The best thing about reading for me is escaping from my everyday life and exploring other places, meeting other people, and sometimes finding out about other times. The book I just finished is set in a very different place from where I live (San Antonio, Texas). The action takes place in a small town, Elkview, a few hours drive away from Anchorage, Alaska and is set in and around a café, the “Bear Claw”. Mousse and Murder is the first book in the Alaskan Diner Mystery Book series by Elizabeth Logan. And, this is my next book that I am writing about as part of my Most Popular and Recommended Cozy Mystery Series posts.
The story is written in the first person from the point of view of thirty-three year old Charlotte (Charlie) Cooke who runs the diner her mother started, the “Bear Claw Diner”. Charlie is a trained chef, but the head chef of the diner is Oliver, a French chef with some extraordinary abilities and a somewhat hot temper. The book begins with Charlie’s parents traveling (as they often do) and so Charlie is left without her mother’s support to run the diner and to take care of her mother’s cat, Eggs Benedict (Benny for short).
Anyway, as is common in Cozy Mysteries, before long there is a murder that affects the diner directly. Charlie, with her mother’s encouragement, and the tacit permission from the overstretched local police (who is apparently just one person who everyone calls “Trooper”), gets working on the case. Assisting Charlie is a local newspaperman (who just happens to be a likely romantic interest), Chris. Chris and Charlie are even “deputized” by Trooper.
I’ve got to admit that this is one of the (pretty unusual these days) mysteries in which I figured out the culprit about half way through the book. The characters, the cat and especially the setting of the book kept me going, though, even though I was pretty sure I knew who did the deed. Exactly how Charlie and Chris will get the clues together to prove who did it and to figure out why the murder happened keeps the remainder of the book being pretty compelling reading.
The book is written by an author who has a long and growing list of pseudonyms, Camille Minichino, aka Margaret Grace, Jean Flowers, Ada Madison, and, now also Elizabeth Logan. Long time readers of my blog may remember that she is one of my favorite modern authors. I’ve written about her a bunch of times including when I talked about her many pseudonyms. Another post was when I was named her as one of my favorite “must-read-right-away” authors. I am glad to say I still follow her, and I enjoyed Mousse and Murder very much.
If you’d like to see other entries about some of the most recommended Cozy Mystery authors, be sure to check out the Most Popular and Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page on my site.
PS: For recipe fans, there are two recipes included at the end of the book.