A Catered Tea Party by Isis CrawfordA Catered Tea Party by Isis Crawford

A Catered Tea Party

byIsis Crawford

Hardcover | August 30, 2016

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Quiet Longely, New York, is abuzz with excitement over the opening of a revamped art complex—and catering sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons are helping put on an elaborate tea party for the opening night gala fundraiser. But when the billionaire behind the project drops dead, the Simmons sisters find themselves steeped in a whistling kettle of murder . . .
Everyone in Longely is talking about Blue House, an art complex that will bring the town a theater, an art gallery, and even a restaurant and coffee bar. But they’re less than enthusiastic about Ludvoc “Zeb” Zalinsky, the self-made billionaire who’s funding the complex—and rubbing everyone the wrong way. Bernie and Libby reluctantly agree to cater the Alice in Wonderland themed tea party he’s planned, but it quickly becomes clear that Zeb is madder than the hatter he’ll be dressed as . . .
The night of the benefit arrives and Westchester’s finest show up in droves, having paid $500 apiece to attend Zeb’s meticulously-orchestrated tea party. But just when it seems the production is going according to plan, Zeb lifts an electric tea kettle, clutches his chest, and falls to the floor in fittingly dramatic fashion. The kettle shorted out and his pacemaker malfunctioned—but it doesn’t take long for police to decide that this seemingly random accident was actually cold-blooded murder . . .
As Bernie and Libby set out to find the culprit, they realize Zeb might have had more enemies than money. With so many possible culprits to sort through, only one thing is clear: Zeb was poured a steaming cup of revenge—and a second serving may be on the menu…
Includes Original Recipes for You to Try!


“Cozy fans will find plenty to like.” —Publishers Weekly

“Framed with scenes of food preparation and sales, and supported by the richly portrayed relationship between the sisters and their widowed father, this satisfying cozy will appeal to fans of Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen mysteries.” —Booklist

 “Cozy fans will appreciate the zany characters, witty dialogue and puzzling plot.” —Publishers Weekly

“Comical minor arguments, bitchy asides, cookie dependencies, and useful recipes keep this moving.” —Library Journal

“Fans who love culinary mysteries are going to gain pounds after reading this delicious who-done-it.” —I Love a Mystery
ISIS CRAWFORD was born in Egypt to parents who were in the diplomatic corps. When she was five, her family returned to the States, where her mother opened a restaurant in Upper Westchester County and her father became a university professor. Since then Isis has combined her parents’ love of food and travel by running a catering service...
Title:A Catered Tea PartyFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.7 × 1 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.7 × 1 inPublished:August 30, 2016Publisher:KensingtonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1617733334

ISBN - 13:9781617733338


Rated 3 out of 5 by from 12th book in series! A Catered Tea Party by Isis Crawford is the twelfth book in Mystery with Recipes series. Bernie and Libby Simmons own A Little Taste of Heaven in Longely, New York. They cater events and have a bakeshop. They have been hired by Ludvoc Zalinsky’s to cater a tea party for the opening night of Alice in Wonderland in the Blue House. Ticket holders will be able to eat and watch the play. The Blue House is a new complex that will host plays, an art gallery, and maybe someplace to get a dinner, snack or coffee. It is all being funded by Ludvoc “Zeb” Zalinsky. The downside is he is domineering and opinionated. Zeb recently purchased a very expensive Yixing stoneware teapot ($2 million dollars) and insists that it be the centerpiece in the tea party scene of the play. The night of the play arrives and the theater is full. The production is going along well, until they cannot find Zeb. He is discovered on the kitchen floor—dead! The tea pot is gone! It seems that someone sabotaged the electric teakettle (Zeb had a pacemaker and the current from the teakettle killed him). Casper Cumberbatch, the director, ends up being the prime suspect. Bernie and Libby know that Casper did not commit the crime and set out to find the real killer (and the teapot). He may have been a pain in the derriere, but he did not deserve to be murdered. It turns out that Zeb had many secrets (this does not bode well). Bernie and Libby are also worried about their father, Sean. He has begun to date a younger woman named Michelle. Michelle acts one way in front of Sean, and another in front of the girls. They do not wish for their father to get hurt by the conniving and manipulative woman (and do not understand why their father cannot see it). Things take a turn for the worse for Michelle opens a rival shop (with a similar name and menu). Can they make their father see that they are just looking out for him (and that Michelle is just using him)? Bernie and Libby have their hands full in A Catered Tea Party. This is the first book in the Mystery with Recipes series that I have read since A Catered Murder (book one). I read the first book many, many years ago (before the first kindle came out). I thought I would see if the series had improved over time (maybe I would like it since I was older). This book is really not a stand-alone novel. It helps to have read some of the earlier books in the series (to understand the characters, the town, the relationships) as well as all the extra characters (there are quite a few unusual and eccentric townspeople). The author tried to make the mystery convoluted (confusing), but it was simple to figure out. One detail was all that I needed to deduce the killer. The murder occurs early in the novel which makes for a long story (the slow pace did not help). The writing is satisfactory, and I did enjoy the addition of the secret room and tunnel. I did find Bernie and Libby’s investigation technique to be a turn off. They run around town demanding answers (and being rude). I am surprised anyone visited their shop with their attitudes. I also got tired of the sisters harping on Michelle and their father. I understand their concern, but enough already with the complaining and whining. Of course, their father, Sean should have been able to figure out Michelle’s characters (he was the former chief of police). I give A Catered Tea Party 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay). I do not believe this is the series for me. I received a complimentary copy of A Catered Tea Party in exchange for an honest review. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
Date published: 2016-09-11