A Deadly Éclair by Daryl Wood Gerber


A Deadly Éclair by Daryl Wood Gerber
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (340 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

When personal and financial troubles force Mimi Rousseau to return home instead of following her dreams, she gets the break of a lifetime – the opportunity to open her own French bistro. Everything is moving forward and her future’s looking bright until a murder disrupts quiet Nouvelle Vie. Who would have thought that a killer lurked in Napa Valley?

Cozy mysteries are a favorite of mine. You always get quirky, lovable characters, a few over-the-top oddballs, and a murder. A Deadly Éclair does not disappoint in any case. Mimi is charming and likable and I loved that she bounced ideas off her goldfish. Her mother is nutty and her best friend is the kind of friend every girl wishes she had. Another enticing aspect to this book for me was that it’s set in and around a French bistro and the adjoining inn. As an avid cook, reading about Mimi’s special of the day and the recipes the author included only gave me more motivation to read this charming novel.

Although I know someone always has to die in a cozy mystery, I was upset with the victim in this first book of the series. Even though you don’t get to know him very well before he’s murdered, I felt devastated by the news. That’s probably Mimi projecting onto me, but I was still surprised that someone I thought would be a major player turned out to be the victim.

A Deadly Éclair has everything a good cozy mystery needs: charming and off the wall characters, a unique setting, and a mystery in need of solving! Plus, assorted hijinks and a hint of a romance along the way to spice things up a bit. Although this is my first novel by the author, it definitely won’t be my last. I’m anxiously awaiting the next in this series. Can’t wait to see what Mimi and her crew get themselves into next.

Comments

  1. Oh my, a major player turning out to be a victim? I can understand being upset about it, but for someone reading your review, I’m like, okay, this is an author who isn’t afraid to do the unexpected! Great review!

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