Murder on the Rocks
Shawn Reilly Simmons
A cozy mystery that does not make the cut for this reviewer. The underlying plot has potential, but the author fails to carry it out well. Though I regularly review books from this publisher, this is the first book from this series that has crossed my path; thus, I was not sure what to expect.
What I found was a story that focused on a caterer that, from my experience, was understaffed. Many of my college days were spent working on the catering crew for large trail rides in the mountains surrounding California's Central Valley. We were equipped to feed 40-60 men for a week. It required a staff of 12 or so (the owner, the chef, two cooks, and a support staff to feed and clean up after each meal). There is no way a crew of four could have completed the job. This made the story less believable from the very beginning.
But, besides being unbelievable, the story seemed slow as it developed. Some chapters appeared to offer little to the ongoing plot, other than adding pages to the book. A broken family, a newly hired chef/cook, and a difficult and mobile setting provided a familiar backdrop - but the story just did not want to hold together. I wanted to finish the book so I could move onto the next book in my to be read list. The story was not so poorly composed I wanted to put it down (I have read some like that), but it was sometimes easier to leave the book on the bed stand and hit the hay rather than pick it up to finish the current chapter.
The bottom line: I will want to read another book by this author. The series has potential, but this book missed the target for this reader. I give it 3½ stars.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.