Restaurateur Sally Solari’s cousin Evelyn may be blind, but she can see all too clearly that her chef mother’s death wasn’t an accidental overdose―she was murdered.
Santa Cruz restaurateur Sally Solari’s life is already boiling over as she deals with irate cooks and other staffing issues at the busy Gauguin restaurant. The rainy December weather isn’t cooling things down, either. So she’s steamed when her dad persuades her to take in Evelyn, her estranged blind cousin whose mother has just died of a drug overdose.
But Evelyn proves to be lots of fun and she’s a terrific cook. Back at the house she’d shared with her mom, Evelyn’s heightened sense of touch tells her that various objects―a bottle of cranberry juice, her grandfather’s jazz records―are out of place. She and her mom always kept things in the same place so Evelyn could find them. So she suspects that her mother’s death was neither accident nor suicide, no matter what the police believe.
The cousins’ sleuthing takes Sally and Evelyn into the world of macho commercial kitchens, and the cutthroat competitiveness that can flame up between chefs. In Leslie Karst’s scrumptious fourth Sally Solari mystery, Sally will have to chop a long list of suspects down to size or end up getting burned. (Summary via Goodreads)
On the back cover of Murder from Scratch by Leslie Karst Edith Maxwell is quoted saying "[A] delicious plate of mystery...Don't read while hungry !" And I can say that is a good piece of advice however I would add that having a snack handy will help. Otherwise you might find yourself putting the book down and finding yourself elbows deep into making homemade pasta.....not that that would be a bad thing but I would recommend that you finish reading the book first.
And once you start reading Murder from Scratch you fall in love with Sally's cousin Evelyn and want to help the girls find justice for Evelyn's mothers death. Sadly we do not meet Jackie but we get to know her through her daughter and we fall in love with the mother daughter duo. We cannot help but feel for Evelyn as she is the one that stumbles over her mothers body. And even though Evelyn is blind the reader will be amazed to learn how she copes with the disability and we see how the disability does not deter her at all !!!
I was a bit hesitant when I read that there was a blind character in the story and that she had a huge role in it. One of my biggest fears is becoming blind and even though that is still a huge fear, after reading about Evelyn, her friends, and the steps that they take to help with their blindness and the things that they are able to do despite it, I was encouraged. I read the Acknowledgements at the end of the book and Karst did research regarding the disability and reading the story it showed. It always amazes me when I read about the research that an author puts into a work of fiction. And I have to say that it really makes the story.
I highly recommend reading this latest book in the Sally Solari Mystery series. There is so much to love and tasty recipes at the end of the book to try. You will fall in love with Sally and her cousin and will start to look at restaurant life and blindness a bit differently and with more respect after reading it.
Review by Missi S.
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