A Measure of Murder
Another cozy mystery that has cooking as a subplot! I love it! And it’s got great humor. And well written.
Sally tries out for a chorus singing one of Mozart’s famous pieces. Something she always wanted to sing. On top of running a restaurant left to her by an aunt. And helping run her father’s family restaurant. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the two restaurants are not similar, one is more casual, one is more sophisticated. And on top of this, she gets involved in a murder. Again. And I tried THE SPAGHETTI CARBONARA RECIPE, which was wonderful!
Anyway, about the review.
Sally is a woman of middle age, who is going through what most women of middle age go through. Leslie Karst was smart and didn’t gloss over it. It became part of her character, like it should.
I really liked the interaction between Sally and Eric. They used to date. They became friends after the breakup. And not tension friends. They actually like each other. And there’s no ‘chemistry’ anymore, which is a relief from the normal take.
The characters are definitely thought out and shown in full regalia. It was interesting that Leslie Karst tried to show flaws in all her characters. But were too many flaws shown? I leave that up to you to decide, because I’m not sure. Some authors just gloss over them, or have cookie cutter characters with no backbone or personality. Not in this book! But there were so many small characters (at least IMHO), that I had a bit of trouble keeping them straight. And I had trouble picturing the characters’ descriptions because of the number of people in the book. But that’s just me.
The Setting Descriptions
The setting descriptions were awesome. I liked the way Leslie Karst described the settings of individual scenes. They were detailed, so you could get a feel of it. Leslie Karst’s book is set in Santa Cruz, California, a place shown in movies, but not too much in books. I’m excited about that. I would like to see a bit more of the overall city feel though, but not sure if that would be appropriate or would hurt the flow.
The dialogue was not overpowering in this book, like some others that are dialogue heavy. But the banter was quite fun, and one could get the gist of how the characters interacted with each other in their head and hearts by how the dialogue went.
The pace was quick but breathable. There wasn’t any time I had to keep reading for pages and pages because there wasn’t any change of pace. The roller coaster ride was doable; a lot of writers forget about this part because they want so much in the book. Leslie Karst did good on this rhythm.
I didn’t want to skip over the setting descriptions, they were just the right size. I wished I were in an Italian restaurant having a good meal when Leslie Karst discussed food and drink. The music seemed a bit overwhelming for someone who doesn’t know about being in a music setting. But, everyone has been in a chorus at one time or another, right? Think back to elementary school, if you dare. You sang, right? So it was a matter of thinking back, and you kind of got the feel.
Okay, here it goes. As soon as I read about the murder, and the first interactions after that, I did what I always do. I took a SWAG (you know what that is, right? Sophisticated Wild Ass Guess) on who the killer was. I was right, but just because I took a stab in the dark, and I’ve been reading mysteries for over 30 years. But at that time, I had no hunches on why I picked that person, I just did based on the scene of the crime and the initial talking about it.
Red herrings sprinkled throughout the story, and nothing that screamed red herring till later. And each suspect gave good reasoning and other clues to make me second guess on my gut reaction. That is very good! In other words, unless you’ve read every mystery on the planet, it’s not scientifically obvious who the killer was. And no loose endings, so you don’t feel cheated. Way to go, Leslie Karst!
Leslie Karst Author Information
Leslie Karst is new to the scene of authorship. She shows her former professional and personal lives in the books, which makes them unbelievable, instead of suspecting it was just research. And this gives her an advantage of being able to describe things to pull you into the intricacies of the stories.
Her books to date are:
- Dying for a Taste – April 2016
- A Measure of Murder – February 2017
- Death Al Fresco – March 2018
- Murder From Scratch – Coming April 2019
You can find more about her here.
This is a gal to watch!
Read the book and tell me what kind of response Leslie Karst gives you.