Sunday, June 25, 2017

Crime Brulee

In Nancy Fairbanks's Crime Brulee, the first installment in the Carolyn Blue Culinary Cozy Mystery series, this debut would entice you with a compelling tale of betrayal. When Carolyn and her husband Jason had a dinner party with friends in the Big Easy, things got heated between Julienne Magnusson and her husband Nils. After that night, she never showed up and disappeared. For Carolyn, a 40-year-old mother of two and faculty wire, and now a food critic writer on the fine cuisine of New Orleans food, she's become a bit worried about her best friend. While she'd searched for sumptious food to try in New Orleans, she looked for clues everywhere her best friend Julienne could've went alone. Her husband thought she had an affair with another professor and ran off with him, while she had thought otherwise. She had a couple of mishaps along the way, she befriended a kind New Orleans police detective and reported her being accosted, mugged, pushed into the swamp, and then threatened by some unsavory characters. While she tried to track down her best friend's brother, she encouraged Nils to report her in, while she didn't give up to look for clues. Lo and behold, the tables have been turned against her, when she discovered who the true culprit was and how he managed to give her a rough time, while she had fought for her life, while she needed to get answers in this grim ending.

Although this novel had mixed reviews at Good Reads, due to the prose, and some grammar errors, and my late mother had read this series before she died, a few years ago, I had given this novel a fair chance with a fair rating of three stars. The pace was a bit slow and the inserted recipes in the middle of the chapters were a bit bothersome; they should've been add to the back of the book like other culinary cozies did. I did find Carolyn to be okay, though she was more interested to look for recipes at the same time to look for answers on what happened to her best friend. I did feel sorry for her flight and her best friend's boyfriend to be a bit insufferable at times. I did like most of the cast of characters as well and enjoyed the New Orleans scenic locations and visual settings in the French Quarter. This would make you salivate for the recipes and become enchanted in the New Orleans tale, while it would make you shake your head, grimace and groan, and wince a couple of times. This had good drama, non-stop action, suspense and intrigue, too.

Will you try Crime Brulee and take a whip at the recipes today?


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