Debra Sennefelder Writes Her First Mystery
Debra Sennefelder, I don’t know what to say. I love this title. And a story about a blogger? How fun is that for a career in a cozy mystery? They always say there’s no new story in the word, just your own twist on something done before. And this is definitely a new twist.
But you know? This character is a food blogger, kind of like this diyhomegoddess. However, Debra Sennefelder puts recipes as inserts, just like all the other culinary mysteries. What if she were to do hints on how to do a blog as her inserts? Just a thought.
There are quite a few characters in this story, and it is a bit hard to keep them all in my head. But the physical descriptions of the characters were vividly done. I will be talking about just the repeating characters here.
I liked the way Hope Early thought about her professional life. She is strong, sure of her self, and a take charge kind of gal. But in her personal life? I’m not so sure about that. I don’t know if that is what was intended, but Hope seems a bit wishy-washy about dealing with feelings. I felt like there wasn’t enough investment in Hope. And her snooping skills seemed a little off. Like she was being way too pushy for someone just starting out.
Chief Ethan Cahill is a good cop who I think should be working in a bigger town. It doesn’t seem like he’s too dumb. Not exactly the typical cozy cop view.
I thought Hope’s sister Claire was a bit of an odd duck. She was always popping in. Like all the time. She had kids, but never seemed to be around them. That doesn’t mean I want them in the story, but she never seemed to be dealing with them.
I loved the reporter Drew and the former mystery writer Jane. They were a hoot. Kind of like the bumbling side-kicks everyone gets annoyed with. But there was no annoyance here. They were fun.
The Setting Descriptions
The setting was not done bad. There were plenty of descriptions in the beginning of the book. And they were drawn out enough to where you could envision the places.
But later on, I had trouble figuring out where they were. I’m not exactly sure why, but there were several times where I had to reread a paragraph to figure out where the characters had gone.
I’m not sure about the dialogue. It’s not that it was bad, but it seemed like there was a lot of talking with assumptions made by the characters listening. Sometimes I got lost in what was going on.
There was a lot of repeating of dialogue, and lots of discussing what had happened, instead of showing us things. It was like the characters were reading a book out loud, instead of living it.
I’m hoping Debra Sennefelder saw this in the first book and fixes it.
The pace seemed to move a little fast. Maybe because of the number of characters involved? Like in the first 6 pages were three different scenes and the introduction of 3 different characters. It was hard to keep up with where the people were at all times.
There did seem like a lot of repeating stuff, which meant the pace dragged. How can the pace be too fast and drag at the same time you ask? Because of how the scenes are set up.
There’s this thing called the roller coaster, where a reader goes up in down in emotion throughout the story. The excitement builds, then some fantastic action happens, and we get to take a breather until the next excitement. The way Debra Sennefelder wrote this story, instead of taking big climbs and falls in the roller coaster, it was constantly the baby hills. Lots of movement happening, but nothing really fantastic.
The story jumped around a lot, making the normal flow a bit of a reach.
The plot? Because of the pace, the plot seemed a bit awkward. Kind of like formal? Like we were being lectured on the plot, not living it?
I did see the red herrings and clues, but they were not exactly tied together cohesively. I did guess the killer pretty early, because it seemed a bit too obvious for me. I’ve read other reviews who didn’t see it coming.
Maybe it was just me, but it seemed like Debra Sennfelder ‘told’ us who the killer was, then spent the rest of the book trying to steer us in different directions.
Debra Sennfelder Author Information
Do you want to know more about Debra Sennfelder? Check out her website here. She moves pretty fast too on coming up with new ideas, trying to create two series at the same time.
The Food Blogger Series
- The Uninvited Corpse – March 2018
- The Hidden Corpse – March 2019
Resale Boutique Mysteries
- Murder Wears A Little Black Dress – January 2019
I give Debra Sennefelder a 3 out of 5 stars, but I’m willing to wait for the second book before I make any full judgement on the series.