A Parfait Crime

Kensington. (A Five-Ingredient Mystery, Bk. 9). Oct. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781496734594. pap. $8.99. M
A fire shakes up the Readers Theater production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap when a cast member named Jane is found dead in the possible arson scene. Val Deniston hesitantly takes over the now-unfilled role, acting alongside her boyfriend Bram and her co-sleuth grandfather. Val is determined to solve the mysteries surrounding Jane’s death, starting with the dead body in her freezer. The other cast members seem to know more about Jane, so as Granddad serves them his parfaits during rehearsal breaks, Val notes their odd behaviors and hushed suspicions. Clues lead them to the new beauty spa where Val is asked to run a smoothie bar. Danger lurks around the corner, and Val, Granddad, and Bram must keep an eye out in case the killer gets too close. Characters are well-developed, including the new-to-town suspects, while the plot reveals shocking connections and emotional backstories. Thanks to Val’s and her grandfather’s strong information-gathering skills and their talent for exposing the truth, even a “perfect crime” will be uncovered.
VERDICT Corrigan’s ninth “Five-Ingredient Mystery” (after Bake Offed) is a satisfying read and enacts its title as it delivers a riveting murder mystery with a sweet ending.
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