Title: The Hidden Corpse (Food Blogger Mysteries #2)
Author: Debra Sennefelder
Published on: 26th March 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Hope Early is a food blogger and a runner-up of a reality TV baking show which gave her fifteen minutes of fame. Lily Barnhart, a famous local architect goes missing while her husband Cal, though shocked, continues with his photography classes. Hope, along with other famous food bloggers have joined his classes for a short photography course.
Peggy Olson, Hope’s neighbor, has just returned from the rehab center. One night, Hope finds smoke coming out of Peggy’s house and as she goes to investigate, she sees that the house is burning. She calls the fire engine but it is too late to save Peggy, for the fire has spread to the entire house. Hope feels guilty for all of this. Peggy had come to ask for help just a few days ago when she found that a pot on the stove had set the fire alarm. Peggy made Hope promise that she wouldn’t tell Meg, Hope’s once-upon-a-time best friend and Peggy’s neice, about this incident as Peggy did not want to go back to the rehab center.
Soon, Hope learns that Peggy’s wasn’t the only body found in the house. There was another body and Hope suspects that it might be that of the missing person – Lily. As rumors spread and tongues wag, Hope is determined to poke her nose into the murder investigation. She is threatened but she will not take a no for an answer. Will Hope’s stubbornness cause her harm? Or, will she find out the real reason behind the murder before it’s too late?
This is the second Debra Sennefelder book that I read and I enjoyed reading it. The characters are pretty fantastic and unique. I would also like to say that this story has a lot of female characters. And each of them has something different to add to the story. There’s one who’s married an old man for money; another who is in love with a married man. One has an extra-marital affair while the other is an author-turned-innkeeper. Then there is one who is the jealous kind who tries to sabotage someone’s hard work. Huh!
Claire, Hope’s sister, is a real estate agent and a health and fitness freak who decides to run for the mayor. And then, there is Hope – a food blogger and a celebrity who went through an embarrassing divorce. And she might have no contacts with her ex, but he used her fifteen minutes of fame to get his fifteen minutes of fame. No matter how far she goes from him, people still gossip about his ‘adventurous and exotic’ life.
Now that Hope is single, she finds a lot of suitors. She has a crush on Cal, although she knows that it is not the right time to have the hots for someone who is a suspect. Then there is Matt, a handsome attorney with whom Claire tries to set Hope up. Ethan, the local police officer, who is very friendly with Hope. They have feelings for each other but Hope wants him to take the first step.
The mystery keeps up on your toes. Hope is threatened, scolded and even thrown out when she goes searching for clues. This has happened before too and Hope is one of the forgiving kind. Though people have insulted her in the past, she forgives them. When the same people who had insulted her are invited to her house for a party, they betray her and Claire. And yet, Hope keeps her head high.
One also gets a peek into the lives of a food blogger. As bloggers, I guess we can all relate to the few things that is mentioned in the story. SEO and blogging regularly and stuff. But there was something else which caught my interest. Forget agents for authors and publishers, food bloggers also have agents. Yes! I have never heard of this before so it was kind of surprising to know that food bloggers hire agents!
The identity of the killer was unexpected and shocking. Hope finally figures it out but it is too late and it almost gets her killed. The only thing that one might find a bit confusing is remembering the names of all the characters. Overall, it was a unique read for me. I have never come across such a wonderful cozy mystery that involves a food blogger and murder and back-biting and whatnot. (oh yes, gossip thrives!) Also, for those who love to bake, there are a couple of recipes at the end of the book.
There’s a giveaway for this tour. Giveaway details here. (US only)
Thank you, Lori Caswell from Escape with Dollycas for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this blog tour.