Friday, March 8, 2013

A Fete Worse Than Death by Claudia Bishop

book cover
A Fete Worse Than Death
by Claudia Bishop

ISBN-13: 9780425262795
Mass Market Paperback:
304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: March 5, 2013

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Disaster strikes a mere week before the annual Spring Fete when the festival’s organizer, Adela Henry, is accused of stealing all of the festival money. She's forced to step down.

Sarah "Quill" Quilliam, who runs an inn at Hemlock Falls, is elected to the position, but she doesn't want it. She's agreed to be on too many festival committees already, and she hates dealing with all the quarreling.

The solution seems to be to hire a professional organizer, Linda Connally. But Connally’s body turns up in the trunk of a used car at Peterson’s Automotive, and her assistant turns up dead in the lake. The only hope for the festival is for Quill to clear Adela's name and track down the killer...

My Review:
A Fete Worse Than Death is a cozy mystery. This book is the eighteenth book in a series, but you don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one. Also, this book didn't spoil the whodunit of the previous mysteries.

While the story had many twists and turns, the mystery was surprisingly straightforward. It was a clue-based puzzle mystery, but which characters were "good guys" and which were "bad guys" was more the puzzle than figuring out whodunit. In the end, it wasn't even Quill who got proof so the police could arrest whodunit. The suspense was mainly based on what new disaster would strike next and how they'd deal with it.

The characters were interesting, and some readers may find them engaging or humorous. Perhaps if I had read the previous books in the series, the rivalries might have come across as humorous (as I think was intended). Instead, they seemed inconsequential to the mystery and thus slowed the pacing for me.

Anyway, in the first half of the story, Quill complained a lot about the various meetings she agreed to attend or organize or was attending meetings that were full of complaining and quarreling. There was more focus on the mystery in the second half.

There was no sex. There was a fair amount of explicit bad language. Overall, I'd recommend starting with the beginning of this series if it sounds interesting to you.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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