by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of A Catered Costume Party, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Despite the disappearance of his wife just three weeks ago, Darius Witherspoon has no intention of cancelling plans for his catered Halloween costume party. As seen in the first chapter, Darius’s refusal to cancel the celebration isn’t exactly a stoic honoring of Penelope Witherspoon’s favorite holiday, as he was the one who swung a pipe at her head and pushed her body into the river. That makes Darius’s dramatic hanging at his own party an improbable suicide, especially when he leaves money and a note asking the Simmons sisters to investigate what happened.
Bernie and Libby Simmons had initially only been hired as caterers for the costume party, but their track record at getting involved in multiple murders, including one the previous Halloween, makes another investigation probable. Vehemently disagreeing with this concept is Chief of Police Lucas “Lucy” Broadbent, who has his own reasons for wanting the case shut down and declared a suicide. The sisters’ father Sean Simmons, the former police chief, prefers to believe that the simplest solution is the most probable one, although he may be distracted by his new girlfriend, Michelle. She may not be able to cook, and her new business makes her a rival and the nemesis of Libby and Bernie, but Michelle’s appeal to men is otherwise undeniable. It’s probably healthiest for Libby and Bernie to focus their enmity on Lucy and the uninvestigated murder, but that becomes sketchy when they find another body, bribe their way into a Manhattan apartment, and end up locked out on the roof of the very building where Darius met his demise.
The relationship between Bernie and Libby is the foundation of this mystery series, which in this thirteenth entry continues to be an entertaining delight. They still know exactly which buttons to push to get the other riled, but they’ve also reached a level of maturity where they at least hesitate before pressing it. Perhaps having a common enemy helps to unite their ire, Sean and Michelle’s romance may be showing cracks but no real sign of slowing down. The sisters’ boyfriends make brief cameos, placing the focus on the women’s highly energetic investigative pursuits as they spur the other on. Humorous dialogue and a plot that zigs when the reader thinks it will zag ensures for a read full of banter and quirky commentaries on society.
To enter to win a copy of A Catered Costume Party, 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 October 21, 2017. 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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