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A Deadly Eclair–weak in the deduction department

A Deadly Eclair

by Daryl Wood Gerber

A Deadly EclairThis is a book I really wanted to like. The main character Mimi is a nice and capable person. She owns a restaurant, Bistro Rousseau, and an inn, Maison Rousseau, in Napa Valley. This is a second chance at happiness in her personal life and success in business. She is an understanding boss who has hired an interesting staff. She is creative, has good taste, and is a lover of Impressionism.

As the story opens Mimi is preparing for an out-of-towners’ dinner party for a celebrity wedding also scheduled to take place at the inn. One of the best parts of the book is the presentation of delicious sounding gourmet items on the bistro’s menu. The book closes with recipes the characters have shared.

The focus of the mystery is a murder. When it occurs, Mimi turns into an amateur detective. Unfortunately she is a pretty bad one. She discretely interviews lots of potential suspects, many of whom are guests at her restaurant and inn. They lie to her and she takes what they say at face value and bases her theories on those lies. She also places far too much emphasis on trying to read people’s lips or watch their reactions. Then she draws conclusions willy nilly based on whole conversations that she mentally fabricates.

A Deadly Eclair has a great setting and interesting characters. Past that, I was disappointed in the plot and its resolution, which for me is not very believable.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #1 in the new French Bistro Mystery series

Publication:   November 7,  2017—Crooked Lane Books

Memorable Lines:

Next, I worked as sous chef to a celebrated chef—celebrated was code for crazy—at a snazzy restaurant.

A strong woman is one who is able to smile this morning like she didn’t cry last night.

Of course, there were a lot of ifs in my speculation.

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