Death Of A Christmas Caterer
Kensington, Oct 7 2014, $7.99
In Bar Harbor, Maine, Island Times food and wine columnist single mom (of teenagers Gemma and Dustin) Hayley Powell gets a promotion from office manager to senior office manager with no pay increase or any staff. Her boss Sal says her new duty includes hosting the office Christmas party, which is tomorrow.
Haley commissions Garth Rawlings to cater the affair only to find from Sal that the budgeting this year is one fifth of last year. Garth hangs up on her, but the next day he hires her; paying her for a thousand dollars to help him for two days with Midnight Madness after he learns her column is blowing up on Twitter. When Haley arrives to deliver food, she is horrified to see Garth’s place on fire and him dead. With too much on her plate, Haley needs to ignore the death of her new employer, but a Grinch wants her obituary in the next edition of the Island Times.
The fifth Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails mystery (see Death of a Country-Fried Redneck and Death of a Kitchen Diva) is an amusing cozy starring an overworked protagonist. The whodunit is lighthearted fun as Lee Hollis nicely combines humor and suspense within a zany amateur sleuth.