January 24, 2012
A Brisket, A Casket by Delia Rosen
Gwen, after a divorce and leaving New York, ends up with her Uncle's deli in Tennessee. Things aren't going so well though, especially when one of her most famous patrons ends up dead on her floor on karaoke night. Then soon after, someone is after her life as well. Its hard enough running a struggling business but she has to contend with a sleazy lawyer trying to buy her out too. Its not what she envisioned for her life, but if her life is going to be any longer, she's going to have to get this mystery solved fast. And to her surprise, she may have some new love interests as well.
I didn't like Gwen. She was seemingly obsessed about a few things, cigarettes and smoking. And not a lot else was really said about her except in regards to her connection with her Uncle. Who sounds like he would have been a much better character. She just wasn't very personable or even a character I'd say I'd care about. The side characters weren't that enthusing either, with perhaps the exception of the Detective. But he didn't get that much book time. He at least was a believable likable character, even if the rest weren't as enjoyable.
The mystery went from being what I thought would be easy to solve, to having a surprise twist. But there wasn't really any way to figure it out on your own, or at least not any clues that I was good enough to catch. Which kind of takes the fun out of it, I don't want it to be too easy, but I don't want it to be impossible either. Well, at least they threw in some recipes. That went a long way to helping the book along, in addition to some kitchen tips too. But the combination of not so enthusing mystery and unlikable characters really brought this book down.
Not my favorite and I probably won't seek out the other books by this author. There are plenty of other foodie mysteries to keep me busy.
A Brisket, A Casket