband’s business had major problems, Ellen’s kids know more than she thinks, or it could have been a convenient way to solve a problem for reasons and persons unknown. Bailing Ellen out of trouble is a full time job and not always a safe one—like the trip the sisters have to take to a biker bar.
Libby and Bernie are delightful as always. Bernie’s settling down some—never totally but that’s her charm. Libby’s getting braver which is good to see. Sean is not so gruff now that he’s more mobile (on the job injury). Clyde, their unofficial police liaison, makes his usual appearances with news and a longing look at anything Libby’s cooked. Lucky him, she keeps him supplied in treats.
Of course, there are recipes, husbands contributing this time. Look for pulled pork made with root beer, tuna casserole, ziti with broccoli and chickpeas, venison stew and frittata with broccoli rabe and sausage.
This is book number eleven for the series. All revolve around a holiday theme and all are enjoyable. Your To Be Read stack just got bigger.
To enter to win a copy of A Catered Mother’s Day simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Catered,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 9, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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If you enjoy food mysteries, why not check out KRL’s food column How I Met My Dinner where you will find out about some great food & get recipes!
Use this link to purchase a copy of the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore: