Genre: Cozy mystery
Setting: A fictional town in Napa Valley, set in today’s time
***I received an eARC copy of A Deadly Éclair from the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, via NetGalley***
*** this post contains affiliate links ***
Review: Delicious sounding food and wine, and a fun atmosphere, but ultimately forgettable. A Deadly Éclair is the first book in a new cozy mystery series, The French Bistro Mysteries, set in a fictional small town in Napa Valley.
Written by Daryl Wood Gerber, who also writes the Cookbook Nook mysteries, and also the enjoyable Cheese Shop Mysteries under the name Avery Aames, A Deadly Éclair was a good start to a series in that it sets up the setting and atmosphere very nicely.
Our main character is Mimi Rousseau, age thirty-five, who runs a French themed bistro in Napa Valley. Mimi was an okay main character. I don’t remember anything too outrageous or annoying about her in particular, but neither do I remember anything all that likable about her either.
A Deadly Éclair starts as Mimi is hosting a celebrity wedding, and someone ends up dead. The mystery aspect was fine, but there were so many characters that I had trouble keeping everyone straight. From the best friend, to the workers at the bistro, to the guests in town for the wedding, there were a few too many relations and characters to remember who was who and how they connected.
One issue I had with A Deadly Éclair is that when Mimi was focusing on the mystery, her thought process made me very tired. She’d think of so many questions, too many really, and there wasn’t any time for the reader to ponder these many questions. It was just one question right after another, all melding together, and I was left feeling tired and drained. Since this is a cozy mystery, which to me is a genre I read when I want something light that I don’t have to focus on too much, this book just made me tired.
So while I enjoyed the setting of Napa Valley, the mystery and characters were fairly standard and not all that memorable, so this book was a bit disappointing to me. I’m not sure that I will continue on to read more in this series, but I do enjoy the authors Cheese Shop Mystery series, so perhaps this series will get better with time.
Bottom Line: Fun atmosphere, but ultimately forgettable.
Does this sound like a fun mystery? Do you enjoy cozy mysteries that have a focus on food and drink? Have you ever been to Napa Valley? I live in Sonoma County, right next door to Napa!