As spring dawns in Alabama so does my need to read pure crap. I can while away entire weekends reading book upon book with sketchy plot lines, questionable narrators, and sometimes amateurish writing. This was one of those books.
Last summer in the height of my Kindle frenzy I got hooked on cheesy mysteries. Usually with a female lead. I was drawn to Melinda Welles because she was two books into a series and there I are times I am just lazy enough to get stuck on one author and read everything that is available in quick succession. Plus there was a black standard poodle on the cover. I know, I know.
In this, the third installment in the series, Della is pegged to judge a charity cooking competition. She is a widow of a cop turned cooking school instructor turned "celebrity" chef. During the competition one of her fellow judges is murdered and she, along with her best friend's daughter and her husband's partner, is suspected of committing the crime. The cast of characters include her publicist, her reporter boyfriend, her two female best friends, her best friends daughter and her husbands partner. They have been present in the other three novels and very comfortable. By that I mean, reading these books is like watching Cheers. You know everyone, you know what is going to happen but you keep at it because everyone is just likable.
While not written poorly per se, this book seemed a bit amateurish as I am sure the other two did as well. Cooking figures prominently and and there are the requisite recipes at the end. This set up seems to be a popular one in so far as two more books that I read by different authors had this mystery cooking here is your recipes vibe. Weird really, but I suppose it sells.
This series of books provide a good afternoon diversion. While mostly fluff, the plots are interesting enough to keep you turning the pages. So if cooking, dogs, and murder, and comfortable characters is your gig, oh maybe it you aren't a guy, pick these up.