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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lethal Lasagna by Rhonda Gibson

Lethal Lasagna: A Claire Parker Mystery by Rhonda Gibson
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full (242 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Water Lily

When Claire Parker’s best friend Mitzi is found dead, and Claire turns out to be the prime suspect, she takes matters into her own hands to find the murderer. Tracing Mitzi's steps, Claire meets new friends and a handsome man who may turn out to be the love of her life or Mitzi's murderer.

As the evidence piles up, Claire discovers the murderer is willing to strike again.

Can she find the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Claire Parker is a slightly ditzy, but very likeable 52 year old woman who, for reasons I can’t understand, thinks of herself as old. This was a sticking point for me because I’m approaching the half century mark and don’t think of myself as old—at all. But, personal issues aside, Claire is the type of woman you’d want for a friend. She talks to her dog, is a bit obsessed with tea, and is loyal to her family and friends. She’s so loyal that when her friend Mitzi is murdered by poison mushrooms tucked into a pan of lasagna she’s bound and determined to find the murderer. Never mind what the police think.

As likeable as Claire is, she doesn’t seem to have much of a life until Mitzi’s death. Claire’s way of searching for the murderer involves adopting Mitzi’s life and she doesn’t seem to miss whatever it is she used to do before. Mitzi, however, had an interesting life, so it’s okay. Soon Claire is attending a creative writing class taught by the distinctly hunky Professor Brandon Harvest, attending Mitzi’s (and Brandon’s) church, and involved in Mitzi’s clubs.

Everyone everywhere appears to know she’s looking into Mitzi’s death and eventually the murderer gets nervous. Personally, I never had a clue who killed Mitzi or why she was killed. Mitzi seemed far too nice for enemies. Like many cozy mysteries, this story isn’t heavy on clues. It deals more with the growing romance between Brandon and Claire. The story is sweet, but not complex.

Claire’s personality, rather than the plot, carries this book. If this is the first in a series, as the title suggests, I hope the next few have a bit more mystery. Still, if you like slice-of-life books with faith-filled characters, Rhonda Gibson’s Lethal Lasagna may be just what you are looking for.

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