It's the week before Thanksgiving, and business is bounteous for Trudie and Zach's catering company, A Fine Fix, beginning with a posh art exhibit at the prestigious Christine Dugan Gallery. When the guest list includes art connoisseurs, wealthy collectors, and prominent socialites, not to mention a well-respected art critic from The Washington Post, a successful event can only mean future bookings. But the discovery of a gruesome murder brings the high-class evening to a screeching halt. In the days that follow, Trudie faces a cornucopia of troubles as her curiosity lands her in plenty of hot gravy. Not even her new canine friend, Zeus, can protect her against threats to her life or keep the killer off her trail. Trying to get her footing and find the murderer is like walking through a sweet potato casserole. Trudie has seen how deadly art can be, and now she's a sitting duck. Recipes Included.
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My heart began to rise like a pop over in the oven
Some cozy mysteries can be superb, with a simple story, great characters and dialogue, and sense of time and place. Others are just - cozy. This one falls somewhere in the middle. There are some great characters, at times reasonably developed, and the idea of a catering company allows for overhearing evidence in passing conversation. The story itself was rather silly, but then, this is a 'cozy'. It would probably make a delightful T.V. adaptation with actors fully entering into the lives of the characters and enhancing their personalities. An enjoyable frivolous evening's entertainment along the lines of Midsommer Murders.
Unfortunately, the overacting of the narrator, whose voice changes from cloying sweetness to angry bull at the slightest opportunity, increased the sense of silliness. At one point, she even sounds like a cackling witch: the character being voiced might be unpleasant, possibly getting close to insanity, but ... A pity because Kirstin James has a very pleasant sounding voice, if one with a strange intonation, and her repertoire of voices seems potentially huge. But this story would have been much better if delivered in a less frenetic way. Better to read the printed book.
As a special tasty treat, the final chapters give seven recipes for various dishes, including the tomato based drink, Bloody Mary, and tasty dog biscuits, as mentioned in the book. My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me a copy of Fine Arts, via Audiobook Boom, and whilst I have been critical of it, I did find the light-hearted story fun at times and especially warmed to the other half of the catering company, Zak.
- Norma Miles