Title: Menu for Murder (Honey Driver Murder Mystery #2)
Author: Jean G. Goodhind
Published on: 3 April 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery | Humor
Honey Driver’s head chef Smudger Smith is competing in the Bath International Taste Extravaganza – BITE for short. Honey tags along for the main event: after all, Smudger’s arch nemesis Oliver Stafford is competing.
After the competition, the winner is declared – sadly, Smudger comes second. Smudger and Oliver (the winner) pick up a fight and Smudger threatens Oliver. The next day, Oliver is found dead… stuffed like a turkey in his kitchen oven. Smudger is the main suspect but Honey is convinced her head chef is innocent.
Menu for Murder is the second book in Jean Goodhind’s Honey Driver Murder Mystery series. Republished by Joffe Books, this book is a must-read if you are a fan of quirky, humorous and entertaining mysteries.
The story begins with Honey being overly impressed with her head chef competing in BITE. But when she walks to the venue on the D-Day, Smudger complains that Oliver, his arch nemesis, stole his breasts. Um, stole what now?
“He pinched my breasts.”
Honey blushed, but luckily no one else heard.
“He just took yours by mistake.”
Smudger scowled. “I don’t believe that.”
“Lucky we brought some spare,” she said gaily in an effort to jolly him along.
Well, well, before you start getting (naughty) ideas, let me make this clear: Honey and Smudger are talking about marinated chicken breasts. Apparently, Oliver stole the ones Smudger had left to thaw in the fridge. Things get worse when Oliver wins the competition. First stealing and now cheating his way to victory? Smudger will not accept it! The hotheaded chef threatens Oliver and the next morning, Oliver is found dead; stuffed like a turkey in the oven.
The night of the victory, Oliver and his owner Stella ‘Bling’ Broadbent were partying at her hotel when a cowboy arrives and claims he is Stella’s husband. Stella is totally embarrassed and insulted as she has no husband – she never got married in a drunken state, as the man claims. The next day, Oliver is found dead. Hmm, are these two incidents connected?
Steve Doherty, the local detective (he’s got a promotion since Honey’s last amateur sleuthing adventure), arrives at the scene of crime along with Honey. Well, Honey gets a ticket to visiting any crime scene as she’s the crime liaison officer for the Bath Hotels Association. Stella and Honey get into a cat fight (meow!) at the crime scene and they have to be forcefully sent out. Well, it works for Honey because she gets a passionate kiss from Steve. *wink wink*
Lindsey, Honey’s nineteen-year-old daughter finds herself dragged in Oliver’s murder case. Turns out, she and Oliver dated for a while. Honey is not happy on hearing this. To add to ‘the affairs of the heart’ woes, Honey’s mother Gloria Cross finds herself a man. It’s a local butcher named Roland Mead. The guy is a womanizer. He hits on Honey when Gloria’s not looking. His conversations are filled with innuendoes and Honey is not liking it one bit!
Soon, another chef is murdered. Honey is worried. If a serial killer is on prowl killing head chefs, will Smudger be the next victim? Turns out, Smudger is acting a tad weird. But Honey is convinced her head chef is no killer. Or, is he?
Having read the first book in this series – Murder, Bed & Breakfast – I was eagerly looking forward to reading Honey’s next sleuthing adventure. I love mysteries with a dash of humor. Add a bit of non-veg jokes to the mix and me likes!!! The quirky characters are definitely the best part of this series. Though I have read only two books in this series so far, I must say, Honey Driver Murder Mysteries are a complete entertainment package. Quirky characters, a dash of sexy romance and a mystery that keeps one guessing till the end, uh-huh!
Honey and Steve have a thing going on but the chemistry fizzles out before Honey takes the next step. Hot date night, oh yes! But Steve falls asleep! Cannot blame the guy, though. His boss is being a pain in his backside, wanting him to solve the case ASAP.
Romance aside, the mystery behind the murders kept me guessing till the end. In the latter half of the story, it becomes quite clear that the murder victims had a connection. I must admit though, I did not like the reason for committing the crimes.
Overall, Menu for Murder by Jean G. Goodhind was an entertaining read. I would recommend this book to mystery lovers. Do not miss to read this series if you love quirky characters and humorous mysteries.