- Series: Hemlock Falls Mysteries
- Mass Market Paperback: 237 pages
- Publisher: Berkley (December 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425161110
- ISBN-13: 978-0425161111
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,374,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Death Dines Out (Hemlock Falls Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1997
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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In this installment of the adventures of the Quilliam sisters, we find them leaving the cozy confines of their Inn at Hemlock Falls to go on a working vacation in Palm Beach, FL - in the middle of winter; while a snow storm is raging. Sounds pretty good, huh?
Well, it turns out that the reason they came down, is to give some lectures, cooking classes, and a demonstration, all paid for by a wealthy divorcee who is starting up a clinic for phobic women. Having the Qulliam sisters there seemed like a good idea to all until the two show up in Florida and find out exactly what they got involved in.
First of all, the wealthy divorcee and her ex-husband are in the shouting match stage and appear very happy to get their pictures posted everywhere as they fling statuary, crockery, and anything else handy at each other. Secondly, Palm Beach is absolutely crawling with very rich, and very arrogant people who are focused only on making money and do not care what they do to each other to make it happen. Thirdly, there is an underlying current of unreality about the whole situation.
So, Meg and Quill are down in Florida while Hemlock Inn is socked in by 36 inches of snow in January. The inn is closed and they are swimming in the pool in a private beach residence. Then come the aforementioned complications and before they know it, they are involved in a murder mystery, a kidnapping, ransom collection, and more press people than they typically see. Of course, the local detective is someone who knows Miles so he lets the sisters conduct their own investigation unfettered in a totally different area. Now, suspension of disbelief is always required when reading these kinds of mystery stories, but I took away a start on this point - after all, not only are they allowed to do whatever they want in an area far from home and much more urban than their normal village, but one of the key elements of the story is a hurricane that comes up one night (in January???) and almost swamps a boat the sisters are on, but then, the very next morning, is hanging around off the coast of Africa? Hello! Can someone please look at a map - editors? Anyone?
The other point was lost when I reviewed the plot and realized how out of control it's become. There are multiple crimes being committed, but all by the same group of very rich people who seem to have nothing better to do with their time than hang around the beaches all day and night and spend lots of money. Why would these people, supposedly so pampered, get involved in such crimes and their supposed motives is stretching it way out of line for the most part. So, another point deducted.
Nonetheless, this book is still a fun read. The dynamics between the sisters are always a joy to read; the depiction of the emotional baggage that all good quality chefs must have (apparently) is a hoot; and the descriptions of the scrapes they all manage to get into is fun and appealing. So, even though this book is not one of my favorite in the series, the series as a whole is quite welcoming and belongs on my bookshelves.