Cozy mystery, The Chef at the Water’s Edge, by Kee Patterbee left me not knowing what to say first. The book is the first in the Twilight Mystery Series which quickly reached bestseller status. The main character, Hanna Starvling, has had consecutive careers, first as an FBI agent, a career that ended quickly due to an injury, then as a chef, and now as an private/amateur investigator.
World famous chef, Julia Karas was found dead at the edge of the water late at night. Although it was ruled an accident, no one believed she would have gone near the water alone, especially in the dark, due to her intense fear of the water.
Along with her two best friends, Hannah flies her plane to a festival in honor of Ms. Karas, who died a year ago. Since then, suspicions have arisen surrounding her death. They are guests of Louie, who is not only an overzealous fan, but a culinary school classmate of Julias, and is still in love with her. Louie is convinced Julia was murdered or faked her own death to escape a domineering husband, and asked Hannah to look into it.
This was a complex story line which I normally enjoy, but it got off to a slow start. Granted, the copy provided to me was the publisher’s proof copy. Still, there were so very many grammatical and punctuation errors, and improper word usage, it made reading very slow. I started the book, then put it down to read five others before I returned to it. Finally, at the end of chapter 13, it suddenly got much more interesting, and the pace picked up from there. It turned out to be a compelling mystery with a little romance thrown in. I can only hope the published version was improved.
What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
- Mis-used expressions: “begs the question” is not the same as “raises the question”.
- The inclusion of a lot of unnecessary text that makes the book longer, but adds nothing to the plot.
- Improper word usage: Only once was the word “further used correctly. It was frequently used instead of the correct “farther”. All too commonly, the word “loan” is used in place of the word “lend”. This is like chalk squeaking on a blackboard.