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March Cozy Mystery Book Review: A Deadly Éclair by Daryl Wood Gerber

culinary cozy mystery, cozy mystery book review
A Deadly Eclair by Daryl Wood Gerber

March madness is upon us and this month, the cozy mystery book review is “A Deadly Éclair” by Daryl Wood Gerber.

Remember, if you haven't gotten your cozy mystery reading challenge guide, get it here. Or, if you want to read about the rules of how I'll review a cozy mystery book, read it here.

Now that that’s out of the way, read on for my review:

Title: A Deadly Eclair

Series: Yes (Book One)

Author: Daryl Wood Gerber

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 7, 2017)

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Pages: 320

Published: November 7, 2017

Average Amazon Rating: 4.5. 65% gave it five-stars, 26% gave it four-stars.

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.02


It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Until her best friend Jorianne James introduces her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker who invests in promising prospects. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

The wedding will be the talk of the town, as famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as her perfect venue. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner, but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until six AM rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven in Bryan’s will.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair, the scrumptious series debut by Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber.

My Take on the Book:

If you’re a fan of culinary cozy mysteries, I’m pretty sure that you’ll enjoy this book. There are numerous descriptions of delectable treats sprinkled throughout the book and, at the end, the recipes are ready and waiting for anyone that fell in love with a particular dish.

To be honest, this book took me a little bit to get into. There was so much going on at the rehearsal dinner that I had a little bit of trouble keeping up with who was who and who was meeting up with who. However, isn’t that what happens at weddings? Craziness with many side dramas? Once the actual rehearsal dinner was finished, things calmed down and I found it easier to follow along.

There were a lot of suspects sprinkled throughout the book, which kept me guessing as to whom could be the murderer. I didn’t figure out who the murderer was until about halfway through the book.

An underlying theme threaded through the story, which I enjoyed. It discussed love lost/love found and it actually melded well with the motive of the murder.

Humour: There was a little bit of humour in the book. It definitely isn’t one of the funniest books that I’ve read but I don’t think that the author was trying to be funny. I think the main focus was more on the culinary experiences, the Napa Valley scenery and wine industry as well as the theme of love.

Romance: There were actually quite a few romances blossoming throughout the book, which adheres to the book’s underlying theme of love that I had talked about earlier. The main character is getting over her previous relationship as well as finding new love with another character named Nash. In addition, a few other characters are discovering love or trying to heal from previous relationships.

Violence: There is no violence whatsoever in this book. The victim is discovered with an éclair stuffed in their mouth as well as some jewels scattered around so it’s quite clean.

Small Town Description: Napa Valley. Daryl Wood Gerber does a great job of describing the Napa Valley and you really get a feel for the area.

My final Rating: Although it took me a while to get into the book, it was enjoyable. I appreciated the recipes at the end of the book and I’ll have to give them a try. Again, if you love culinary cozy mysteries, you’ll probably love this book. Most of the reviews online couldn’t stop raving about the delicious recipes so you can’t go wrong with that! I give it four stars.

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