Let Them Eat Stake

Main Characters:

Chef Charlotte, Chet, Brendan and Anatole all make reappearances.  O’Grady again is on the case of the murder.

NEW CHARACTERS:  There are so very many!

Oscar Simmons – we hear about him more then we see him since he turns up dead rather quickly.  He’s the celebrity chef originally supposed to cater the wedding.  But he quits. because he has bigger fish to fry – Then he gets killed.

Deanna Alden – the bride to be.  The one to inherit the witch powers of her clan.

Gabriel Renault – the groom to be.  A Vamp.

Felicity Garnett – the wedding planner and friend who hires Charlotte.

Jaques Renault – Gabriel’s brother.  A vamp.  He wants to get away from Henri and tries to warn Chef to not get involved although it comes across at the time as a threat.

Henri Renault – Gabriel and Jaques’ father and Sire to one of them (can’t remember even though I just finished the book!  See how important it is….).  He’s out to get back at Mrs. Alden and starts the blackmailing scheme that starts the whole mess.

Trudy – the housekeeper.  Turns out to be a witch too, who can brew potions.  And she helps Karina almost take out the Chef.  She did help Mrs. Alden use a love potion on Gabriel and Deanna.

Karina Alden – the non-magical one in the Alden family (like her father).  She runs a perfume company.  She also was dating Chef Simmons.  She hates being non-magical, marginalized and ignored so she hatches a plan to take the Arall (which is really a potion to take out vamps) public.

Mrs. Adrienne Alden – the bride’s mom.  And a handful.  She is thought to have murdered someone (via poison) when she was younger, and Herni’s attempt to blackmail her is part of the mystery here.  Although turns out Trudy committed that murder.

Locations:  NY City

Main Premise:  Our Chef and Nancy Drew wannabe gets chosen to fill in last minute to cater an exclusive wedding between a vampire and a witch.  And when the former chef turns up dead, the wedding seems to be cursed to fail, and an item is stolen from the bride’s home, Chef is on the case.

Other Important Things to Remember for Later: Chet, we thought, had gotten away from his sire.  But, she sends Charlotte a little love note indicating she’s coming back.  Anatole almost killed Charlotte by accident and is putting some distance between himself and Charlotte.  Brendan and Chef might be making some progress on the romantic front.  A critic from the NY Times is supposed to be coming into Nightlife to review the place.

Spoiling the Mystery:  Karina was behind it all.  She wanted to steal the Arall all for herself and make all the supernatural types go away.  She tried to kill Charlotte, but doesn’t.  Simmons was murdered by Karina too because he wanted to steal the Arall from her.

Review: Two installments so far – and some fun writing – but very complicated mysteries in both.  I am not so sure they needed to be quite so complicated.  There were so many moving pieces that it was hard to try to put it all together with Chef C.  That and there is tension between Chec C and Brendan, but they aren’t spending nearly enough time together.  I want to see more of them!

There were a few too many new characters here to keep track of.  It made learning about and solving the mystery a little more difficult than it is in some of the other cozy mysteries I have read.

This seems to be a cute little series though – with some neat little insights into running a restaurant.  Hope the third is a little yummier though – don’t need to crowd the palate with too many characters.  Sometimes less is more.

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