Friday, April 27, 2018

Book Review: 'Murder at the Tremont House' by Judy Alter


A journalist arrives in Wheeler, Texas, ostensibly to do an article on small-town America, but her prying questions seem to indicate another agenda, or so Kate Chambers thinks.
I really like Kate. She is a smart, savvy owner of the Blue Plate Café, which she inherited from her grandmother. Kate has good instincts, and these are helped by comments from her grandmother’s ghost, comments which never give Kate enough information, and raise more questions than answers. As Kate explains it, sometimes her grandmother would “talk to me, mostly in platitudes, and she rarely stayed around to listen to my reply. A few times though she did give me helpful hints, and I found the thought of her presence comforting. I don’t usually tell people about it, because they’d think I’m weird.”
Murder at the Tremont House is a face-paced exciting cozy mystery with plenty of action on many levels. There is a broken marriage and a love triangle, as well as a cooking school, a missing child, a kidnapping, and two murders. The characters are very well-defined, with a lot of depth and I liked many of them. I have never been to Texas, but I have been in a number of small towns, and the setting for this novel feels accurate and believable. The pacing is excellent and I found myself unable to put the book down. There are a number of twists and turns in the plot and I did not figure out who the murder was until the end.
If you are a fan of the cozy mystery, I recommend stopping by the Blue Plate Café, where you will not only get a good home cooked meal, but a lot of excitement and mystery as well. This is the second novel in the Blue Plate Café Mystery series, but it works well as a stand-alone. I have not yet read the first in the series, but I had no trouble jumping right into this one. And be sure you don’t miss out on the freshly baked sticky buns.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.