Chef Maurice and the Bunny-Boiler Bake Off
Chef Maurice Mysteries #3
By J A Lang
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
They say all’s Fayre in love and baking…
Spring has sprung, the bunting is up, and for the residents of the little Cotswold village of Beakley, this can only mean one thing: it’s time for the Beakley Spring Fayre.
Drawing the crowds this year is stiletto-strutting celebrity chef Miranda Matthews, a woman for whom making enemies is a piece of (shop-bought) cake. And one of them is lurking around the Fayre, ready to make sure Miranda hangs up her apron—for good.
Faced with a murderer with a possible penchant for top(ping) chefs, Chef Maurice must sift through the clues and weigh up the suspects—not to mention contending with a sous-chef with mummy issues, a food critic on a diet, and a bulletproof pudding—as he finds himself on the trail of a killer who’s not cooking by the rules…(Goodreads)
Death once again comes to Beakley village, and Chef Maurice is on the case. I love Chef Maurice.
Spring is in full bloom in the quaint Cotswold village of Beakley, and everyone is excited about the Spring Fayre and baking competition…except Chef Maurice. He has lost his spot at the judges table to celebrity “chef” Miranda Matthews. When Miranda is found dead at the fayre, it quickly becomes apparent that what skill she lacked in the kitchen she more than made up for in making enemies. Chef Maurice and his long-suffering best friend and food critic Arthur make it their mission to unmask the killer. Throw in some blackmail, a spurned ex-co-host, a head mistress with a secret, and the demise of domestic bliss, and you have a laugh-out-loud sweet romp.
There is nothing subtle or covert about Chef Maurice. He and Arthur blatantly insinuate themselves in the investigation. I can’t help but feel sorry for Constable Lucy, but I do wonder how far she would get on her own, especially since she is distracted by the prospect of sous chef Patrick leaving town. It is sometimes difficult to decide if Maurice is more help or hindrance.
There are plenty of suspects to consider and enough red herrings to keep me guessing, and second guessing, throughout. I will admit that the final “reveal” came as a bit of a surprise, a relatively rare occurrence in my reading. The characters are all quirky in their own ways and loveable. I could not help but root for Lucy and Patrick as they fumble through their romance. My only complaint is there was not enough Hamilton, the micro pig.
I thoroughly enjoyed Chef Maurice and the Bunny-Boiler Bake Off and recommend it to fans of the series and those looking for a light hearted, humorous cozy mystery.