Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mystery Review: Debbie Valentine, Rookie Caterer by T.G. Davis

Debbie Valentine, Rookie CatererDebbie Valentine, Rookie Caterer by T.G. Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A good story. I like it.

Debbie Valentine is an entrepeneur who's just started off a new business venture as caterer. The story opens during her second catering job. There's a little scenario where her friend gets in trouble in a humorous way and Debbie comes to the rescue, but once she leaves the club for home, that's the last we see of her catering. From then on, the story focuses on the boisterous group of people staying at her Aunt Jill's bed and breakfast.

On a lark, they invite Debbie into their game of Truth or Dare, and soon Debbie picks up on the darker side of the group dynamics. The next day starts off fine with all the partiers sleeping it off, but it doesn't last. Soon, Debbie has a real mystery to solve and a murderer to identify. This should have been titled Debbie Valentine, Rookie Sleuth.

This is the second T.G. Davis mini-mystery I've read, and I must say, the author's writing and plotting have tightened up quite nicely. The characters in Debbie Valentine are similar to those in Annie Banner, but I think that this story has a much more believable plot and outcome. I like how Debbie's family, like Annie's in the other story, provides comic relief. Her mom, in particular, is rather quirky in a good way, and her Aunt Jill is one tough lady, both fearless and capable when it counts.

That being said, the story is a bit information heavy for the characters with a walk-on role, and the ladies of the Valentine clan seem to have dated everyone they do business with or encounter with the exception of the wedding party staying at the bed and breakfast. I would have preferred one- or two-liner introductions instead of one to two paragraph intros for those who only appear to say "way to go" or are merely mentioned in passing and then are never again seen again. I also got a little lost with all the rapid fire introductions for the wedding partiers. Still, the overall story is tightly drawn and the plot is solid.

I liked this story and would recommend it to those who like a quick read, a little humor, and some amatuer sleuthing gone right.

I received a free copy of this ebook in return for an honest, non-reciprocal review.

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