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A Caterer's Guide to Love and Murder, by Jessica Thompson

Maria is a book reviewer, editor, and proofreader, as well as a master of public health, master gardener, photographer, artist, and writer.


I read the debut cozy mystery novel, A Caterer's Guide to Love and Murder, at the request of the author, Jessica Thompson, who I have learned is quite the baker in addition to being an author. I promised an honest review. You can see photos of some of her gorgeous cakes and cookies on her Instagram page.

Intriguing Story, Important Social Issues

The story is intriguing, and addresses several ethical and social issues. I appreciate it when authors weave important social issues into their novels. The characters step right off the page and into your imagination, but the grammar and punctuation need work.

Likeable Quirky Characters

Violet and Jake make a great team. She is an OCD caterer and he is a writer who helps with the heavy lifting of her catering jobs – and he can cook. Vi’s sister, Greta, is a bit of a drama queen, but is an excellent florist. Together they will cater the multi-event wedding celebration of Paul, a family friend, and Laurel. To secure the futures of both businesses, they absolutely must impress the elite members of Austin society.

A Murder At Violet's First Catered Wedding

At the rehearsal dinner, the first event of this wedding celebration, things go horribly wrong. The haughty and rude grandmother of the groom is poisoned, and Greta is arrested. No one liked the arrogant old woman, so there are many who could have done it.

Violet is determined to find the killer and clear her sister’s name, even if it is dangerous for herself. The wedding is beautiful, then the groom is stabbed. What else could go wrong? Who would want to kill the groom?

Just a few cupcakes I imagine could be in Violet's bakery case.

Just a few cupcakes I imagine could be in Violet's bakery case.

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Twists And Turns Galore, And A New Book Coming Soon

The author has woven a story with twists and turns that keep her readers guessing, but I was pretty sure I had it figured out about halfway through, and I did.

Jessica has written a second cozy mystery, and has asked me to read and review it, too. I am eagerly awaiting my digital copy of the advance readers' copy. Thank you, Jessica, for inviting me to read your new book.

What Made The Grumpy Book Reviewer Grumpy?

It was an ARC that I read, but for the last proof copy before publishing, it had a huge number of uncorrected errors. This excellent murder mystery deserved a far better editor and proofreader. Here’s what I found:

  • Non-English words were not italicized;
  • A brand-name product was not capitalized;
  • A couple of misspelled words;
  • Several instances of incorrect verb tense;
  • Consistently referring to people as “that” rather than as “who”;
  • Excessive and unnecessary use of the word “that”.

© 2021 Maria Logan Montgomery

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