Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: Death at Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (May 10 2016)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B014PT1RN0

Book Description

 From the acclaimed author of Still Missing, More Than You Know, and Gossip comes the first entry in a stylish and witty mystery series featuring a pair of unlikely investigators—a shrewd novel of manners with a dark heart of murder at its center, set in small-town New England.

Retired New York City private school head Maggie Detweiler and her old friend, society matron Hope Babbin, are off on a weeklong vacation to Maine, to visit Hope’s son and attend a master cooking class at the picturesque Oquossoc Mountain Inn. The worst tragedy they anticipate is a boring fellow guest or a fallen soufflé.

But their quiet idyll is disrupted by the arrival at the inn of a boorish couple, Alexander and Lisa Antippas, and Lisa’s sister, Glory. Imperious Hollywood one-percenters, Alex and Lisa are also the parents of the latest pop sensation, teen icon Artemis. Discord enters with the family, closely followed by disaster. When a suspicious late-night fire at the inn is brought under control, Alex’s charred body is found in the ashes.

Enter the local deputy sheriff, Buster Babbin, who is Hope’s long-estranged son and a former student of Maggie’s. Buster needs a success, and Hope and Maggie, informed by a lifetime of observing human nature, coupled with a certain cynicism about small town justice and a healthy dose of curiosity, decide there is role for them to play here.

A psychological puzzle set in scenic small-town New England, Dead at Breakfast is a wickedly engaging entertainment from bestselling Beth Gutcheon.

About the Author

 Beth Gutcheon grew up in western Pennsylvania. She was educated at Harvard where she took an honors BA in English literature. She has spent most of her adult life in New York City, except for sojourns in San Francisco and on the coast of Maine. In 1978, she wrote the narration for a feature-length documentary on the Kirov ballet school, The Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Academy Award, and she has made her living fulltime as a storyteller (novelist and sometime screenwriter) since then. Her novels have been translated into fourteen languages, if you count the pirate Chinese edition of Still Missing, plus large print and audio format. Still Missing was made into a feature film called Without a Trace, and also published in a Reader’s Digest Condensed version which particularly pleased her mother. Several of her novels have been national bestsellers, including the most recent, Leeway Cottage. All of the novels are available in new uniform paperback editions from HarperPerennial.

My Review

Death at Breakfast is the first book in a new series by author Beth Gutcheon featuring retired New York City private school head Maggie Detweiler and her friend, society matron Hope Babbin. This is the first book that I have read by author Gutcheon.

In Death at Breakfast, we find Maggie and Hope settling into the Oquossoc Mountain Inn in Maine. They are going to be taking a week-long cooking class taught by a master chef. It is conveniently located near the home of Hope's son Buster, who is a deputy sheriff in the small town. Hope has not spent a lot of time with Buster as of late and is hoping to reconnect with him.

There are plenty of characters in Death at Breakfast. It was hard to narrow down who wanted guest Alexander Antippas dead the most. He was not a likeable person! 

Death at Breakfast is well written and an enjoyable mystery to read. I liked the Maine setting as well.

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