by Sandra Murphy
& Isis Crawford
This week we have a review of A Catered New Year’s Eve along with a fun New Year’s Eve guest post by Isis. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of A Catered New Year’s Eve. We also have a link to order it from Amazon and from an indie bookstore.
A Catered New Year’s Eve: A Mystery with Recipes by Isis Crawford
Review by Sandra Murphy
Libby and Bernie A Little Taste of Heaven. It started mostly as a bakery, but now they also provide take-home dinners and more. That should keep them busy enough, but Bernie has been in contact with relatives they haven’t spoken to in many years. There was an incident, well, two really, of borrowed cars being wrecked. Several incidents of money borrowed but never repaid. That side of the family thrives on chaos and drama.
Now Ada, the youngest, has hired Bernie and Libby to cater a New Year’s Eve meal. Although she says she’s cleared it with the rest of her family, that’s not the case. It seems Ada is the most dramatic of them all.
Ada is convinced her father was murdered. And his business partner. Everyone else believes what the police and doctors found—an overdose, probably accidental, and a car accident. Now Ava believes she’s found evidence to prove her theory. New Year’s Eve is the tenth anniversary of her father’s death. When better to confront the family?
If Bernie and Libby thought the evening’s yelling and accusations were dramatic, they were unprepared for one of the guests to topple over dead. That, of course, ignited Ada’s fears, and she runs out the door, hops in her mom’s car, and drives off in a snow storm, sure her relatives will blame her for the death.
When a second death occurs, Bernie and Libby feel obligated to figure out who’s behind the murders, who has a secret worth killing for, and where the heck is Ada?
This is book fifteen in the series. Bernie is calmer than in the first books, Libby a bit more assertive. Bernie’s always ready to take a risk, Libby is much more cautious. Their story will certainly cause readers a bit of anxiety about get-togethers with the relatives this holiday season.
You can start with this book without being lost. There’s enough backstory to bring you up to speed without slowing the story. The plot is a good one, with red herrings scattered throughout. Be warned, the snow storm will leave you reaching for an afghan. Libby recommends hot chocolate and a pastry to feel really cozy. Sadly, she only had time to include a recipe for lentil soup, done two ways, and steamed honey cake.
New Year’s Eve
by Isis Crawford
New Year’s Eve. The official party night of the year. Most of the New Year’s Eve parties I’ve attended over the years have blurred into one. They’ve been pleasant, running the gamut from dinner parties for ten, to large parties for thirty or forty people, to attending family night with my children. Two, however, have stood out over time.
The first one happened when my parents left my best friend and I alone and went out to a party. Half an hour later, one of my best friend’s friends arrived with three bottles of cheap champagne – one for each of us – which we proceeded to down accompanied by a bag of Oreo cookies. It was not a good combination. Strawberries and good champagne are one thing, cheap champagne and Oreo cookies are another. When my parents came home, they found the three of us draped over the various toilets in the house. The following day was not much better. My mother asked me if I’d learned my lesson and I replied that I had – from that point on I would only drink good champagne. And I’ve held true to that – something my characters Bernie and Libby would agree with. Good champagne is worth every penny. Buy the best you can!
My second memorable New Year’s Eve took place a little while after I arrived in New York City. I’d lost a bet with the man who was to become my husband and as a consequence had agreed to spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square with thousands of other people. At that point, I hated him because I’m not a big fan of crowds or the cold and it was fifteen degrees out on that particular evening, but a bet is a bet. I briefly thought about faking a severe illness, but in the end I decided fair is fair so I went. Goodbye, sexy little black dress, hello layers. I had so many clothes on I could hardly zip up my coat let alone lift up my arms, and let’s not even mention trying to get boots on over three pairs of socks.
My friend and I got to Times Square early because, well, we had to if we wanted to see anything, and I expected I was going to be miserable – but I wasn’t. I hadn’t counted on what it was going to be like being with people from everywhere in the world, people speaking different languages, laughing and talking, and hugging. I hadn’t counted on the thrill of listening to the roar of the crowd as the ball dropped. It was a special moment, one I’ll never forget.
Of course, it wasn’t as memorable as Bernie and Libby’s New Year’s Eve – nothing like a good old fashioned murder to start off the New Year right! Good thing it happened after everyone had eaten so all the lovely food Bernie and Libby had made didn’t go to waste. I still like to have the lentil soup they made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s day. I don’t know if eating lentils or black-eyed peas like they do down South brings luck in the New Year or not, but it’s worth a shot. Besides, the soup is delicious. In any case, I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year as do Bernie and Libby.
To enter to win a copy of A Catered New Year’s Eve, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “eve,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 4, 2020 U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. We delete all emails after the contest is over.
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