Melissa F. Miller comes to the blog today with the first in her family, foodie centric cozy series, We Sisters Three. Narrated by Vanessa Daniels, please read on for my review of
So – a private holistic chef working for a vegan Hollywood actress, an allergic reaction, a handsy step-son and plenty of suspects highlight this story. And from the blurb, I was instantly intrigued – being a fan of Dianne Mott Davidson’s titles: more foodie –heavy cozies that always is worth a re-read or listen for me. So my hopes for this title were instantly mitigated within the first few sentences: clichéd descriptions and characters that just had me hoping for more. But, it was early on, and I listened on. Rosemary was, by far, the best-developed character in the story: her background and love for the food she creates, as well as her care taken in preparation all sang out neatly, even as her client drops dead from an allergic reaction – she was CAREFUL. But, if she’s being honest, aside from being unemployed, again: the woman was a diva to the extreme – and the police now think she is responsible for the murder.
Rosemary realizes that there are only a handful of ‘real’ suspects that could have ‘done the deed’: a race-car driver, a leading man, a music producer and, of course, Felix, the handsy step-son who she (for several reasons that truly weren’t well elucidated) she is dating – she begins to put the pieces together. Of course, nothing is straight-forward and the flat, one-dimensional and frequently clichéd characters appear regularly: Hot male cop, mean female cop, Latina Housekeeper, spoiled (and not particularly remorseful) step-son, and phrases that were commonplace in 1980’s romance: knees like Jelly, an over-played focus on romantic statements that caused more than a few eye-rolls, the story moves toward a rather pat suspicion by the police in their often heavy-handed approach to proving her guilt, rather than discovering the truth. Of course, the fact that Rosemary and her sisters need a fast infusion of cash to save their parents’ failing business does add to the suspicion about her motive (there wasn’t one) and their continuing to follow that path.
Narration for this story is provided by Vanessa Daniels, and I’ve had an up and down experience with her work. A bit rushed in the delivery, with minimal distinctions separating the characters and an overly exaggerated breathiness that was a staple in many of the romantic (or meant to be romantic) moments, odd pauses that didn’t feel as if they existed in the text and an uneven pace throughout each chapter brought more than a bit of frustration in this listen. When the story feels as if the characters were all in need of depth and development, and the clearly present culprit despite the multiple questions and clues meant to lead elsewhere, the story felt less focused on the layering of the mystery than presenting a series of moments that played to the often-quirky Rosemary’s humor and behavior. The story felt young and indecisive, and while quick to finish, leaves me wondering just where the next story will go.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 2 Story 3
Title: Rosemary's Gravy
Author: Melissa F. Miller
Series: We Sisters Three #1
Also in this series: Sage of Innocence
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery, Food / Recipes, Humor elements
Narrator: Vanessa Daniels
Published by: Brown Street Books, Tantor Audio
Published on: 14 November, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 5 Hours: 55 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio
Rosemary Field never planned to work as a private, holistic chef for a demanding vegan actress. But then, plans have a way of going out the window when a girl's parents skip town, leaving behind a half-million-dollar debt.
She needs the job, so she puts up with her boss's diva antics and halfheartedly fends off the advances of the impossibly sexy stepson who comes with the high-paying gig. Then someone decides to kill the miserable movie star. It's bad news for any chef when a client dies from an allergic reaction after eating your cooking. It's even worse news for Rosemary because the police are determined to charge her with murder.
To restore her reputation (and stay out of prison), Rosemary has to find the real murderer--and fast. Her short list of suspects includes a womanizing race car driver, a powerful music producer, Hollywood's hottest leading man, and, oh yeah, Felix, the dead woman's stepson--which gets a little awkward when he and Rosemary start dating.
After a romantic dinner with Felix ends in food poisoning, she finds herself unattached, unemployed, and once again on the wrong side of the LAPD. She knows how to salvage an oversalted sauce, but can she salvage the disaster that is her life? And will the hunky homicide detective help her--or book her?
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: