Clobbered by Camembert
A Charlotte Bessette, Cheese Shop Mystery by Avery Aames
Review: Cheese shop owner Charlotte Bessett is participating in Providence's annual Winter Wonderland Faire, promoting her business from a tent on the village green, when a former resident with unexpected ties to the community returns and is later murdered in Clobbered by Camembert, the third mystery in this series by Avery Aames.
Kaitlyn Clydesdale had moved to Texas many years ago, but has returned to her roots with the intention of purchasing a cattle farm. But Charlotte's assistant Rebecca doesn't believe Kaitlyn intends to raise cattle, but honeybees, which would compete directly with honeybee farmer Ipo Ho, who owns the adjacent property and is Rebecca's boyfriend. With Kaitlyn's financial resources, she could easily put Ipo out of business. Kaitlyn insists she only wants to help the community, in part by supervising the renovation of the town's historical museum, but her plans go well beyond that, which becomes particularly clear when Charlotte learns who her business partner is, none other than her own ex-fiancÚ, Chippendale Cooper. When Kaitlyn is later found dead in Rebecca's cottage, Charlotte knows she has to step in before things get further out of hand.
If the success of a book is measured in whether or not it meets a reader's expectations, then Clobbered by Camembert makes the grade. The familiar characters are virtually interchangeable with those in most any other cozy, the predictable mystery plot agreeably comfortable and undemanding. It is, almost by definition and certainly by execution, escapist entertainment. Two elements, however, elevate it slightly above average. The book opens during the local Winter Wonderland Faire in rural Ohio, a setting that is described in almost Disney-esque terms here. It's a terrific way to introduce the large cast of characters, some of whom will be suspects for — and others victims of — murder, and offers a good central location around which the action takes place. (A nice touch: the inclusion of a list of characters at the beginning.) The other element of note is the "theme" of this series, cheese and to a somewhat lesser extent, wine. Readers get an easy to understand and appreciate lesson in pairing cheeses with other foods and beverages, which are appropriately introduced within the context of events that take place in the story. A few recipes are also included at the end, though none feature any wine pairings.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Clobbered by Camembert: Ohio
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Clobbered by Camembert by Avery Aames — A Charlotte Bessette, Cheese Shop Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: February 2012
List Price: $7.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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