The Uninvited Corpse

The Uninvited Corpse

by Debra Sennefelder

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496715920
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 03/27/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 427,137
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Callie Beaulieu has been an actress for several decades. Classically trained, she is predominantly a theater actress, and her work has been seen around the country. Callie recently returned to the U.S. after spending nearly a decade living in the Caribbean. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"Thank you, Hope Early, for joining us and sharing all of your tips for spring cleaning. I'm sure you've inspired our listeners to get busy and start cleaning out their homes," Morning Pete of WPTX radio said.

With the cordless phone tucked between her ear and shoulder, Hope refilled her coffee cup for the second time. She'd been on air answering caller questions and promoting her blog, "Hope at Home." Most of the questions were easy — where to begin cleaning out, how to organize the process, and how to stay motivated midway through the important ritual of spring. It was a ritual she participated in every year and one she had down to a science. Then came the question she didn't expect.

She hated being blindsided and she hated being naïve just as much. She should have seen it coming.

"What was it like going from being a successful magazine editor to becoming a finalist on The Sweet Taste of Success to writing a blog about taking out the trash?" Morning Pete asked with a laugh, followed by a chorus of laughter from his morning crew.

Oh, so very funny. Her descent from high-powered editor to baking competition reality show loser to newly divorced blogger was fodder for Morning Pete. With no other choice but to laugh along with the morning crew, she bit her tongue and somehow managed to get the interview back on track. "Life throws us curveballs all the time, and sometimes I wish I had a little guidance when I went through all that stuff. Speaking of guidance, I have a free giveaway, and it's called 'How to Survive Spring Cleaning.' I invite everyone to visit my blog and download your copy today."

Finally her time was up. "It was my pleasure," she said through gritted teeth and then clicked the phone off. As she set the phone back into its base, footsteps sounded in the mudroom. There was only one other person who would be up so early.

Chief of Police Ethan Cahill greeted her with a smile. He'd always looked damn good in his uniform. The classic cliché — tall, dark, and handsome — always fit him. But on this chilly late-March morning, he looked even better to her because he held a white pastry bag from her favorite coffee shop, The Coffee Clique on Main Street.

"You're a good man." She snatched the bag and moved back into the kitchen island. She should eat something healthier like yogurt and granola or whole-grain toast with an egg white. But after dealing with the morning crew circus, she deserved something sweet and delicious.

The cinnamon bun, not Ethan. Then she sucked in a deep breath at the thought.

Whoa. Where did that come from?

Ethan was her rock. The friend she leaned on. The person who helped her through the darkest period of her life. So when did he go from all that to sweet and delicious?

He settled at the table and gestured to the bag. "There's one in there for me, too."

She glanced down. Better to focus on the food. She quickly plated both gooey treats and set the plates on the table, along with two filled coffee cups.

"You handled yourself well, even when that jerk asked about the reality show." Ethan bit into his cinnamon bun, then licked a drop of icing off his bottom lip.

Slightly distracted by Ethan's mouth, it took a second for Hope to register his comment. "Yeah, I didn't expect that question. Guess it's always going to come up." She'd made peace with the fact that when her name was searched on the Internet, it would always be associated with The Sweet Taste of Success. A baker's dozen of wannabe culinary stars competed for a prime-time slot on the Culinary Channel. She walked away from the twelve-week experience — just losing the top prize, and then losing her marriage.

Ethan lifted his head and leveled his gaze on her. "You did good."

"Thanks. I think what really bothers me is people think the TV show and living in New York City was the best time of my life and I somehow settled by coming back home. I didn't settle. I'm here because I want to be here."

"Would you do the show over again?"

She shrugged. "I'm not sure."

"Honest answer."

She didn't want to think any more about her time on the Culinary Channel or her divorce or the end of her publishing career. "I have a full day. After Audrey's garden tour, I have errands and I have to bake for the library's bake sale." Every year since she was a little girl, she'd baked dozens of cookies for the annual fund-raiser. Spending the afternoon baking wasn't a hardship and it also provided content for her blog. Bake sales would be popping up all over the place, and she had a series planned on the perfect treats plus tips on presentation and pricing. The first recipe she planned on making was the double-chocolate raspberry bar she'd been dreaming about for weeks. The first run-through delivered the cookie of her dreams. But since she'd promised her readers she would test a recipe three times before posting it, she had two more batches of the bars to make. Luckily her friends and family were willing to be her taste testers.

"What about you? What's on tap for you besides fighting crime?"

Ethan chuckled. "With Jefferson being named as one of the safest towns in the state, there isn't much crime to fight. I have a meeting up in Hartford this morning. Then I was thinking we could have dinner."

"That sounds good. I'll whip something up and we'll have cookies for dessert." Hope glanced at her watch. "Shoot. I've gotta get going. I haven't done the barn chores yet." She ate the last bit of the cinnamon bun, wiped her mouth on a napkin, then stood. Grabbing her plate and mug, she deposited both in the sink.

"Why don't you hire someone to help you around here?"

"There isn't that much work. I can handle it for now. Oh, there's more coffee. Help yourself. Call me later." She dashed out of the kitchen and grabbed a jacket from the mudroom before heading out to the barn. Closing the door behind her, she felt a twinge of satisfaction knowing that if she turned and went back inside, Ethan would be waiting for her. That little feeling put a spring in her step. And the little extra boost would come in handy as she collected eggs from her hens.

* * *

Holidays always brought a smile to Hope, and when the day revolved around her favorite cookie, she could barely contain herself. She knew that National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day wasn't a holiday that closed schools and the post office, but that was clearly an oversight. To celebrate the day, she would share five of her favorite recipes on her blog. She wanted to serve up a traditional cookie where it was all about the dough and the chocolate chip, but she also wanted to incorporate two hot trends in the foodie world — caramel and salt.

"Good morning."

Hope looked up from her laptop as her part-time assistant, Vanessa Jordan, walked into the kitchen. She'd set up at the table, which was convenient for recipe testing. Still, she needed a proper office, and she planned to do a series for the blog on the project. Off the kitchen, there was a small room being converted into her office. There was enough space for a desk, a nice span of wall for bookshelves, and enough light for her photography.

Vanessa removed her jacket and draped it over a chair then dropped her purse on the table. All of five feet, she was a small powerhouse of organization who ran a tight ship, working for both Hope and her friend Audrey Bloom. Meeting the energetic thirty-something through Audrey was the best thing that had happened to Hope in months.

Vanessa eagerly took on the tasks that ate up valuable time for Hope, freeing her to create more content and focus on developing e-products to sell on her website. Though Hope wondered how long she and Audrey could continue to split Vanessa's time.

"Today is crazy. I have to be over at Audrey's house in a couple of hours." Vanessa moved over to the coffeemaker and poured a cup.

"Well, there are only a few things you need to do here. Then you can head out." Hope returned to the post she was writing about her love for chocolate chip cookies. Her fingers tapped on the keys, and her mind drifted as she wrote about her first attempt at baking the cookie.

Utter. Failure. Overbaked, overbrowned, and hard enough to use as hockey pucks. She smiled as she remembered her parents ate them with tall glasses of milk and praised their youngest daughter's baking. She was only ten, and she fell in love with baking.

"I saw Peaches McCoy putting up the For Sale sign at your neighbor's house." Vanessa settled down at the table and turned on her laptop.

"Hmm." Hope looked up. "You saw Peaches?"

Vanessa nodded.

"Gilbert mentioned something about selling his house now that Mitzi has broken her hip. The place is too big for them to maintain."

Vanessa's heart-shaped face pinched with annoyance. "He had to select her as his agent? Really? What about Claire?"

Hope shrugged. She wasn't privy to Gilbert Madison's decision-making when it came to hiring a real estate agent. "I'm sure he had his reasons for hiring her. We have a lot to get done before Audrey's garden tour." She wanted to get Vanessa's focus on work, not Jefferson's newest real estate agent. Though the woman seemed to have everyone talking for one reason or another.

"Audrey was a bundle of nerves last night. I assured her today would be fine. She's worried about Elaine coming because Sally has her granny panties in a twist."

"That sounds more like you than Audrey," Hope said.

Vanessa nodded. "Guilty. But, what's the big deal? The garden club voted Elaine president. It's not like they didn't know what they were getting."

Hope's assistant did have a point, but she probably shouldn't share it with Sally Merrifield. As a founding member of the Jefferson Garden Club, Sally felt a responsibility to the club, to ensure it carried on its mission to promote gardening within the community. As a retired librarian, she also believed in structure, and structure was a somewhat foreign concept to Elaine Whitcomb. Instead, Elaine was outgoing, flirtatious, and slightly scattered, but her husband's wealth helped people look past her flaws.

"It's difficult for Sally to accept Jefferson didn't make the top twenty-five community gardens in the state. She's worked hard over the past ten years to make sure our town green and smaller gardens throughout town were recognized by Connecticut Living magazine," Hope said. While living in New York City, her friends and coworkers thought their lives were complicated living in a big city. They had no clue what happened in small-town New England. Maybe she should forget her blog and write a novel.

Vanessa shrugged. "It's time to get over it and move on. Hopefully with spring now blooming all around us, Sally will forget all this nonsense. God knows, those three acres she has should keep her occupied."

"Speaking of gardens, we both have to be out of here soon."

"Right." Vanessa turned her attention to her computer and, for a few moments, she was silent. "Hey, have you checked your stats?"

"Not today."

"Holy cow! Did you see the spike in traffic already? And look at how many downloads of your spring cleaning worksheet. Wow, low bounce rates, too."

Low bounce rate. Three little words every blogger loved. The visitors to "Hope at Home" stayed around to check out a lot of her posts. They also signed up for her mailing list, which meant she could promote her blog and products to them. "At least something good came out of that interview."

"Come on, it was a good interview, even though Morning Pete was kind of a jerk. He could have framed his question about The Sweet Taste of Success a little better."

Hope shrugged. She agreed with Vanessa, but she also realized what Morning Pete dished out came with the territory and if she was going to build a career on a public platform like a blog, she needed to toughen up. She would be forever the runner-up winner of The Sweet Taste of Success.

"Well, seeing these numbers, if you have the opportunity go on Morning Pete's show again, you should. Do you think Audrey would make a good guest?"

"Morning Pete didn't strike me as a gardening kind of guy."

"I keep telling Audrey she needs to keep her blog updated on her website. I'm trying to get her into the twenty-first century. It's like pulling teeth."

"Really?"

"She doesn't even own a tablet. Who doesn't own a tablet nowadays? It's like my grandparents. Newspaper clippings. Ugh, I can't stand it. You know, Meg even offered to write the posts for her."

"I didn't know Meg was a writer," Hope said.

Meg Griffin was full of surprises, just like she was in high school. Back then there wasn't a word to describe Hope and Meg's relationship but now there was — frenemy. After being away for so long, Hope thought things would be different between them. They weren't. You could take the girl out of high school but you couldn't take the high school out of the girl.

"She's not a writer. But I guess she has a lot of skills. She's even set up a Facebook page for the preservation society. She's like a mini-me of Audrey with tech skills." Vanessa laughed.

"It's good Audrey has someone to help her with the group. It's a lot of work."

"And speaking of work ..." Vanessa smiled. "I'm sorry. I guess I'm a little nervous about the garden tour. There's so much that can go wrong, and I don't want that for Audrey."

"It's going to be a lovely day. A walk around a beautiful garden, some refreshments, and a book signing." Hope turned back to her work. "What could possibly go wrong?"

CHAPTER 2

"My invitation didn't include a 'plus one.'" Hope climbed out of her SUV, leaving her sister in the passenger seat.

Claire shrugged. "What's the problem? Are you worried Audrey will be angry with you for bringing me? I thought you were over that 'everyone must like me' phase of your life."

Hope ignored her sister and grabbed her purse off the backseat. She checked her phone messages and found three, all from her former producer at the Culinary Channel who'd moved on to another network. He'd been pitching a new reality show idea to her, and she kept refusing. She had no desire to ever be in front of a television camera again.

"Would you hurry up? I'm freezing." Claire made her way around the vehicle.

Hope looked over her shoulder. "What do you think it's going to be like during the tour?" Audrey's garden was a full acre. Even Hope had to muster enthusiasm for a late March garden tour. Though the sun was brighter and the temperatures were steadily climbing, it snowed two days earlier. And the morning hadn't warmed much.

"I'm all prepared." Claire tugged at her wool trousers to reveal a leather boot with a two-inch heel.

Hope shook her head. "Are you kidding? Is that supposed to be Manolo Blahnik's version of a hiking boot?"

Slightly deflated, Claire let her trouser leg fall.

"This is a very important day for Audrey," Hope said.

"Despite my opposition to Audrey's grassroots association fighting any and all development in town, she is my friend."

Hope slung her purse over her shoulder. "Try again, Sis."

"All right." Claire pushed a lock of blond hair from her face with a gloved hand. "Maybe, just maybe if I can get her group to back off of Whitcomb's new subdivision, he might make me the listing agent for his next project. I need to get an exclusive listing. Peaches McCoy is closing sales left and right. I need that slob to owe me a favor."

"You have to stop this obsession with her. You're a very competent and skilled real estate agent."

"That is true but Miz Pits landed the exclusive listing for Whitcomb's new development and it had nothing to do with competency or skill in real estate."

"Stop calling her that."

Her sister had coined the unflattering nickname for her competitor months ago.

"Pffft."

"You're not going to turn Audrey's garden tour into a fiasco." Hope aimed her key fob at her vehicle and clicked it.

"What do you think she and her stupid preservation group are doing to Jefferson?" Claire snipped. "The Society to Protect Jefferson. Ha! More like the society to keep Jefferson in the Dark Ages."

Hope began to walk, passing by Sally Merrifield's sensible station wagon. A lifelong gardener, Sally would never miss a gardening event. Each year she held a garden party at her family's business, The Merrifield Inn, to showcase her hard work all year long and to celebrate her love of plants and flowers. Hope noticed Meg Griffin's sporty SUV. She sighed. Yet another opportunity to travel back to high school. "Looks like a few people have already arrived. I hope Audrey is all prepared."

"We're just going to be walking around a garden full of dead stuff. What can go wrong?"

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Uninvited Corpse"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Debra Sennefelder.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Uninvited Corpse 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Chatting-About-Cozies More than 1 year ago
Meet lifestyle and food blogger, Hope Early, who’s just getting her blog, Hope At Home, off to a good start since moving to a picturesque New England town. Attending a garden tour at author Audrey Bloom’s home, Hope and some other guests quietly speculate on the appearance of an uninvited guest, Peaches, a local realtor who is a go-getter and tends to stir up trouble. When Peaches leaves the house in a body bag, Hope begins to suspect that trouble is about to sprout out all over town. The story moves quickly and the author does a great job peeling back layer after layer of hidden clues. No one on *my* suspect list turned out to be the actual killer—I was totally in the dark! LOL! The author cleverly managed to hide the real killer’s tracks among all the suspicious acts of other characters. I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the next story in the series. I reviewed an ARC provided by the author.
arkieclown More than 1 year ago
THE UNINVITED CORPSE by Debra Sennefelder is the first book in the Food Blogger Mysteries series. It’s the story of Hope Early who is trying to turn her life around. After three rough bumps in her life – ended career as a magazine editor, embarrassing time as contestant on THE SWEET TASTE OF SUCCESS cooking reality show, and getting blindsided by a cheating husband, she leaves the big city for her home town Jefferson, Connecticut to write her own blog, HOPE AT HOME, with helpful household hints and tried and true recipes. Things get exciting when Hope is the one to discover the dead body of Peaches McCoy, local real estate agent, at the spring garden tour. Peaches hadn’t been invited. Of all the people she has ticked off in town, who had been upset by her arrival? Claire Dixson, Hope’s sister was Peaches professional competitor and had made no bones about her distain for her rival. After Hope’s sister is suspected and later arrested for Peaches murder, Hope knows she has to find the true killer and exonerate her sister. Seems the police don’t see a reason to explore other suspects since they’ve already solved case. Hope’s digging for facts leads to several reasons why Claire might have wanted to kill Peaches. Because of her loyalty to her sister, she knows someone else committed this murder. After, the second murder, she knows that she must be on the trail to the murderer and realizes that her own life might be at stake in finding the truth. This hunch proves true on more than one occasion. With Peaches being so unpopular in town the list of suspects is many and it was fun to see how Hope explored them all. I loved the way the story was laid out, the exploration of leads and then the final surprise ending. I would definitely recommend this book as a new series to start reading if the first book is any indication of what is to come. It will be exciting to see how all the characters develop as this series continues. The relationship between Hope and her dear friend, Chief of Police Ethan Cahill, will definitely be one I will be watching in the coming books. Love the recipes in the back of the book that were used in the story. Definitely plan on trying some of them!
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
I really liked the debut story in a new mystery series. After coming in second in a reality baking show, Hope Early has moved home to Jefferson, Connecticut and is trying her hand at being a food blogger. With some of her past notoriety, this endeavor is slowly becoming a going concern. She shares an assistant with fellow townsperson/author, Audrey Bloom. During Audrey's combination garden tour and book signing. local realtor Peaches McCoy, uninvited and not well liked, is found dead. Unfortunately for Hope, her realtor sister Claire turns out to be the number one suspect. I really liked how the story wove into both some of the past and present of these new characters. And often I felt nods to some other great series, the interplay between the characters was a lot of fun and seemed so real.
GratefulGrandma 15 days ago
As is often the case in Cozy Mystery Series, the MC, Hope Early has had a rough time lately. After losing her job as a Magazine Editor, flopping on a Reality Baking Show and a divorce, she has moved back home to Jefferson Connecticut from New York City. She is trying to make a living with her food and lifestyle blog, lovingly named "Hope at Home". She is attending The Jefferson Garden Club's spring garden tour at the home of her friend Audrey Bloom. Audrey is the author of several gardening books and Hope is helping her out. There are some problems between members of The Garden Club, and Peaches McCoy, a local realtor shows up uninvited causing a rocky start to the event. When Peaches is killed during the Garden Tour, Hope's sister Claire, a rival real estate agent becomes the top suspect. As Hope investigates, trying to prove her sister innocent, many other suspects come to light. Peaches is unpopular because she's been buying up area farmland and properties for development into subdivisions, she and Audrey are at odds over many local issues including the development projects, and Peaches' drive and personality have caused many people to dislike her. Who hated the woman enough to bash her head in with a rock? I enjoyed the story from beginning to end, with its good pacing, clues scattered throughout, a few twists and a totally unexpected ending. I like Hope as a main character. She is real, with normal emotions, a friendly disposition, loyal, honest and smart. It looks like she may have a romance coming in future books with the Chief of Police, but I hope it is not rushed. I have read a lot of culinary cozies, but this is a bit different with blogging as a lifestyle for the main character. One of the things I really like in a cozy are some quirky characters and some interesting pets and we have both in this book. Overall, this was a good start to a new series and I look forward to seeing what is next for Hope and her friends.
BeckyMcF 6 months ago
This was a very good starting book for a new series. I liked the main group of characters, the plot and mysteries, and the food blogging. Looking forward to Book 2 next year!
Anonymous 10 months ago
Excellent read from start to finish
SuZ2Reader More than 1 year ago
The Uninvited Corpse is author Debra Sennefelder’s debut novel, the first in the Food Blogger Mystery series. It is fluffy entertainment and will engage those readers who enjoy cozy mysteries and cooking. Protagonist Hope Early is a likable heroine—strong, independent, and feisty. Hope has returned to her hometown—from a stint in New York City—to recover from her divorce and a loss in a reality cooking show. Hope has her hands full writing the blog “Hope at Home”, cooking, renovating an old house, and raising chickens. She tries to become more involved in her home town and attends several functions like the library bake sale and the spring party of the local garden club. Corpses start dropping, and Hope invariably finds them. An ardent mystery reader from her school days, she’s intrigued, and when her sister becomes the lead subject, Hope becomes actively involved, determined to investigate and save her sister. Some characters are fairly well-developed (Hope, the police chief, for example); others are fairly two-dimensional. Two potential love interests, the police chief and a lawyer, provide fodder for future romantic entanglements. As this is a planned series, hopefully the characters will be rounded out over time. I enjoyed the cooking aspects, and Ms. Sennefelder has a way of describing food so that the reader can almost smell and taste it. Some of the recipes described can be found at the end of the book, and I was intrigued enough to consider trying them. However, I found the fashion descriptions to be tedious. I disliked the overly-involved descriptions of everyone’s footwear and clothing, but those details may appeal to other more fashionista-ish readers.
bluegreen91 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this first-in-series by Debra Sennefelder! I admit, I was a bit unsure I'd like it at first, because there were quite a few characters introduced in a short span and I thought I might have trouble following. Happily, I quickly got into the swing of things and remembered most of the characters who kept popping up. I liked protagonist Hope, food blogger and former reality star, and her two best friends: Chief of Police Ethan and local journalist Drew. I look forward to learning more about them in future books. There are several mysteries in this book, and Hope finds herself in the midst of them all. Then someone close to her becomes suspect #1 with the police and Hope is determined to find the real culprit(s). With several plausible suspects and alibis, this story kept me engrossed and guessing until the very end! I'll definitely be reading the next book in the series when it comes out!
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
I really liked the debut story in a new mystery series. After coming in second in a reality baking show, Hope Early has moved home to Jefferson, Connecticut and is trying her hand at being a food blogger. With some of her past notoriety, this endeavor is slowly becoming a going concern. She shares an assistant with fellow townsperson/author, Audrey Bloom. During Audrey's combination garden tour and book signing. local realtor Peaches McCoy, uninvited and not well liked, is found dead. Unfortunately for Hope, her realtor sister Claire turns out to be the number one suspect. I really liked how the story wove into both some of the past and present of these new characters. And often I felt nods to some other great series, the interplay between the characters was a lot of fun and seemed so real.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled when I first heard about this new book/series. With the lead character being a blogger, and loving to bake, I knew I’d like her. I started reading THE UNINVITED CORPSE while sitting in my car waiting for my sister to finish an appointment. I wish she had taken longer because I didn’t want to put this book down! Author Debra Sennefelder hooked my from page one. And when I finally had the chance to read uninterrupted, I was glued to the book until the last page. Right away I loved the first three characters introduced. Protagonist, Hope Early, Chief of Police Ethan Cahill and Hope’s best friend (maybe more in future installments?), and Vanessa Jordan, Hope’s assistant. I’m looking forward in getting to know more about all three of them. As for some other characters, I was happy with the choice of victim, Peaches McCoy. Not a nice person at all. I also didn’t like, Claire Dixon, Hope’s sister. But Hope loves her, so I’m willing to give her another chance. THE UNINVITED CORPSE was superbly written, with a brilliantly thought out plot. Author Sennefelder created a vast list of suspects that all seemed to me to be likely killers. She had me guessing until the end. Of course, every guess I made was wrong. I was floored when I read the reveal! If you’re looking to start a new series this year, don’t miss out on the Food Blogger Mysteries. THE UNINVITED CORPSE is the first of what I’m sure will be a long lasting series. Did I mention there are some tasty recipes included?!
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder is the first novel in Food Blogger Mysteries. Hope Early lives in a lovely farmhouse in Jefferson, Connecticut where she writes her blog, Hope at Home. Hope is off to attend Audrey Bloom’s book signing and garden tour. Claire, Hope’s sister and a local real estate agent, insists on coming with her in the hopes that Peaches McCoy will be attendance. Claire is upset that Peaches, a rival real estate agent, stole another listing from her and this one was for the controversial new Whitcomb development. The event is to promote Audrey’s new book. Hope, who just cannot help herself, is cleaning up after the guests. She goes into the study and finds it in a disarray with Peaches dead on the floor. Detective Sam Reid zeros in on Claire as the killer. With encouragement from her friends since she has always been good at solving mysteries, Hope delves into the case. The next night Hope receives a call from Vanessa stating she needs to talk to her right away. Hope arrives at Vanessa’s house to find the door open and Vanessa dead. What did Vanessa know that got her killed? Hope needs to expose the killer before Claire ends up doing twenty to life. Someone is unhappy with Hope’s snooping and attempts to put her out of commission. Can Hope reveal the killer before Claire is fitted for an orange jumpsuit? The Uninvited Corpse is easy to read (I am starting with the positive aspects). I wish, though, that the author had taken the time to establish Hope’s background. We are told what happened to her recently and why she has moved to Jefferson to start over (several times), but I wanted to know more about her. The Uninvited Corpse starts off with the author introducing us to a plethora of characters. There was just one after another and it was difficult to keep them all straight. My favorite character is Jane Merrifield, a mystery writer. I wish the author had made her the main character (I really liked her). The book seemed disjointed/choppy. It lacked an ease and flow. There is the cliché nasty detective that frequently reminds Hope to quit investigating. As an investigator, Hope is severely lacking. She was good as a teen in solving mysteries as a part of a library group (which we are told many times), but that was in theory (like me solving cozy mysteries). Hope asks bad questions and lacks subtlety. She goes around antagonizing people all around the town (she was relentless). I am curious if anyone else wondered why Claire never had dinner with her kids? There was a repetition of information. The same details are mentioned repeatedly. And let me not forget the love triangle. Why do author’s keep putting love triangles in cozy mysteries? The mystery was simple and easily solved. The why takes longer to become apparent. When Hope is not out investigating, she is baking, painting, cooking, chatting, writing blog posts and cleaning (a bit obsessive about it). Since The Uninvited Corpse is the first book, I am hoping Debra Sennefelder will work out the kinks before the next Food Blogger Mystery. I am giving The Uninvited Corpse 3 out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. This book was a fun cozy mystery and the first in a new food blogger mystery series. I really enjoyed the character development in the book and it was easy to feel like you could get to know the characters. Hope has returned home from NYC to her small Connecticut town and is a blogger. She attends a garden party where the uninvited guest, a local realtor, is found dead. Hope feels that she has to investigate when her sister Claire becomes a prime suspect. I was surprised at the ending. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good light cozy mystery.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts I know from experience blogging isn’t easy but Hope Early has her foodie/lifestyle blog well under control and making money. That is until she finds the body of local real estate agent Peaches McCoy in the middle of a spring garden tour. Peaches wasn’t even invited to this party, how did she end up pushing up daisies? Unfortunately, her sister, Claire, also a local real estate agent, tagged along to the event with Hope. Due to her rivalry with the victim, she quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. When another murder is committed, Hope’s only hope is to dig into the murders herself because her sister isn’t taking the police’s investigation seriously. While fielding offers to appear on more reality television and trying to keep up with her recipes and blog, she now finds herself following a murderer and getting so close she may be the next dead body they dig up. The author has got this series off to a great start. Due to the garden party setting readers are introduced to a lot of characters all at once but soon we are given enough information to keep them all straight. Hope and her sister are nothing alike. Hope is a hard worker, recently divorced and trying to make a success out of her 15 minutes of reality show fame. Many say she should have won that baking show. Claire who probably works hard too, is not very likable, kind of irritating, but Hope loves her and the relationship for them is normal. Hope’s best friend just happens to be the chief of police but that may develop into something more in the future. The secondary cast started to really come alive as the story continued. The plot is full of red herrings. Almost everyone at the party had an opportunity to kill Peaches, but others could have entered the garden without being seen, so the suspect list is pretty long. The story flows at a nice pace as readers follow along with Hope and her investigation. I had a theory about the guilty party a bit before Hope but the reveal still was a bit of surprise. I liked the way the story ended with Hope’s housewarming party with an unexpected guest. No corpse this time. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I am excited for Hope’s story to continue and maybe Claire will be a little more likable The author has laid a nice foundation and left plenty of room for her characters to evolve as the series continues.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts I know from experience blogging isn’t easy but Hope Early has her foodie/lifestyle blog well under control and making money. That is until she finds the body of local real estate agent Peaches McCoy in the middle of a spring garden tour. Peaches wasn’t even invited to this party, how did she end up pushing up daisies? Unfortunately, her sister, Claire, also a local real estate agent, tagged along to the event with Hope. Due to her rivalry with the victim, she quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. When another murder is committed, Hope’s only hope is to dig into the murders herself because her sister isn’t taking the police’s investigation seriously. While fielding offers to appear on more reality television and trying to keep up with her recipes and blog, she now finds herself following a murderer and getting so close she may be the next dead body they dig up. The author has got this series off to a great start. Due to the garden party setting readers are introduced to a lot of characters all at once but soon we are given enough information to keep them all straight. Hope and her sister are nothing alike. Hope is a hard worker, recently divorced and trying to make a success out of her 15 minutes of reality show fame. Many say she should have won that baking show. Claire who probably works hard too, is not very likable, kind of irritating, but Hope loves her and the relationship for them is normal. Hope’s best friend just happens to be the chief of police but that may develop into something more in the future. The secondary cast started to really come alive as the story continued. The plot is full of red herrings. Almost everyone at the party had an opportunity to kill Peaches, but others could have entered the garden without being seen, so the suspect list is pretty long. The story flows at a nice pace as readers follow along with Hope and her investigation. I had a theory about the guilty party a bit before Hope but the reveal still was a bit of surprise. I liked the way the story ended with Hope’s housewarming party with an unexpected guest. No corpse this time. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I am excited for Hope’s story to continue and maybe Claire will be a little more likable The author has laid a nice foundation and left plenty of room for her characters to evolve as the series continues.
CozyMarie More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I even posted to my Facebook Page when I was reading that I kept wanting to post about the book, but was too busy enjoying it. I identified with a cozy about a blogger and enjoyed the author’s insights into the world of blogging. Hope has a close relationship with her sister and I related to that element of the book as well.
Barbara-Tobey More than 1 year ago
Good start to what appears will be an enjoyable series. New career, return to home town, divorce, potential romance, and dead bodies. A delightful mix. I look forward to reading the next one. The publisher provided a copy via NetGalley for my voluntary review.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Food and lifestyle blogger Hope Early is settling back into her home town of Jefferson, Connecticut, and she is enjoying reconnecting with family and friends. One chance to do that is at her friend’s garden party to celebrate that friend’s new gardening book. However, Peaches McCoy, an ambitious real estate agent, crashes the party. Peaches isn’t well liked in town, but Hope is surprised to find Peaches’ body before the event is over. With the police zeroing in on Hope’s sister, Hope sets out to find the real killer. Can she do it? This book doesn’t waste much time before jumping into the garden party. That’s both good and bad since it means it isn’t long before Peaches dies, but it also means we meet the suspects and series regulars in a hurry. It took me a little time to keep them all straight, but as their personalities came through, I was able to remember who they all were. The plot does slow down in the second half, but everything comes together for a great climax. This looks like the start of a fun series.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
vivid descriptions and excellent pacing THE UNINVITED CORPSE by Debra Sennefelder The First Food Blogger Mystery Peaches McCoy wasn't the only uninvited guest to attend Audrey Bloom's garden tour and book signing, after all Claire talked her sister, Hope, into bringing her along. But Peaches was the one most of the other guests disliked and Peaches was the one who became the corpse. With the detective in charge honing on on Claire as the killer, Hope feels she has no choice but to save her sister and figure out who killed Peaches herself. THE UNINVITED CORPSE introduces us to Hope Early, a former magazine editor who claimed her 15 minutes of fame as runner up on a reality baking show. Now she's returned home to Connecticut where she's working as a food blogger. Hope is tenacious, if somewhat of a wimp. Unsure whether to risk exploring her feelings for her old friend, the current chief of police, she's certain to pick up after you and try to fix things. It's this maternal instinct and desire make everything just right that drives Hope to get involved with the murder investigation, despite being warned off by the police. She's also urged on by two likable characters, Jane and Drew. Most of the characters are not very likeable, however, this does make for some very good suspects and villains, but it also made me wish Claire would be found guilty! Despite not having an affinity towards most of the characters, I did enjoy the book. Debra Sennefelder was able to draw me into her world with vivid descriptions and excellent pacing. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
Rockport_rocker More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy The Uninvited Corpse but I didn’t love it as much as I expected. The main character was great as were couple of her friends and the mystery was outstanding! I did not come close to figuring out the murderer. I enjoyed watching Hope work and seeing the way she integrated the blog into her life. She was a kind and well-rounded person although a bit nicer than some people deserved but that is ok. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that there were so many negative people in her life; even her relationship with her sister, whom she loves, is irritating. I thought the book was going to be a cozy mystery and to me good people and warm relationships are a key element that I look for in a cozy mystery so if that is lacking, a book that is excellent in all other aspects will not be great to me. If I had just expected it to be a female amateur mystery, I might have felt differently about the whole book. It was good enough that I want to read the next few so Debra Sennefelder and Hope are still on my list and I want to see more of Ethan. I was excited to receive an advanced reader’s copy of the book from Kensington via NetGalley. I think most readers of amateur mysteries will enjoy the book. I hope that the picky point that bugged me will not bother others reader because I will be recommending it to my friends with that one caveat.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder was an interesting introduction to a new cozy series. I say interesting because the book introduced the reader to several characters at the beginning which made it slightly confusing for me. Although many of the characters were better defined later in the book, I found their initial reactions and interactions confusing and only later did I understand them. Hope is a strong female who has reinvented herself after moving back home to Jefferson. I liked her drive and creativity as she begins life anew. Her sister, Claire, was a hard person for me to like as she seemed very self-absorbed. The descriptive writing did well in introducing the reader to the town of Jefferson and the residents. I'm sure that many of the characters will become more developed as this series progresses. The plot was smoothly paced and there were several suspects, twists and turns, and ambiguous clues to keep me guessing until the reveal. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
Shelly9677 More than 1 year ago
The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder. is an entertaining read. The Food Blogger Mystery series is set in a scenic New England town and revolves around Hope’s busy life testing out recipes, gathering helpful household hints and preparing enticing blog entries. Sounds, pleasant, right? It is pleasant, but it certainly is anything but boring! The lifeless body of a decidedly unpleasant real estate agent is found during a garden tour and Hope’s very own sister, Claire, is a suspect. Hope is compelled to track down the real murderer before her sister lands in jail.
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Hope Early is a food blogger in Jefferson, Connecticut. Having been the runner up in cooking show she has a small level of notoriety in the foodie world and is working hard to establish her blog and brand. When invited to a garden tour for a book signing at Audrey Bloom’s house, she and her sister arrive to find local realtor Peaches McCoy has crashed the party, which is typical for her personality of stirring up trouble and pushing the envelope. When Hope finds the body of Peaches and her sister Claire is the prime suspect, she needs to add solving a murder to her already burgeoning list of things to do. The book was an engaging read with well developed characters and a plot that kept me turning page after page to find out who had done it. The first book in the new Food Blogger Mysteries, this promises to be a great new series!
Bobbie Kirkland More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Hope Early, lifestyle and food blogger, has moved back to her tiny hometown in an effort to re-establish herself following a series of professional and personal failures. When she attends a local garden party, she discovers the body of the most hated woman in town. Her mentor, friends, and acquaintances pressure her to investigate, and she does once the inept detective begins to build his case against Hope’s sister Claire, who was a business rival of the woman. Standard fare. #TheUninvitedCorpse #NetGalley
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
The Uninvited Corpse is one of a handful of books that I could hardly wait to read - based solely on the title and cover art - and it did not disappoint! After her divorce and her stint on a reality cooking show, food blogger Hope Early has returned home to northwestern Connecticut where she spends her days working on her blog, feeding her chickens, and renovating her farmhouse. Her idyllic life is thrown into turmoil when her sister Claire's rival real estate agent, Peaches McCoy (the aforementioned uninvited corpse in the title), is found murdered at a garden party they were all attending. Fast forward to another murder close to home for Hope, and backwards to one in the past, and Hope has her hands full trying to clear her sister's name and save her own life after someone tries to kill her, too! Interesting characters abound, and there're more than one potential love interest for our heroine, plus author Debra Sennefelder has included several very yummy sounding recipes featured in the book! A+ to this debut effort!
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder is a first in a new series that is sure to be a winner. Hope Early is a wonderful character and she is very easy to like. Hope is a blogger who whips up some delicious treats in this cozy mystery. As we all know, there is always a victim in a cozy and this one is no different. Finding the body was horrible for Hope, but even worse is watching her sister being accused of this awful crime. Hope does everything in her power to find the truth, alienating her friends, going against the local police, and finding herself a victim as well. I loved the other characters that joined Hope. Jane, a retired mystery author certainly stirs the plot and her sidekick Sally was entertaining as well. I was able to figure it out at the end, but the author had me second guessing myself quite often. Mystery fans will want to put The Uninvited Corpse at the top of their TBR pile. I voluntarily read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.