A Slice of Murder Book Review

A Slice of Murder Book Review

Title: A Slice of Murder
Author: Chris Cavender
Published: 2009, Kensington Books
No. of Pages: 354
Cover Price: $6.99 US

A Slice of Murder is the first in a continuing series of culinary mysteries by author Chris Cavender. The main character, Eleanor Swift, is the owner of A Slice of Delight in the small town of Timber Ridge, North Carolina, where everyone knows everyone, and nothing stays a secret for long. The story starts when Eleanor delivers a pizza on her way home, and discovers that the customer, Richard Olsen, has been stabbed. When the police arrive, Kevin Hurley, the police chief, who is an old high school boyfriend of Eleanor, and who has been married to Eleanor’s nemesis for years, decides she is a suspect. Everyone in the community, including Kevin Hurley, knows that Eleanor slapped Richard Olsen at the Harvest Festival when he came on to her, and that makes her even more of a suspect. Since almost everyone in town suspects that she is, in fact, the murderer, business at the pizzeria has dwindled to almost nothing. So, Eleanor and her sister, Maddy (and right-hand employee) set out to find the real murderer so that Eleanor is no longer a suspect, and also to save her business.

Although the suspense in this novel, which is a cozy, isn’t as intense as in some mainstream thrillers, the reader always feels like something is going to happen to Eleanor and, since she spends most of her time following leads, many of those leads could prove dangerous. Eleanor is a widow who is still in love with her late husband, and is pursued by some eligible admirers, who aren’t totally trustworthy. There are several other characters who may turn out to be the murderer, and Eleanor interacts with them as if they were totally trusted friends, which adds to the suspense. There are some parts of the novel where Eleanor is in danger, and she's clueless, adding even more to the suspense. Of course, she finds the murderer, but may not live to tell.

As is typical of most cozies, there is no graphic violence, and even though there is a murder, the gruesome details of the murder scene are not spelled out. Thriller aficionados who prefer to read all the gory details, may want to skip this novel, however, it is a fast read, and it’s a good thing, since pizza and other items on the restaurant menu are described so often, most readers will need to call their local pizza delivery to supply a pizza while finishing the book. Luckily there is a recipe for pizza and dough, so if inclined, readers can make their own pizza.

A Slice of Murder is well-written, easy to understand, and fun to read. It is recommended for those readers who like suspense, but not a lot of violence or strong language. The scenarios are also fairly predictable, so this novel may not be for those hard-core readers who demand edge-of-your-seat surprise throughout the entire novel.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: A Slice of Murder (Pizza Lover's Mysteries)

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