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Death Dines Out has ratings and 16 reviews. C. said: Mary Stanton's peculiar book covers of a lawyer for angels and ghosts, caught my attention. Next.
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Du Bois seems to be a genuine original, someone who started new trends in American mystery fiction in her day. Her work seems to have few precedents.
She is not closely related to the American Scientific school of Reeve and Balmer, who flourished twenty years before her. Realist School signs seem to be absent, as well: There is some resemblance in her books to the Rinehart school. Both Rinehart herself, and such Rinehart followers as Dorothy Cameron Disney, sometimes included medical mysteries in their books.
Still, these writers did not usually include doctor-detectives, or make medical detection so absolutely central to their writings, although Rinehart came close in her early Miss Pinkerton novellas The book is closer to the classic puzzle plot mystery than are some HIBK novels: The narration follows the continuous, event after event, "and then I did" tradition of Mary Roberts Rinehart.
There is also some good romance between the narrator and her husband: Despite the narrator's modest denial, they do resemble Snow White and Prince Charming. Du Bois, like Coxe after her, tends to include much interesting medical detail in the crime itself, detail which soon after is elucidated by the doctor sleuth investigating the crime. This is good in itself, and it makes the early chapters of the book lively reading, but it does not leave much medical mystery left over for the later chapters of the story.
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. 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???
Can someone please look at a map - editors? 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. I missed the inn and the characters from Hemlock Falls--the Floridians did not have the depth of character, history or interest of those I've grown to know in the other books from this series. If I had not made this earlier connection, I may have enjoyed this book more, but, as it was, as soon as I finished this book I immediately read another of Claudia Bishop's books that took me back to the picturesque hamlet up north.
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Aug 26, Linda C rated it it was ok Shelves: Another unbelievable cozy plot involving the Quilliam sisters. They are asked to participate in a charity event in West Palm Beach and accept strictly to get away from the cold winter weather without checking into anything first. Meg signs on to giving cooking classes in order to create a specialty dish at the end of the event where a gourmet judge could award her her third star.
Sarah is to teach one class in Inn Keeping Management a stretch to get her involved. All expenses are paid! Of cour Another unbelievable cozy plot involving the Quilliam sisters. Of course, when they get there they find that the charity is a cover for a divorced wife to embarrass her wealthy ex-husband.
The bombastic ex and the drama queen wife have many public fights. All the people associated with both get threatened in some way including the sisters, who then try to straighten everything out. Just too over the top! Dec 05, MB rated it it was ok. OK, I jumped into the middle of a series.
Death Dines Out
I was over pages into the book before there was any mystery to solve. Picked it up because I'm from upstate NY, was looking forward to the setting, and this is the one book where the main characters spend most of it in FLA. But pages in, and very little action, nothing to attach me to these characters, and absolutely nothing to make me care at all about the man who is missing.
I also could not accept that a police officer in FL would s OK, I jumped into the middle of a series.
Death Dines Out
I also could not accept that a police officer in FL would say to a tourist, "Oh, you're engaged to a cop in NY? Please, feel free to walk freely around a crime scene and ask questions. Apr 30, Emily Cullen rated it liked it. Innkeepers Sarah and Meg Quilliam think a Palm Beach working vacation for charity sounds great - until they get down there and find out the so called charity is nothing more than a way for wealthy socialite Tiffany Taylor to get back at her nasty ex-husband.
It was nice to see "Quill" and Meg out of the inn.
Death Dines Out by Theodora Du Bois
This is a cute cozy mystery series and I plan to read the next one. Sep 15, Nidofito rated it it was ok Shelves: The girls didn't really have a part in this mystery. The entire time they were just trying to get themselves out of someone else's mess. The people of Florida were way out of their league and most of the time they were just being pulled from one direction to the other. Apologies do not fix anything. Oct 07, Dianna rated it liked it Shelves: Good book,great 'cozy mystery; Probably would have liked it even better if Sarah Quilliam wasn't called Quill- isn't there a Qwill in another mystery series I think I've read at least one of these before and I got more at the library today: Mar 04, Linda rated it liked it Shelves: Nice change of pace with Meg and Quill in Florida doing some work at the Food Institute and of course getting involved in a case.