Maggie Detweiler has finally retired and she and her friend Hope are planning to do some traveling to celebrate. Their first trip is to the famed Oquossoc Mountain Inn - a small resort inn located in the tiny village of Oquossoc, Maine. The trip is in part to see how well the two of them will do together but also o enjoy the new cooking class being offered by Oquossoc's much talked about new chef.
But their little vacation turns into something of an adventure when the hotel catches fire and a fellow guest is found dead in his bed. A hotel employee is arrested under suspicion of arson and murder, but the two ladies aren't certain the police are really looking in the right place. Together they decide to launch their own investigation, one that could exonerate a young girl and reveal the killer's true identity and motives.
I'm so at odds with this book! When I dove into it over the weekend, bent on reading straight through in order to distract myself from the yucky weather outside, I was very much looking forward to it. I'd read Gutcheon's Gossip and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was definitely excited to see that not only did she have a new book due out but that it was to be the first in a new mystery series.
Unfortunately, the start of Death at Breakfast was more than a little rocky and I wasn't sure the two of us would hit it off. The mystery itself seemed silly and the characters weren't really grabbing my attention. What's more, the fluid and vibrant writing I'd so loved in Gossip was missing!
When I returned to the book the following day, reading in fits and starts during lulls in an all day dress rehearsal, my experience was somewhat different. I'd discovered that once the story took off, once the murder had taken place and the characters' investigation was under way, I was much more drawn into the tale. Perhaps it was simply because I needed a distraction, but I suspect it was more a matter of an underwhelming beginning and the recovery of the story gaining its footing. It never did wow me, though. Maggie and Hope never really took over as the fabulous leading ladies I'd hoped they would become and I'd figured out the killer and motive quite early on.
I'm glad Death at Breakfast wasn't a total wash but, thanks to my high expectations, it obviously wasn't what I'd hoped for.
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For more on Beth Gutcheon and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
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