Roux the Day
A Dinner Club Mystery, Book #2
By Linda Wiken
Author Website: www.lindawiken.com
Event planner Jennifer “J.J.” Tanner is planning a cruise ship casino night–and she’s really going overboard. She even arranged for radio DJ Connor Mac and TV personality Miranda Myers to help the good times roll. But the party comes to a screeching halt when Miranda is found dead on the main deck…
With a boatload of suspects, the police focus in on J.J., who, though recently linked with Connor, never knew he was once engaged–to Miranda. With Half Moon Bay’s gossip mill running full tilt, J.J. turns to her fellow dinner club members to help fish for clues and keep herself out of hot water…(Goodreads)
Roux the Day is a deliciously entertaining cozy mystery with plenty of suspects and talk about food.
Everything is going well at a casino night themed fundraiser on a boat until one of the emcees, TV journalist Miranda Myers, is found stabbed to death. Incurably curious, event planner J.J. feels compelled to look into things, especially since her friend, and occasional date partner, Connor is the focus of the police. Not only is Connor the other event emcee, but he was once engaged to Miranda. When Connor disappears, J.J. and the other members of her dinner club do what they can to find Connor and clear his name.
Though I have not yet read the first book in the Dinner Club mystery series, I had no trouble catching up with the recurring characters and the setting. I like J.J. She is loyal to her friends, and her nosiness works its spell on those she investigates. I do think that her detecting premise of “I planned the event where the victim died; talk to me” is a little forced, and I personally do not think that is enough to get people to spill their guts. The other members of the dinner club add variety to the background of the story, and I look forward to getting to know them, especially Beth the retired teacher café owner. Private investigator Ty might be my favorite character of the bunch. He is J.J.’s love interest (sort of), but I appreciate his “take” on the investigation and his sense of humor. His ability to cook only adds to his appeal. Since Connor is absent, yet the focus, of so much of this book, I do not feel like I got to know him, and his appeal remains a mystery to me. I did get terribly tired of J.J.’s continuous denial that he was her boyfriend.
The mystery itself starts out strong. However, the resolution comes a bit out of left field, and thus I feel a little unsatisfied. Perhaps I missed a big, pertinent clue somewhere earlier in the story. There are plenty of suspects, including Miranda’s rival at the TV station, her assistant, her sister-in-law, her brother’s political campaign manager, and the idea that she is a part of a bigger plot against the television station. Everyone’s involvement and motivation is viable, and I could see any of them as the perpetrator. There is a subplot involving petty thefts at Beth’s café, and I expected it to somehow tie into Miranda’s murder, but no.
Of course, I enjoy the talk about food. How can you have a dinner club themed series without lots of food references? The group picks a cookbook as an inspiration for each get together, and I was tickled to see they focused on a cookbook that I own, The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Its focus prompted me to pull it off the shelf and pick a recipe to make. For readers who do not have the cookbook, there are recipes included at the end of the book.
I enjoyed Roux the Day and will definitely continue reading the series. I recommend it to readers who enjoy culinary cozy mysteries and those who like a group of folks investigating.