A Della Carmichael Mystery by Melinda Wells
Review: Melinda Wells introduces Della Carmichael, owner of a cooking school and the newly hired star of a weekly cooking show on cable television, in Killer Mousse, yet another culinary series featuring recipes of delectable and delightful meals and treats featured in the book.
Della's first day on the set begins inauspiciously. Though the taping goes well, she's thrown off a bit by the presence of Mimi Bond, the previous host of her show, sitting in the front row. When Della asks if anyone in the studio audience would like to try her Killer Mousse, so named because the taste was to die for, Mimi volunteers. She declares it awful and promptly drops to the floor, dead. Della's the obvious suspect, but she knows a thing or two about murder investigations: her late husband was a homicide detective. Knowing she is innocent, she decides that she may be able to offer an independent, insider perspective on who might have wanted Mimi dead … and why.
It's hard to state definitively what, if any, original perspective Killer Mousse brings to this crowded mystery subgenre. Being the widow of a detective, Della is possibly more astute (or at least less flighty) than the typical culinary amateur sleuth. And the other characters in the book lean more towards the interesting than the merely odd. Both pluses. But the murder mystery plot is straight-forward and offers nothing innovative in terms of means, motive, or opportunity. Fans of culinary mysteries will no doubt find this new series delightful, but those looking for a mystery with a bit more substance may be disappointed. (The included recipes, however, are definitely worth a try. The author's often humorous notes add a personal touch that makes them seem particularly special.)
Acknowledgment: Melinda Wells provided a copy of Killer Mousse for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Death Takes the Cake
Berkley Prime Crime (Mass Market Paperback), February 2009
ISBN-13: 9780425226421; ISBN-10: 0425226425
Location(s) referenced in Killer Mousse: Santa Monica, California
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Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells — A Della Carmichael Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: February 2008
List Price: $7.99