In The Uninvited Corpse by Debra Sennefelder, Hope Early makes her living as a blogger writing about recipes and lifestyle. The former editor of a major New York- based magazine and then runner-up in the reality show cooking contest called the Sweet Taste of Success, Hope gave it all up to move back to her hometown of Jefferson, Connecticut. One March afternoon, Hope’s lifelong close friend, Audrey Bloom, hosts a garden tour to introduce the newest in her series of gardening books, and an uninvited guest shows up. While Audrey has been fighting hard to keep development out of Jefferson, Peaches McCoy has served as realtor to the large firrn that is trying to build major projects in the town. Further, she has gained a reputation as a poacher of other realtors’ clients, in particular Hope’s sister, Claire Dixon, who seethes upon seeing Peaches crash the party. Then, just after Peaches gets her free copy of Audrey’s new book, she disappears. It is only when Hope and her newspaper reporter friend go into the office of Harrison, Audrey’s husband, where they see the place ransacked, that they find the body of Peaches, with her head bashed in by a rock lying next to the body.
Detective Reid soon shows up to handle (read: dominate) the scene, and he sets his sights firmly on Claire. After he makes his intention of proving Claire guilty, Hope takes up the challenge of her former classmates in their mystery readers club to try to solve the case herself. But little does she know that doing so will cost another life and put her own in grave danger.
I enjoyed listening to The Uninvited Corpse, which had an interesting storyline and setting. The plot provides various possibilities for the solution, keeping us guessing what happened. The setting with a cut- throat realtor and a blogger was of interest.
The characters were numerous, making it a challenge to follow the details at times. I also didn’t connect to the character of Hope very much. She gets really pushy in asking questions, alienating people in the process. Further, the detective in the case is both hostile and incompetent, which I didn’t appreciate. Cozy mysteries by definition focus on an amateur, but they can do so without making the police seem like nasty idiots. To balance the terrible Detective Reid, Hope has a budding relationship with Police Chief Ethan Cahill, who comes across as sympathetic and intelligent. I was happy to see one good police officer.
Callie Beaulieu performs the audio edition of this book. She uses effective- sounding voices and elements of expression. One problem I did have with the recording is that the volume was not even throughout, making me turn up and then turn down the volume periodically.
The Uninvited Corpse turned out to be an interesting book. I appreciated the angle of focusing on a former reality show star who both hates and uses her celebrity for the benefit
.. I give this book four stars.
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.