Monday, March 27, 2017

Death at Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon

I've read a few of Beth Gutcheon's novels, and loved her writing. This mystery is a bit of a departure from her usual style, and I thought I would give it a try. 

Two life-long friends, retired school head Maggie Detweiler and her friend socialite Hope Babbin take a trip to Maine for a cooking course at a resort. Hope's son Buster is a deputy sheriff in the area and they also plan on visiting with him while they're staying at the resort. 

Everything is going along well, until the Antippas family shows up at the resort, loud, annoying and crass. Alexander Antippas is a famous Hollywood mover and shaker, and the father of a young teen singer Artemis.  His wife Lisa and her sister Glory are less annoying and just want to have some peace and quiet. 

All that ends swiftly when a fire breaks out at the resort late one night.  Alexander is found dead in the ashes. There are so many people around that could have murdered him, it's going to take some time to figure out just who disliked him so much that they wanted him dead.  

Maggie and Hope, along with the other guests, are stuck at the resort for a few days until everyone is investigated. Cherry, the front desk clerk, is quickly arrested and charged with arson and murder. She's an unlucky young lady who argued with the owner of the resort, and was on the receiving end of Alexander's rudeness the night he came to the resort. She's got motive and, unfortunately, a detective who's quick to accuse and solve the murder. 

But, of course, there is more to the mystery. Maggie and Hope decide to do a little detective work on their own, with the reluctant help of Buster. It's just too pat that Cherry did it.  So who did do it? And was Alexander alive at the time of the fire, or did the murderer try to cover it up and make it look like an accident?

There were interesting parts to this mystery; the actual how and why are good.  But, I felt like this just dragged on and on; it took me weeks to read this, and it should have only taken me a few days. I was disappointed.  I did like Maggie and Hope; I'm sure there will be more mysteries with these two intelligent, connected, and delightful women. Somehow this mystery missed the mark with me.  

Rating:  2/6 for a mystery that had some interesting potential, but I felt it dragged on too long and had me going in too many distracting directions.  

Available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook. 

1 comment :

  1. I have been reading mysteries lately to ease my literary fiction tired mind. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.