“Dining with the Dead” by Carrie Marsh was published in 2017 by the Smiling House Publishing Co. It is a 125 page cozy mystery. It is currently offered as a free download for signing up for the authors newsletter. I am not being paid for my review.
Synopsis (my summary):
Having recently moved to a small closed off village, the hostess of a hotel restaurant finds herself in a murder mystery. The villagers are suspicious of outside people; and the rumor mill suspects her as being the guilty party. Toss in a crush on the village doctor, a cat she can talk to, and two people claiming to see a ghost; and you have this cozy mystery.
Rating Legend: 1-Didn’t like it 2-It was alright, 3-I liked it, 4-It was pretty good/well done, 5-It was excellent
- Overall: 1.5
- Heroine: 1
- Hero: .5
- Read again: No
The story is a cozy mystery with a small romance between the hero and heroine. It begins by telling the reader how small the small village is. It then moves to the heroines point of view where she laments about how small the village is. The reader is told about incidents with other villagers who cast a suspicious eye toward newcomers and outsiders. Soon after this the hero, and the heroines cat that she can talk to, are introduced.
The mystery starts with the cook “seeing” a ghost. Not long after that the murder happens. Immediately the heroine believes she will be blamed; so she decides to investigate.
I gave the novel an overall score of 1.5 because of the following:
- Lack of research that led to some mistakes.
- Lack of editing and proofreading. There were formatting, awkward sentences, punctuation, grammar, word choice, and consistency issues. A large section of chapter 17 was repeated.
- Characters lacked depth; also believability.
- The heroine in the books blurb is described as being able to talk to all animals, only in the book she can only talk to her cat.
- The readers is told about things that they should have been shown.
- For two characters who spent little time together; they fell in love rather fast.
A good editor and/or proofreader would have helped avoid a lot of the issues.
Updated on 4/7/2017 to add in that a large portion of chapter 17 was repeated, and the rating legend.