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Bernadette Simmons wasn't sure what to expect when she left L.A.--and her no-good, cheating boyfriend--to move back in with her family in New York. And her sister Libby had no idea what she was in for when she hired Bernie to work for her catering business. But in between cutting up canapes and dishing up desserts, the two find themselves in the midst of a mystery they can Bernadette Simmons wasn't sure what to expect when she left L.A.--and her no-good, cheating boyfriend--to move back in with her family in New York. And her sister Libby had no idea what she was in for when she hired Bernie to work for her catering business. But in between cutting up canapes and dishing up desserts, the two find themselves in the midst of a mystery they can really sink their teeth into. . . It's only been a few days since Bernie and Libby started working together at A Little Taste of Heaven, and already they've got their hands full--baking cookies and slicing rare beef tenderloin to serve at a high school reunion. The dinner has a "Dracula" theme and a very strange guest of honor: Laird Wrenn, a New York Times bestselling author of vampire novels. Libby and Bernie know this will be an evening unlike any other. And they're proven right when Laird pours a glass of water, takes a long sip--and drops stone-cold dead. . . Now, with murder on the menu and Libby under suspicion, the sisters will have to put their heads together to figure out whodunit--in a mystery that promises to be deadly to the very last bite.


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Bernadette Simmons wasn't sure what to expect when she left L.A.--and her no-good, cheating boyfriend--to move back in with her family in New York. And her sister Libby had no idea what she was in for when she hired Bernie to work for her catering business. But in between cutting up canapes and dishing up desserts, the two find themselves in the midst of a mystery they can Bernadette Simmons wasn't sure what to expect when she left L.A.--and her no-good, cheating boyfriend--to move back in with her family in New York. And her sister Libby had no idea what she was in for when she hired Bernie to work for her catering business. But in between cutting up canapes and dishing up desserts, the two find themselves in the midst of a mystery they can really sink their teeth into. . . It's only been a few days since Bernie and Libby started working together at A Little Taste of Heaven, and already they've got their hands full--baking cookies and slicing rare beef tenderloin to serve at a high school reunion. The dinner has a "Dracula" theme and a very strange guest of honor: Laird Wrenn, a New York Times bestselling author of vampire novels. Libby and Bernie know this will be an evening unlike any other. And they're proven right when Laird pours a glass of water, takes a long sip--and drops stone-cold dead. . . Now, with murder on the menu and Libby under suspicion, the sisters will have to put their heads together to figure out whodunit--in a mystery that promises to be deadly to the very last bite.

30 review for A Catered Murder

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Bernadette moves from Los Angeles to New York and goes to work in her sister's catering business. Unfortunately, a guest dies at one of their events. And a friend of Bernadette's sister is one of the suspects. Crawford delivers an enticing plot, relatable characters and a nice twist ending. A fun read. Bernadette moves from Los Angeles to New York and goes to work in her sister's catering business. Unfortunately, a guest dies at one of their events. And a friend of Bernadette's sister is one of the suspects. Crawford delivers an enticing plot, relatable characters and a nice twist ending. A fun read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Bernadette Simmons escaped from Los Angeles leaving her cheating ex behind along with most of her belongings to return home to New York. There she starts working with her sister Libby at A Little Taste of Heaven, a store and catering company. They have been hired to cater a high school reunion with a Dracula theme. The guest of honor, author Laird Wrenn, even arrives with his own coffin. Sadly, before the night ends he is going to need it because after a big drink of water he Dollycas’s Thoughts Bernadette Simmons escaped from Los Angeles leaving her cheating ex behind along with most of her belongings to return home to New York. There she starts working with her sister Libby at A Little Taste of Heaven, a store and catering company. They have been hired to cater a high school reunion with a Dracula theme. The guest of honor, author Laird Wrenn, even arrives with his own coffin. Sadly, before the night ends he is going to need it because after a big drink of water he keels over dead. Since Libby provided the bottled water she becomes a prime suspect but everyone at the reunion had access to it so the suspect list is wide open and Bernie and Libby are going to find who sucked the life out of the popular vampire . . . author. I found the family dynamic interesting in this first book of this series. The sisters are as different as night and day but both seem to attract jerks and deserve better. In addition to working together, they are also taking care of their father, Sean, the former police chief. He is in a wheelchair but no real story as to why as been revealed as yet. Truthfully the author has not given any of the core characters much depth so there is a lot to be revealed in subsequent books. I did like the interactions between the sisters and with their father. They came across as realistic and true. The girl’s investigation into the murder was fun to read. Taking along treats when visiting the suspects did loosen some tongues. In fact, the heat was soon off Libby and onto one of her friends. I also liked that they talked things over with their dad to get his expert opinion. His replacement at the police department is a real tool and needed to be put in his place. I was able to pull all the clues together before Bernie and Libby and the police but enjoyed following along to the end. This story was good but I wish the characters were more fleshed out so that I would feel more invested in them. I identified a bit with Sean because I too spend a vast amount of time in a wheelchair but want to know more of his story. We did learn Bernie has an eidetic memory which can be annoying and Libby is a really hard worker but again I wanted more. For me, the book is A Satisfactory Excursion, but I am not writing the series off. I have book #2, A Catered Wedding on my Kindle so I will be giving this author another chance. It is a long-running series, book #15, A Catered New Year’s Eve was just released so I am assuming the flaws I found in this story have all be ironed out.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joan - xstitchfan

    This is a very enjoyable mystery series, but I recommend skipping book 1. I began reading this series in December 2016 and chose to read the book 3 which is set at Christmas first. I'm so glad I didn't start with the first book. I have read 4 books in the series and this is my least favorite selection. It's not terrible, but just not a memorable book. The murder takes place at a book party which is essentially a high school reunion. There are too many characters in this town to follow throughout This is a very enjoyable mystery series, but I recommend skipping book 1. I began reading this series in December 2016 and chose to read the book 3 which is set at Christmas first. I'm so glad I didn't start with the first book. I have read 4 books in the series and this is my least favorite selection. It's not terrible, but just not a memorable book. The murder takes place at a book party which is essentially a high school reunion. There are too many characters in this town to follow throughout the book. I read the book in 3 days and can't imagine how you would keep track of everyone if you read the book slower! The ending felt rushed and it is unlikely you will guess the solution in advance. Start the series with book 2 and you will really enjoy these catering sisters, their retired cop father, their friends, their town, and the cozy mysteries they solve. Enjoy!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    A quick, easy read. Could have done with some editing but otherwise a good mystery. Looking forward to the next in the series. 3.5*

  5. 5 out of 5

    ☆☆Hannah☆☆

    It was nice to see how it all started out. I had only read the last book in the series that is out. Just like that one it was a nice mystery. Yet again I didn't know who it was. Which is always nice. There are 11 more for me to read in the series. I hope they all continue to be good. It was nice to see how it all started out. I had only read the last book in the series that is out. Just like that one it was a nice mystery. Yet again I didn't know who it was. Which is always nice. There are 11 more for me to read in the series. I hope they all continue to be good.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I can't say that I was very impressed with this book. I don't feel like I know the characters very well and I'm not sure if it was the writing or just me, but I had a hard time following everything. The characters and dialogue when it was happening was kind of hard to follow who was talking. The plot was easy enough follow and there were a lot of interesting scenarios thrown out from the girls trying to solve the murders. While the true murderer was unexpected I can't say there was really any 'w I can't say that I was very impressed with this book. I don't feel like I know the characters very well and I'm not sure if it was the writing or just me, but I had a hard time following everything. The characters and dialogue when it was happening was kind of hard to follow who was talking. The plot was easy enough follow and there were a lot of interesting scenarios thrown out from the girls trying to solve the murders. While the true murderer was unexpected I can't say there was really any 'wow' factor because she wasn't a character I thought much about or had gotten to know throughout the book anyway. I can hope that things get better as the series goes on, but I'm not sure if I'll continue.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Murder with Recipes I'll start with I loved the recipes. I did make copies of the cake recipe. My kids loved it. This was the first book in the series and there were moments where I felt like looking at the end to see who did it. Lots of suspects, lots of "sisterly" nonsense and just seemed longer than it needed to be. I did continue and it was a pretty good story. I am going to try another book from the series and see how I feel after it.  Murder with Recipes I'll start with I loved the recipes. I did make copies of the cake recipe. My kids loved it. This was the first book in the series and there were moments where I felt like looking at the end to see who did it. Lots of suspects, lots of "sisterly" nonsense and just seemed longer than it needed to be. I did continue and it was a pretty good story. I am going to try another book from the series and see how I feel after it. 

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karen Merris

    I really liked her style. Can't wait to read the next one. I really liked her style. Can't wait to read the next one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diane Morasco

    I love mysteries. Cozies are my favorite mysteries to read. I'm hooked. Hooked. I always enjoy getting my hands on a new series, new author ~ new author to the publishing world or new to me. I get a kick out of being the first to scoop up the latest. I consider myself a cozy devotee. Sadly, A Catered Murder did zip, zero, nada for me. Nothing. I was bored. I found excuses not to read it. I read other books instead. I wondered how on earth this book got published. Did it win a contest? Was it nepotis I love mysteries. Cozies are my favorite mysteries to read. I'm hooked. Hooked. I always enjoy getting my hands on a new series, new author ~ new author to the publishing world or new to me. I get a kick out of being the first to scoop up the latest. I consider myself a cozy devotee. Sadly, A Catered Murder did zip, zero, nada for me. Nothing. I was bored. I found excuses not to read it. I read other books instead. I wondered how on earth this book got published. Did it win a contest? Was it nepotism? Was the editor @ Kensington about to embark on a cruise & said, " Oh, what the heck? " or did s/he win the lottery & give them a shot @ making their dream come true? I am one of those people who has to finish a book ~ no matter what. I am slowly learning to stop being so anal & read the incredible books waiting to be read. Instead of slogging through the drivel, I have decided to toss the books I can't digest aside. I have allowed myself to read the first 50 pages a` la Oprah, but have come up w/ my own reader meter ~ 25 pages. So, what was it about this book that was so foul tasting? Ingredients: Zzz Characters too over the top Grammatical errors Predictable plot Dialogue too problematic to follow Typing errors Snore Syrup Lack of Sense Sauce Isis Crawford’s previous experience was as a food writer. Hmmm... maybe the recipes are worth the read, but I didn't bother. I walked away... ok, sprinted. A Catered Murder is the first of the Mystery with Recipes series & just because it isn't for my palate... you may enjoy this serving.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    So I read this book to back-track after reading "A Catered Halloween," which is further along in the series. I am pleased to say that this book is more enjoyable than the Halloween one, but it still lacked some basic information about the characters, and the mystery wasn't readily solvable. I am curious as to what happened to their father, and how much damage he has from the injury. Obviously he is paralyzed or stuck in the wheelchair, but it just seems like there's more that could have been ment So I read this book to back-track after reading "A Catered Halloween," which is further along in the series. I am pleased to say that this book is more enjoyable than the Halloween one, but it still lacked some basic information about the characters, and the mystery wasn't readily solvable. I am curious as to what happened to their father, and how much damage he has from the injury. Obviously he is paralyzed or stuck in the wheelchair, but it just seems like there's more that could have been mentioned since the author alludes to his emotional problems but not really giving us any details. I liked the sister relationship and see that the stereotypes in cozy mysteries are really like a checklist. One sister is the suave diva, while the other sister is the frumpy one with relationship issues that never seem to go away (although it seems like this one will hopefully end with the first book). At least the dialogue is nice, though it's peppered with weird actions like a bee on an arm being brushed off followed by a flying ant. The constant talk of the recipes got a little tiring. It's not bad in the flow, but I don't think people discuss pastries as much as these characters do while discussing murders. Definitely not the best series I've read, but also good enough to make me curious about the next installment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rubi Jayne

    Overall, the story was a fair distraction during a mourning period when I desperately needed distracting. The execution of the story, however, was frustrating. There were too many times I had to stop reading to figure out who was speaking or how/why someone was performing an action (sitting, standing, opening something) when they'd done that just ten lines earlier. Overall, the story was a fair distraction during a mourning period when I desperately needed distracting. The execution of the story, however, was frustrating. There were too many times I had to stop reading to figure out who was speaking or how/why someone was performing an action (sitting, standing, opening something) when they'd done that just ten lines earlier.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Well done first book in the series. Good mystery and I was just as lost as to who the culprit was as Libby and Bernie were. Looking forward to more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    I had trouble getting through this, it was slow and boring. I will read the next in the series to see if it picks up. Also- the author really should have picked better names for the characters, they were all literally starting with L's! Libby, Lydia, Lucy, Lionel, the list goes on. She had two characters that went by two different names, and she kept shifting back and forth, and it confused me as to who was who. She even had a Bree and a Bernie! I had trouble getting through this, it was slow and boring. I will read the next in the series to see if it picks up. Also- the author really should have picked better names for the characters, they were all literally starting with L's! Libby, Lydia, Lucy, Lionel, the list goes on. She had two characters that went by two different names, and she kept shifting back and forth, and it confused me as to who was who. She even had a Bree and a Bernie!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Just an entertaining "beach read". Although it has been freezing cold here! Just an entertaining "beach read". Although it has been freezing cold here!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    A quick, light mystery. The culprit was a surprise. I had no idea how it would end. I liked finding out how this series started, since I started with the twelfth book. I also liked all the food and recipes in this story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    FictionForesight

    Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight I was excited to read the first in this series by Isis Crawford, because I had already read A Catered Halloween around Halloween time last year. I was left feeling a desire to know more, as Crawford decided to leave further introductions and background out of that book, making the assumption that the reader had read her previous installments. I’m pleased to say that A Catered Murder was definitely worth the read. Two sisters, the ever direct and respon Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight I was excited to read the first in this series by Isis Crawford, because I had already read A Catered Halloween around Halloween time last year. I was left feeling a desire to know more, as Crawford decided to leave further introductions and background out of that book, making the assumption that the reader had read her previous installments. I’m pleased to say that A Catered Murder was definitely worth the read. Two sisters, the ever direct and responsible Libby and the street smart fashionista Bernie, have a family reunion as Bernie runs away from relationship trouble in Los Angeles. Libby owns a catering business and asks for Bernie’s help with the largest event she has ever done- their High School reunion. There we meet Lionel, a man who feels that he is so good at writing about vampires that he actually may be one. His abrasive ways draw discontent from everyone attending, until he drops dead while giving a speech after drinking water supplied by Libby. Suddenly, Libby and Bernie are thrust into the murder investigation because Libby’s childhood friend, Tiffany, is a prime suspect and certainly not helping her own case. After quite a few twists and turns, we end up with one of the sisters in the hands of the killer, unsure if someone will come save her before it is too late. The Good: Crawford gives her characters some bite. I like the sarcastic one-liners from Bernie and the very direct responses from Libby. There is the usual list of suspects, and they happen to connect in a way so that the reader had to be paying attention to get the killer before he/she was revealed. The sisters are fun characters to follow and have independent storylines that bring to light their ways of thinking. The mystery itself is so-so, but I like the way the killer as revealed and the method of death was certainly not something I would have guessed. The Bad: The writing itself is average. I am not going to say that this will really make anyone sit down and think about the book for too long. There are no deeper meanings, it is straightforward whodunit action. While I like the characters, many of them are not as well fleshed out as they could be. The father, Sean, has some kind of debilitating injury. I really wish that Crawford would just give me a paragraph outlining what his limitations are and why, then be done with it. Finding out what he can’t do in minute blurbs is frustrating at best. Sure, you end up pitying the guy, but Crawford really needs to decide if she wants the book to be about him as a third protagonist and give him more screen time, or if she wants to use him as a plot device with background. There is also a lot of reference to the catering company, which is fine, but it really starts to hinder the plot when important discussions are interrupted by talk of specific culinary terms. I would rather read the important discussions sans culinary interruptions. Finally, and this is entirely opinion, but I don’t like the fact that both women have to have relationship problems. Like, the biggest jerks around happened to find each sister, and cause problems. I am just tired of cozy mysteries in general relying on dissing men to give a female sleuth strength. The good news is that it doesn’t look like the relationships continue into the second book, but you can never tell with those. Recommendations: I would definitely recommend this to anyone trying to get their foot in the door for cozy mysteries, or someone who wants to read a murder mystery without graphic violence or explicit material. It isn’t going to be the novel that changes your life, but it will definitely be a fun beach read or something to read after work to clear your mental palate. (www.FictionForesight.com)

  17. 4 out of 5

    quinnster

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Exploring the 'cozies' type of mystery I came across this series. Recipes and mysteries?! Sounds awesome! Now, I haven't tried the recipes yet, but I did finish the book and I have to say, I didn't love it. I think that reading Pure used up all my good book karma this past week. Out of the last 5 books I've read I loved Pure, A Fatal Grace was okay, hated Evernight and Killer and this one were just meh. But it happens, right? **slight spoilers ahead** The killer ultimately was a surprise because th Exploring the 'cozies' type of mystery I came across this series. Recipes and mysteries?! Sounds awesome! Now, I haven't tried the recipes yet, but I did finish the book and I have to say, I didn't love it. I think that reading Pure used up all my good book karma this past week. Out of the last 5 books I've read I loved Pure, A Fatal Grace was okay, hated Evernight and Killer and this one were just meh. But it happens, right? **slight spoilers ahead** The killer ultimately was a surprise because they weren't even offered up as a suspect and there was no backstory given on them. When revealed though, it didn't really feel like a 'wow' twist. It felt like a 'what the heck?' out of left field kind of twist. I like to be able to have a chance to figure out the mystery and wonder how they pulled it off. And the killer's motive was an interesting one so it's kind of sad it wasn't elaborated much. I also didn't care for Libby much. Control yourself a bit woman! Food, her emotions, nothing. She would just blurt out the absolute wrong thing to say all the time. Then there were things like Bernie saying to herself how she truly believes people can change. Then 5 pages later Libby is asking Bernie if she thinks people can change and she says 'absolutely not'. Huh? I will read the second book because there was enough her, enough about Libby, Bernie and their father for me to be interesting in finding out more. And the book wasn't horrible it was just okay. Maybe it will get better? Plus, I got the second book for free and that's why I had to find this one at the library. So I reserve judgement on the series until I finish at least the next one. Stay tuned....

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kim j

    I got this ebook for practically nothing & I am glad because it is not worth full price or any price. I am a fast reader & this book took forever to read. I found excuses to not read it--cleaning, cooking, shopping, even an agonizing medical procedure over this book. It has potential & I kept thinking that something good would happen but no because I usually toss the bad ones out pretty quick. I like the characters Bernie, Libby & Sean but they lacked background info that adds to the story. I li I got this ebook for practically nothing & I am glad because it is not worth full price or any price. I am a fast reader & this book took forever to read. I found excuses to not read it--cleaning, cooking, shopping, even an agonizing medical procedure over this book. It has potential & I kept thinking that something good would happen but no because I usually toss the bad ones out pretty quick. I like the characters Bernie, Libby & Sean but they lacked background info that adds to the story. I liked that they did investigate not like other cozies that the characters do nothing & fall into finding the killer. Not sure if I will read the next one--maybe if free or under a dollar. Not impressive but it gives me hope that if crap like this can get published maybe I can???

  19. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I was surprised by the low ratings I saw. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought that it was unique in the fact that we don't have just one sleuth but two. A sister team that has two distinctive personalities but actually care about each other, unlike some that I've read. I love how Bernie starts rambling about any info that she has stored in her brain, sometimes driving people crazy. The only drawback I had was when it was figured out who did it, I was a little lost. I don't know if I missed I was surprised by the low ratings I saw. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought that it was unique in the fact that we don't have just one sleuth but two. A sister team that has two distinctive personalities but actually care about each other, unlike some that I've read. I love how Bernie starts rambling about any info that she has stored in her brain, sometimes driving people crazy. The only drawback I had was when it was figured out who did it, I was a little lost. I don't know if I missed some clues, or if they just weren't there. Still it was a fun read and I will continue on with the series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Love the story. Look forward to the next one. I this story two cool sisters team up to run a catering gig, but also solve a murder. I must have missed any clues, because I was surprised as to how it ended. I dislike Bernie. She was a walking encyclopedia.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sheri Kempton

    This was a fun murder mystery much like the Aurora Teagarden mysteries or the Garage Sale mysteries. It was quick to read, the characters were likable, and it was amusing at times. I am definitely planning on continuing with this cozy mystery series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Not as good as the Fourth Of July one but decent. It annoys me how the author gives no description of the characters like how old they are or what they look like.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alison (Lady Coffin) S

    These two sisters and their retired father as a sidekick make for a fun story. Look forward to reading others in this series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Two sisters become a team in a store and catering business plus as amateur sleuths. Bernadette Simmons arrives at home in New York after fleeing a cheating boyfriend in Los Angeles with just the clothes on her back. She turns to her sister, Libby who runs A Little Taste of Heaven store and catering business while caring for their father who is wheelchair bound. Bernadette joins Libby helping at a catered reunion party. All is going along fine til the host takes a drink of bottled water then drops ove Two sisters become a team in a store and catering business plus as amateur sleuths. Bernadette Simmons arrives at home in New York after fleeing a cheating boyfriend in Los Angeles with just the clothes on her back. She turns to her sister, Libby who runs A Little Taste of Heaven store and catering business while caring for their father who is wheelchair bound. Bernadette joins Libby helping at a catered reunion party. All is going along fine til the host takes a drink of bottled water then drops over dead. The sisters will work together to find the culprit who spoiled the event. Another murder occurs....is it related to the first? If so how? Come along with the delicious treat giving sisters as they interview a cast of hometown, quirky, well defined suspects. Love the relationship between the sisters and the caring they gave their Dad. Recipes at the end for: Caviar Mousse, Tomato Aspic, Mesclun Salad with Goat Cheese, Blood Oranges, and Toasted Almonds in a Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, Midnight Beef (Black Pepper-coated Beef Tenderloin), Au Gratin Potatoes, Finger Bone Cookies (Kranserkaker) and Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Mocha Frosting.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karen M

    Light cozy mystery, one you can cuddle up with on a cold night. Perfect fit for me. I do love my cozies. This one I liked but I did not fall in love with it. We meet Libby the hardworking, creative owner of a local bakery and catering business. We also meet Bernie, Libby’s sister, who has returned to their home in Longely via cab from the airport with no money and only the clothes she has on. Libby pays off Bernie’s cab and now we get see the sisterly dynamic, or so we think. Who is the screw up? Light cozy mystery, one you can cuddle up with on a cold night. Perfect fit for me. I do love my cozies. This one I liked but I did not fall in love with it. We meet Libby the hardworking, creative owner of a local bakery and catering business. We also meet Bernie, Libby’s sister, who has returned to their home in Longely via cab from the airport with no money and only the clothes she has on. Libby pays off Bernie’s cab and now we get see the sisterly dynamic, or so we think. Who is the screw up? Who is the sensible one? Or are they interchangeable? All very good questions. Well drawn characters living in a small town. Murders occur, someone is accused and our two protagonists set out to solve the case. Nothing very unusual about the storyline but I did like the lead characters so I probably will give the author another try in the future. I know this was the first book in the author’s series so that’s why I might try again since first books are not always indicative of just how good a writer is or becomes. I won this ebook in a First Reads giveaway. Thank you to Kensington Publishing and Isis Crawford.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    This is the first in a series of mysteries where I've read some of the later books, but it was fine on its own.. Bernie Simmons returns to Longely, NY from her glamorous life in Los Angeles after she comes home to find her boyfriend in bed with her best friend. She finds her sister Libby busy preparing a big catering job for her high school class reunion. Though it's summertime, the theme is Halloween, since they are honoring a classmate who has hit the big time with his novels about a vampire. W This is the first in a series of mysteries where I've read some of the later books, but it was fine on its own.. Bernie Simmons returns to Longely, NY from her glamorous life in Los Angeles after she comes home to find her boyfriend in bed with her best friend. She finds her sister Libby busy preparing a big catering job for her high school class reunion. Though it's summertime, the theme is Halloween, since they are honoring a classmate who has hit the big time with his novels about a vampire. When that classmate dies after drinking water from a bottle provided by the caterers, things get serious fast. While Libby and Bernie try to clear their names, and that of one of Libby's friends, they get some help from their father, the former police chief in the town who can still use some of his connections. But mostly they have to sweeten the suspects with treats from their family bakery to get any useful information. This was well-done, and I found the reveal of the murderer especially surprising.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Bernie Simmons comes back to her hometown after a breakup and just in time to help her sister, Libby. Libby is overwhelmed with their family store, A Taste of Heaven, along with the catering business. There's nothing like stories and acquaintances from the past and Bernie and Libby cater a party in honor of Laird Wrenn, old classmate,and vampire wanna-be turned author. Only, Laird drops dead and Libby's friend is suspect number one. Along with Bernie and Libby, their dad, a retired police cheif, Bernie Simmons comes back to her hometown after a breakup and just in time to help her sister, Libby. Libby is overwhelmed with their family store, A Taste of Heaven, along with the catering business. There's nothing like stories and acquaintances from the past and Bernie and Libby cater a party in honor of Laird Wrenn, old classmate,and vampire wanna-be turned author. Only, Laird drops dead and Libby's friend is suspect number one. Along with Bernie and Libby, their dad, a retired police cheif, investigate. Things get complicated with additional suspects and motives, but until the end, it's anyone's guess.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan Clark

    Still confused I hate to give low scores, but a better editor would have helped. Between two paragraphs the setting, days, and characters change without ANY warning. A simple symbol or additional spacing would have solved that dilemma. The female characters were especially too similar to differentiate, even the main ones. Now that i read the book, I’m still clueless on too many points to enumerate. There are two interesting fleshed-out characters: Sean the dad, and Rob. I really wanted to like th Still confused I hate to give low scores, but a better editor would have helped. Between two paragraphs the setting, days, and characters change without ANY warning. A simple symbol or additional spacing would have solved that dilemma. The female characters were especially too similar to differentiate, even the main ones. Now that i read the book, I’m still clueless on too many points to enumerate. There are two interesting fleshed-out characters: Sean the dad, and Rob. I really wanted to like this book. Sadly, i’m just glad I finished it. I guess

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen Hufman

    I enjoyed this - maybe I was just in the mood for a stereotypical cozy mystery! Bernie is moving back to her hometown after a disastrous end to a relationship where she sets to work with her sister Libby in the cafe started by their mom. During an affair that they are hired to cater, the guest of honor, a NYT bestselling author of vampire books drops dead during the speech. The amount of characters could sometimes be confusing and they insinuated a lot of things about the deceased which I never I enjoyed this - maybe I was just in the mood for a stereotypical cozy mystery! Bernie is moving back to her hometown after a disastrous end to a relationship where she sets to work with her sister Libby in the cafe started by their mom. During an affair that they are hired to cater, the guest of honor, a NYT bestselling author of vampire books drops dead during the speech. The amount of characters could sometimes be confusing and they insinuated a lot of things about the deceased which I never think they really explained but it was still easy and enjoyable to read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    A really enjoyable light read, akin to the Peacock Emporium with a return to a hometown and an odd father/daughter arrangement. My one complaint is the large amount of character names used. I think 10 were introduced in the first chapter and it took a second to put names to people correctly. Character-wise I loved Libby despite Bernie being more my style, she ends up growing into her skin throughout the novel.

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