I just finished reading the debut cozy mystery novel, A Caterer’s Guide to Love and Murder, at the request of the author, Jessica Thompson. I promised an honest review. The story is intriguing, and addresses several ethical and social issues. I appreciate it when authors weave important social issues into their novels. The characters step right off the page and into your imagination, but the grammar and punctuation need work.
Violet and Jake make a great team. She is an OCD caterer and he is a writer who helps with the heavy lifting of her catering jobs – and he can cook. Vi’s sister, Greta, is a bit of a drama queen, but is an excellent florist. Together they will cater the multi-event wedding celebration of Paul, a family friend, and Laurel. To secure the futures of both businesses, they absolutely must impress the elite members of Austin society.
At the first event, the rehearsal dinner, things go horribly wrong. The haughty and rude grandmother of the groom is poisoned, and Greta is arrested. No one liked the woman, so there are many who could have done it.
Violet is determined to find the killer and clear her sister’s name, even if it is dangerous for herself. The wedding is beautiful, then the groom is stabbed. What else could go wrong? Who would want to kill the groom?
This story has twists and turns that keep you guessing, but I was pretty sure I had it figured out about halfway through, and I did.
What made The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?
It was an ARC that I read, but for the last proof copy before publishing, it had a huge number of uncorrected errors. This excellent murder mystery deserved a far better editor and proofreader. Here’s what I found:
- Non-English words not italicized;
- A brand-name product not capitalized;
- A couple of misspelled words;
- Several instances of incorrect verb tense;
- Consistently referring to people as “that” rather than as “who”;
- Excessive and unnecessary use of the word “that”.