And Murder for Dessertby Kathleen Delaney
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Ellen McKenzie and her fiancé, Chief of Police Dan Dunham, are on their way to the very upscale Harvest Festival Dinner, hosted by Ellens niece, Sabrina, and her husband, Mark Tortelli. They are seasoned winery professionals. What could go wrong? New to Silver Springs Winery, the Tortellis have been worried for weeks that their jobs depend on the success of this event, and the reputation of the guest chef hasnt helped calm their nerves. Otto Messinger is noted for his temper tantrums. Ellen is hoping hell keep himself in check. Dan is hoping the Tortellis, who have been staying with Ellen for a month, will triumph and soon find their own place to live. Tonights guest list seems to include everyone who has ever had a feud with Otto, a fact the little chef is thoroughly enjoying. The dinner progresses, a little shaky but without disaster. Then its time for dessert. But where is Otto? It is Sabrina who finds him, quite dead, in a wine fermenting tank. Who helped him into it? Dan seems to think it was Sabrina. Ellen would prefer Dan find another suspectand there are plenty.
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Meet the Author
Kathleen Delaney is a recently retired real estate broker. The mother of five grown children, grandmother of almost nine, she has also bred and shown national winning Arabian and Half Arabian horses. She has left California for South Carolina where she is at work on the fourth Ellen McKenzie/Dan Dunham mystery, and hopes to finally find the time to indulge herself in her favorite pastime next to writing, reading.
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And Murder for Dessert - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat Ellen's plans for her day sound relaxing. 'I had decided that Tuesday morning was mine. Mark, who hadn't been fired, was at the winery. So was Sabrina, who hadn't been arrested, and they had Paris with them. Jake and I were going to clean house. Monday, I had taken two listings, written one offer, and then spent the evening alone with Jake, sitting on the front porch. I wondered what had happened at Lighthouse Winery that had Mark and Sabrina so upset, why Frank had sold his restaurant, why Otto had let Jolene stay at his place for free, and why she wanted to. Mostly I wondered what Dan was doing.' Ellen McKenzie is a recently divorced, moved back to the old home and town, real estate agent who has been informed by her sister that her niece Sabrina and her husband Mark would be staying with her until they found their own place. Mark is a wine master who left his last job under mysterious circumstances that he nor Sabrina want to discuss. Dan is the significant other in Ellen's life that wants to become her next husband. He's also the Chief of Police. Frank is Mark's dad who is a temperamental chef that sold his own restaurant for reasons he doesn't want to divulge. And then there's Otto who is another temperamental chef that has been hired to create a dinner at the winery with the dishes being complimented by the wines. But, Otto's temperament ends up in disaster for Otto as well as others who are connected to the winery. In And Murder for Dessert, author Kathleen Delaney created characters that are so realistic. There's Aunt Mary that you want to find yourself wishing you had an aunt like. There's Jake the cat that you want to cuddle with. Otto who you would like to throw something at before he throws something at you. Jolene the reporter who you want to slap just for the heck of slapping her. And Carlton who you want so desperately to get caught in one of his own schemes. So who will die and who will commit the murder? The suspects are many and the clues are few. I can say, I was and I wasn't surprised at who the murder turned out to be but. The ending could have gone several ways. And Murder for Dessert was a very enjoyable book to read. 2007 Poisoned Pen Press 241 pages ISBN# 978-1-59058-423-1
Ellen McKenzie never thought she¿d get remarried. So why is she now engaged? She¿s really not sure how it happened. She loves Dan Dunham, Santa Louisa Chief of Police, but marriage? Her niece, Sabrina Tortelli, and her husband Mark are coming to stay with Ellen. Mark is the new winemaker at Silver Springs Winery, and Sabrina will be managing the tasting room and doing special events. Ellen, a realtor, has been wrangled by her sister Catherine to let them stay with her while Ellen finds them a rental. At the Harvest Festival Dinner at the winery, guest chef Otto Messinger and Frank Tortelli, Mark¿s dad, get into a verbal fight. Soon after Otto is discovered dead in one of the old fashioned wooden fermenting tanks. Sabrina and Mark are both suspects, but Sabrina appears to be their prime suspect. Ellen doesn¿t believe Sabrina did it. She sets out to find out who did, with the help of her Aunt Mary. To complicate life even more, an old high school classmate of Ellen¿s is back in town and trying to pick up their ¿romance¿ where it left off. Funny thing is, there was no romance! Can Ellen keep Sabrina out of jail and find the real killer without becoming the next victim? I really enjoyed this book. Ellen is such a wonderful character. The interaction between the various characters is well written. The story moves at a good pace. The winery is a good setting for this story as well. I highly recommend this book.
And Murder for Desert Kathleen Delaney Poisoned Pen, Jul 2007, $24.95 ISBN: 1590584236 In California, realtor Ellen McKenzie and her fiancé Police Chief Dan Dunham attend the Harvest Festival Dinner at the Silver Springs Winery in nearby Santa Louisa. Though somewhat estranged from her snobby sister Ellen and Dan go to celebrate her niece Sabrina's husband Mark Tortelli becoming the new winemaker although Ellen did not know her niece married as she was not invited or even informed until now. As Chef Otto explodes over minor inconveniences, his rival Chef Frank arrives to celebrate his son being named the winemaker. Frank and Otto are more than competitors as they hate each other with a passion that rivals their love of cooking. However, it is not Frank who the police, including Dan, believe killed Otto, found floating in the fermenting tank it is Sabrina they suspect. Not one to sit idly by while her niece goes down, Ellen investigates even though she is unprepared for a second homicide. --- Ellen¿s personal life adds depth to a fine amateur sleuth tale as she has doubts about marrying for the second time after years in a horrific marriage to a physician Dan recognizes her hesitation and does his best to prove he is not her former rat of a husband. Although the killer is obvious, the investigation is still fun to follow due to Ellen¿s antics. She knows she should stay out of it but cannot because blood is thicker than water. --- Harriet Klausner