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A Catered Halloween (Mystery with Recipes Series #5)

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Overview

With the promise of a hefty commission and some valuable word-of-mouth for their catering business, A Little Taste of Heaven, sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons agree to cater the charity haunted house being staged at the old Peabody School. But when wealthy socialite Amethyst Applegate is found dead in the haunted house, Bernie and Libby wonder if a murderer might also be lurking about Peabody's gloomy halls. . .

While almost everyone Amethyst ever met might have a motive for...

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A Catered Halloween (Mystery with Recipes Series #5)

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Overview

With the promise of a hefty commission and some valuable word-of-mouth for their catering business, A Little Taste of Heaven, sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons agree to cater the charity haunted house being staged at the old Peabody School. But when wealthy socialite Amethyst Applegate is found dead in the haunted house, Bernie and Libby wonder if a murderer might also be lurking about Peabody's gloomy halls. . .

While almost everyone Amethyst ever met might have a motive for killing her, not everyone had access to the Peabody School. All Bernie and Libby know is if they don't solve this mystery soon, they might become the next stars in a real-life horror flick. . .

"Fun. . .well-plotted. . .. A selection of delectable seasonal recipes rounds out the volume. " —Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Crawford's fun, well-plotted fifth culinary cozy to feature Bernadette and Libby Simmons (after 2007's A Catered Valentine's Day), the sisters cater a fundraiser for the Longely, N.Y., volunteer firemen that includes a high-tech haunted house, formerly the Peabody School. In a room evoking the setting of Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum," the severed head that rolls down some stairs and lands at Libby's feet proves to be real. The victim, Amethyst Applegate, had been a student years earlier at the Peabody School, where another student at the time, Bessie Osgood, died under suspicious circumstances. Is Bessie's ghost still haunting the place? Aided by their father, Sean, the town's retired police chief, Bernie and Libby discover that Amethyst, a notorious home wrecker, had no lack of enemies. A selection of delectable seasonal recipes rounds out the volume. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Guess what's wafting around the haunted house. Young Bessie Osgood, who either jumped or was pushed from a window of the Peabody School years ago, has returned, so folks say, to haunt the place. So it's not surprising when sisters Libby, who has premonition dreams, and Bernie, who wears cute shoes-arriving to cater the Longely Volunteer Fireman's fundraiser planned by Mark Kane-feel drafts, hear a plea for help and, even worse, discover that one of the Halloween displays featuring a chainsaw actually holds the decapitated head of loathed Amethyst Applegate. Between icing cupcakes and slicing pumpkin bread, the sisters confer with their dad, a wheelchair-bound ex-police chief, their significant others, and ghost-hunting twins Konrad and Curtis. They learn that snooty Amethyst and Bessie were schoolmates; that a long-hidden journal proves Amethyst was wicked enough to be dismissed from school; and that she stole boyfriends and generally made everyone's life miserable. While Libby and Bernie replenish their supply of cookies, pies and cider, the murderer resurfaces long enough to do in Ed Banks on his estate, where Amethyst had planned to celebrate a secret wedding. Determined to reconcile with an old beau, Bessie puts in yet another appearance, wrapping up this tale of school days and leaving the sisters free to return to their kitchen. A lightweight mystery with lots of chitchat, food sampling and an impossibly arch coda. Like A Catered Valentine's Day (2007, etc.), includes simple, high-carb recipes, not sampled.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410410696
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 11/3/2008
  • Series: Mystery with Recipes Series, #5
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

ISIS CRAWFORD was born in Egypt to parents who were in the diplomatic corps. When she was five, her family returned to the States, where her mother opened a restaurant in Upper Westchester County and her father became a university professor. Since then Isis has combined her parents' love of food and travel by running a catering service as well as penning numerous travel-related articles about places ranging from Omsk to Paraguay. Married, with twin boys, she presently resides in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where she is working on the next Bernie and Libby culinary mystery.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 24, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Murder and a haunted house

    Sisters Libby and Bernie Simmons run their catering service and shop called A Little Taste Of Heaven. They're catering the Lonely Volunteer Fireman's Halloween Haunted House fundraiser in the mansion wealthy Mark Kane just purchased for his Foundation. He has hired experts to set up holograms and special effects.<BR/><BR/>Mark, Libby, and Bernie stumble across the severed head of Amethyst Applegate at the bottom of the steps. Her body is found on the platform with the pendulum swinging above.<BR/><BR/>Amethyst wasn't well liked, so there are a lot of suspects. Bob Small becomes the prime suspect. Libby and Bernie are asked to find the real killer. They enlist the help of their ex-policeman father Sean Simmons. Marvin, Libby's boyfriend, also lends a hand.<BR/><BR/>Years ago this mansion was The Peabody School. Bessie Osgood, a student, fell out one of the windows and died. There has been speculation that it wasn't an accident and that Amethyst was involved. But no one knows for sure.<BR/><BR/>Could Amethyst's death be related to Bessie's? Is it really Bessie's ghost they keep seeing?<BR/><BR/>I'd never read any books by this author. I found this to be an easy to read cozy mystery with a good plot and likeable characters. Reading it around Halloween enhanced the reading experience.<BR/><BR/>Libby, Bernie, and Sean are very good investigators and kept me guessing as to the real identity of the killer until it was revealed.<BR/><BR/>I recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    not for me.

    I suppose someone would enjoy this I just couldn't get into it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

    Not so good!

    This is one of the worst books I have read. One is dropped into the book with no explanation of anything. There is no character development at all. It took almost half of the book for me to realize who some characters were and their relationship to others. In some parts of the book, Sean is in a wheelchair (no reason why) and in other parts he is walking around. Even if this is "series", the author needs to treat it as an separate book and let the readers know something about the main characters. I got this from a friend and had no clue at the beginning that this is #5 in the series. I will not, however, go back and try reading the first 4 books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2008

    superb catered amateur sleuth

    Amethyst Applegate receives a blackmail letter from deceased Bessie Osgood, who died years ago when they attended school together. Unshaken Amethyst plans to take care of the blackmailer as she took care of Bessie. The Simmons sisters, Libby and Bernie, owners of A Little Taste of Heaven, are ecstatic to cater the Halloween festivities at the Peabody School, a place rumored to be haunted. Businessman Mark Kane is going all out to include construction of a haunted house with high tech special effects that a Hollywood horror move would envy. Everyone is stunned when they see a torso on a table with the severed head of Amethyst nearby. --- Finding the killer will not prove easy as everyone has a motive to murder the universally loathed Amethyst whose list of enemies exceeds the Longley phonebook. Libby thinks she sees the ghost of Bessie, but rationalizes that her imagination got the best of her rather than her intuitive powers. Bob Small who is working at the haunted house has a strong reason to kill Amethyst because he spent jail time due to a stunt she pulled. Inez Colley hated the female abomination for stealing her husband and her wealth by seducing and blackmailing her weak spouse. Zachary Timberland held Amethyst culpable for ruining his daughter Zoe. The list goes on. However, the police arrest Bob as he is the only one with opportunity. The Simmons siblings think otherwise so with their father along they investigate the murder of an odious witch. --- Isis Crawford outdoes her usual superb catered amateur sleuth novels with A CATERED HALLOWEEN as ghosts and Libby¿s visions enhance a whodunit in which the townsfolk, the sisters, and the readers agree beheading is befitting the odious ogress. The two sisters are total opposites yet best friends as each is always there for the other. Due to Libby¿s paranormal skills they feel obligated to unmask the real killer as they believe strongly the cops got the wrong person. With euphoric ghosts and plenty of eccentric suspects toasting the killer, solving the case of the murdered witch may prove a recipe for failure for the Simmons, but catered entertainment for series fans. --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

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    Posted November 14, 2010

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    Posted September 17, 2010

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    Posted September 6, 2011

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    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted October 7, 2010

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    Posted October 28, 2010

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    Posted October 15, 2010

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