Today Mandie is sharing her thoughts on the second Prudence Bulstrode novel from Rosemary Shrager, The Proof In The Pudding. With thanks to publisher, Constable, for the early copy. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
The next irresistible cosy crime novel from celebrity TV chef Rosemary Shrager!
Preparing a midwinter’s feast for all hundred residents of the little Yorkshire village of Scrafton Busk is exactly the kind of challenge Prudence Bulstrode adores. A chance to show off her muffin-topped winter stew, lamb shank hotpot and Scarborough woof – and, of course, her famous figgy pudding – is just the thing to shake off the winter blues.
But on the night of the feast, local vagabond Terry Chandler is found dead – his body entombed in the pristine snowman standing pride of place on the village green. Who could have wanted Chandler dead? Why would they stow his body in such strange circumstances? And what is the meaning of his last enigmatic message, directing his brother to Mystery Hills, a place of which no one has ever heard?
Crime and cookery continue to collide as Prudence and her granddaughter Suki get drawn into another mystifying murder . . .
Occasionally I love a good old-fashioned bit of cosy crime and Rosemary Shrager certainly manages to provide me with this with her wonderful character Prudence Bulstrode. The Proof in the Pudding is a great follow up to her debut book. Prudence and her granddaughter Sukie have been hired to provide a feast for a whole village courtesy of a company who is hoping to set up business there and silence the protesters who are concerned about the damage they may do to the countryside. When local resident Terry Chandler is found dead inside a snowman its not long before Prudence and Suki are smack bang in the middle of the investigation rather than concentrating on the job they were employed to do.
The more I read about Prudence the more I can see Rosemary Shrager as she certainly has her large personality. I do like the character with her no nonsense approach to both her cooking and the way she deals with those around her and she certainly has some challenging people to deal with, from the detective in charge of the case to the person in charge of ensuring the event goes to plan, that’s not to say though that some of the trouble she has to deal with is not of her own making. Suki is definitely coming into her own now and is a little bit more independent but also fully on board with helping her gran solve the latest mystery along with the help of her friend Numbers who does quite a lot of the background digging via methods that may or may not be on quite the right side of the law.
This case has a little bit of everything, murder, folklore, buried treasure, estranged families and dodgy business dealings but the setting of all this is the lovely countryside around a very snowy Yorkshire where villages can be cut off at a moments notice. The main suspect always seems a little bit too obvious until more is revealed about their life and the trouble they are in, and you are definitely left wondering until the end who is the murderer.
For those who are sceptical about books written by celebrities but are fans of cosy crime I would recommend this series as it’s a real gem and one I shall be following as the main characters are engaging and fun and truly display the grandmother/granddaughter bond. One thing is for certain I am now counting the days until I am in Harrogate and am able to get some fat rascals from Betty’s Tearooms.
About the Author
National treasure Rosemary Shrager endeared herself to the nation when she took part in I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! where she proved she could cook just about anything, anywhere. Her most recent tv appearances have been equally well received – Netflix’s Best Leftovers Ever!, Cooking with the Stars, where Rosemary mentored Johnny Vegas throughout the series , and Fishing Scotland’s Lochs and Rivers for Channel 5.
First and foremost Rosemary is a talented and versatile chef who loves talking about food almost as much as she loves cooking. During lockdown she began her own online demonstrations on Facebook and YouTube, and she has now begun her own virtual cookery school, details for which are on http://www.rosemaryshrager.com.
When not teaching and cooking, Rosemary avidly reads and watches crime fiction, so much so that she wondered whether she had it in her to write a book in which crime and cookery collide… and The Last Supper is the winning result, introducing Rosemary to a new crime readership who in turn will be treated to several more outings with retired celebrity chef Prudence Bulstrode over the coming years.
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