A Supper Club Mystery
By Ellery Adams
Author’s Website: elleryadamsmysteries.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Librarian James Henry and his supper club sleuths will take a trip down memory lane searching for clues that will help catch a killer . . .
When the cast of the old Hearth and Home TV show gather for a twenty-fifth reunion at a local bed-and-breakfast where the show was filmed, the townsfolk are thrilled to meet the actors and relive their memories of a simpler time. Their nostalgic mood is broken, though, by an ambitious real estate developer who has also come to Quincy’s Gap with an eye toward turning the quiet town into the South’s hottest new tourist destination. Tensions are boiling over, and when the developer gets a little too sauced one night at the B&B and turns up dead the next morning, James and the supper club will have to put aside their distaste for the victim to help nab the culprit.
It looks like an open-and-shut case, but James and his friends are convinced the main suspect is innocent and promise to help get her out of hot water. Dividing their time between the investigation and the reunion festivities, they’re shocked to discover that members of the cast are guarding some very unsavory secrets. With time running out before the actors leave town and the trail of clues goes stale, the supper club will have to turn up the heat on a suspicious character before the killer serves up another murder.
I am happy to continue with the series, A Supper Club Mystery, with James Henry – the town librarian and his supper club crew in Pasta Mortem – the seventh book in the series. I have always enjoyed this series and am happy to report that I enjoyed this book as well. The story centres around James Henry, the impending birth of his second child and of course the struggles with weight loss of the Supper Club members. Oh – and of course – the solving of a murder 🙂
Pasta Mortem fuses current time with events that happened in the past. The story is set just before Valentine’s day and the anticipated birth of James Henry’s second child – a daughter. Quincy’s Gap is the scene of a 25-year reunion of the television show ‘Hearth and Home’. All the original cast members come to town and stay at the B&B where the show was actually filmed. To muddy the waters, a money hungry real estate developer/mogul also comes to town – wanting to make Quincy’s Gap the next hot tourist town! Needless to say, the two groups mix like oil and vinegar. Much to the chagrin of the Supper Club – a murder occurs (the real estate mogul is the victim) and when one of their own, Murphy Alistair, is charged with the crime – the Supper Club members find it hard to believe (regardless of her past shenanigans) that she would murder someone. So what do they do – get on the case to find the real killer and prove that Murphy is innocent (at least of this murder anyways).
I found the murder investigation by the Supper Club well thought out with many twists and turns. Additionally, the integration of James’ current life events very well done. There are a number of side stories which added further depth to the book overall and I was intrigued to see how each storyline would play out.
I quite enjoyed one of the mundane story threads – James having a barely running vehicle and a reluctance to give up on the car. It still runs after all. But with a very pregnant wife, he had to face reality didn’t he? The ole Bronco was nearing its end of life. I felt that James’ reluctance to trade it in and get a bigger vehicle had more to do with him staying in his comfort zone with the family the way it was (himself, his wife and their son) and not specifically with the actual vehicle itself. Life was changing all around him with the new baby and at least he could control when to obtain a new car. By the way – really enjoyed the new mobile mechanic – Ace. He was priceless.
The cast members of ‘Hearth and Home’ provided a wide variety of suspects. The intertwining of their lives, both past and present, certainly added depth to the story as well as many possible red herrings???
This reader also got a bit more in-depth look at Lindy’s “new” newlywed life and what (or should I say who) is giving her and her husband Luis so much grief. The problem solving there worked out – providing a mini – happily ever after (or let’s hope so). I did enjoy the smattering of updates on the lives of the remainder of the Supper Club members, even though the prominent protagonist was James.
Definitely another enjoyable story to the Supper Club Mystery series. And the chuckles I got over their seemingly feeble attempts at dieting (the diet de jour – Mediterranean diet). I feel their pain. Diet is after all a bad four letter word (at least in my world).
A definite plus for Pasta Mortem, I did not figure out “whodunit” until the end. And once it was revealed, I thought, why did I not think of this person? Way to go! Keep this reader guessing. I cannot wait to go back and read a couple of other titles in this series that I have missed. 🙂
*OBS would like to thank the author for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*