The Tell-Tale Tarte Book Review

The Tell-Tale Tarte Book Review

Title: The Tell-Tale Tarte (A Five-Ingredient Mystery)
Author: Maya Corrigan
Published: June 27, 2017, Kensington
No. of Pages: 304
Cover Price: $30.99 Hardcover, $7.19 Paperback, $5.99 Kindle

Restaurant manager, Val Deniston is back in the fourth book of the Five-Ingredient Mystery series, The Tell-Tale Tarte by Maya Corrigan. While Val is leaving the mall with her friend, she sees a man collapse and runs to help him. She notices that he is dressed just like her Granddad has been dressing, and later learns that the victim is an actor and Edgar Allen Poe impersonator. As usual, Granddad has been up to something, and has been very secretive about it; Val learns that he has been hired to impersonate a local writer, Rick Usher, who writes books based on those of Poe. She also learns that the man who collapsed at the mall was murdered, and she is afraid that her Granddad may be next. Val’s boyfriend, Gunnar, has been trying to get into acting and not only knew the victim, but also had an argument with him the night before he died. That, of course, makes him a suspect and Val knows she must find the murderer before Gunnar is found guilty of murder.

Something that makes this series unique is that each novel has five suspects, five clues, and five-ingredient recipes. While the books can be classified as culinary mysteries, and are also considered cozies, which are generally fast moving, fun, and devoid of graphic sex, violence, and language, there is building suspense throughout. Val quit her lucrative job in New York to move in with her Granddad, who is getting older and needs a bit of guidance. Granddad is quite eccentric, and is also stubborn, so Val has her work cut out for her. She is also trying to help Granddad edit his new cookbook (he is a local television personality on a cooking show and uses Val’s recipes since he really can’t cook), and expand her restaurant, The Cool-Down Café. The main characters are interesting, but the relationships between them seem a bit flat, especially between Val and Gunnar. However, the story moves fast, and in this novel, the references to Poe are true-to-form and also fascinating.

For those who appreciate culinary mysteries, and especially the recipes and references to food, this is a fun series. The Tell-Tale Tarte is a good fast-read, and can be appreciated by food junkies of all ages. Incidentally, the Warm Chocolate Tart is decadent.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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