Death on the Menu by Emma Davies

Today I am absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for Death on the Menu, the latest Adam and Eve mystery from Emma Davies. I love this series, especially as it is set in my home county. My thanks to publisher Bookouture for the early copy and spot on the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 22 September 2022
Publisher: Bookouture

About the Book

Francesca Eve has planned a showstopping funeral supper to say goodbye in style, but the last thing she expects is a murder on the menu…

When elderly millionaire and eccentric entrepreneur Clarence Lightman dies, his nearest and dearest gather one final time at Justice House, Clarence’s beautiful country estate, for the reading of his will. But the day ends in uproar when it is revealed that whoever solves a series of complex clues will inherit everything. Will one of Clarence’s disagreeable children outwit everyone else for the fortune, or could his devoted housekeeper or even Francesca herself win the day?

Francesca knows she should stick to the kitchen and stay out of this lethal game, but she is unwillingly drawn into the mystery when she finds one of Clarence’s sons, blood pooling from a deadly thwack to the head, shoved into the larder. Somebody is clearly not playing fair, and Francesca feels sure that they won’t stop until all of the competition has been eliminated.

Trapped in the game until all the riddles are solved, Francesca must solve the clues and find the ruthless killer to protect herself and her fellow innocent guests. But she can’t trust anyone. Fran must use all her wits, not only to hunt down the truth, but to stay alive…

An addictive cozy crime novel packed with twists you won’t expect. If you love Faith Martin, M.C. Beaton and The Thursday Murder Club you’ll adore this thrilling mystery.

My Thoughts

Ah, what a fabulous story. I absolutely loved it, racing through in no time. If you have read either of the other books in the Adam and Eve series then you will know that this pair of amateur sleuths, caterer Fran Eve and computer game programmer, Adam, have a knack for finding themselves in very compromising, and often deadly, situations. Not that this was ever the intention, they just have this ability to be in the right place at the wrong time …

Called on to cater for a funeral by an old school friend, Fran has no idea the amount of trouble she is about to find herself in. A claim of death under suspicious circumstances, a ‘treasure hunt’ to determine an inheritance and a set of complex and curious clues set by a man whose entire life was built upon the love of a good puzzle. Adam’s childhood hero and muse in fact, and someone who for sheer deductive reasoning would give Adam a run for his money.

I loved the real mystery – quite literally – at the heart of this story. The variety of different challenges set for those who were engaged on this quest to follow. It gives us as readers something beyond the normal murder mystery to try and solve. To try and out puzzle the puzzler, and to decipher the various codes alongside the characters, many of which made me smile, and really appreciate the web of clues that the author spun for us all.

What really did make me smile though was the setting. The series is set in my home county, so often the places that the characters visit are known to me, and whilst some of the setting may be entirely fictitious, much of it this time around it is very, very, familiar to me. I have lost count of how many times I have wandered around the National Trust property which forms a central part of this story. One thing is for sure – I’ll never look at it in quite the same way again! Emma Davies really has brought the place to life, with perhaps a touch of artistic licence but essentially true to life. If you were to visit, you will recognise much of what appears in these pages, although I’d recommend doing it during normal commercial hours …

This is a mystery within a mystery, packed with characters you can;t quite trust, with the obvious exception of Adam and Fran. I loved that Adam got to put his very brilliant mind to real use, and that the ambiguity and uncertainty over the characters meant a real game of bluff and double bluff. This is cosy mystery at its best, a puzzle to entertain the best minds. Even Miss Marple and Poirot would have been impressed.

If you love a great story, a lot of mystery and fabulously fun and fresh characters, and can handle the many references to cake and fabulous foodstuffs that will make you salivate as you read, I can’t recommend this series enough. Why not give them all a go. I’m loving them.

About the Author

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It’s a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books, and in fact the only thing that would make Shropshire more idyllic is if it were by the sea.

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