Book Report: And Murder for Dessert

Kathleen Delaney‘s latest mystery novel, And Murder for Dessert (Poisoned Pen Press, 2007), provides the riveting twists and turns whodunit fans expect from their reading material. However, don’t expect spine-tingling of hair-raising from the start — the mystery at the heart of this book doesn’t come into play until seven chapters and nearly 60 pages in. For a 241-page novel, that’s a lot of plot setup to wade through.

Dessert is the story of sassy realtor Ellen McKenzie whose life in California wine country is just about perfect. She’s nearly recovered from a bad marriage and is in love with a great guy. But, just as she’s about to start planning her wedding (and, truth be told, she’s having cold feet), her niece Sabrina and Sabrina’s moody husband Mark appear on the scene. Sabrina and Mark are trying to get their careers back on track by running the Silver Springs Winery, but things go downhill fast when hot-headed head chef Otto turns up dead and floating in a fermenting tank.

From there, it’s a heart-pumping maze of misplaced clues, suspicious associations, former boyfriends and culinary adventures.

Press for Dessert describes it as the perfect book for anyone who loves a good mystery and a good bottle of wine,” though in actuality there’s little of true foodie interest. It’s set in a winery, there are mentions of a chocolate mousse and many of the characters prove handy in the kitchen. But a Monsieur Pamplemousse culinary mystery by Michael Bond this is not.

Delaney, it’s worth noting, is a retired real-estate agent who now writes full time. Since her children are all grown, she recently relocated to Gaffney, N.C., where she lives with her dogs — dogs who no doubt inspire the animal co-stars in her books.

Kathleen gives a reading and book signing at Malaprops on Saturday, April 12. The 7 p.m. event is free, and also includes local mystery author Hal McDonald, who will read from his recently published novel The Anatomists. Info: 254-6734.

—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.