Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Death At Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon
Now that they are retired, two old friends decide they would make good traveling companions. Maggie Detweiler was the head of a prestigious private school while her old friend, Hope Babbin is a wealthy socialite. Eager to test their compatibility, they sign up for a cooking school at a quaint Maine inn and head off. The surroundings are wonderful and the cooking school is marvelous. Everything is proceeding satisfactorily when trouble arrives in the form of obnoxious guests.
Alexander and Lisa Antippas are loud and obnoxious, using their wealth to bully others and make demands of everyone around while constantly fighting. Lisa's sister, Gloria, an actress, accompanies them. They are the kind of guest whom everyone notices and clears out of the room for, murmuring to each other about how unpleasant they are. After a family tragedy strikes, the other guests try to make allowances but it is difficult to find empathy for such obnoxious people.
The tension mounts when Alexander's body is discovered. The deputy sheriff arrives, and to everyone's surprise, turns out to be Hope's long estranged son. Buster Babbin has floundered a bit in life, but has to his own surprise, found his standing in this small town where a sheriff is more of a community representative than a hardcore law and order person. He starts to investigate, but Alexander's wealth and power insure that the state investigators turn up and try to take over. Can Buster, with the help of Maggie and Hope, solve the mystery?
Beth Gutcheon has written a charming first entry in a new detective series. The two women bring years of experience with observing human nature mixed with wry humor while Buster reveals hidden depths. The reader will be interested in how events play out and close the back cover with a feeling of satisfaction. This book is recommended for mystery readers.