Wedding Bel Blues (Belfast McGrath)
by Maggie McConnon
Cover Artist: Matthew Holmes
Review by Mel Jacob
St. Martin's Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250001894
Date: 31 May 2016 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Returning home after a fiasco in New York, famed chef Bel MaGarth is depressed. Her cousin's affair with a stranger on the eve of her wedding makes things worse for Bel, especially when the stranger lands at her feet after a fall from a second story balcony. No one claims to know the dead man. The detective investigating the murder of dead man is Bel's former beau.
After a dish prepared under Bel's direction almost causes the President to choke on a bone, she is blamed and publicly fired despite the fact the error was made by her fiancÚ, the sous chef. Disgraced, she heads for home, the one place she had never expected to see again. She left after her best friend disappeared and Bel was found unconscious on an island in the river.
Bel's Irish family runs the Shamrock House, a site for gatherings, especial wedding receptions. The resident chef quits when the police decide the death was murder. Bel's parents pressure her to take over the kitchen as Chef.
Bel juggles trying to solve the murder along with convincing her family that somewhat more elegant food will make their customers happy. The business has been going into debt and the mysterious death did not help.
She is certain her family knows more about the victim than they tell the police and her. To protect her cousin, she deletes text messages and pictures from her cousin's cell phone.
The mystery ends with a solution for the murder, but leaves unanswered what happen to Amy, Bel's best friend. There are some hints, but the author is keeping those for another mystery featuring Bel.
Initially, the novel is depressing as Bel mulls over her reasons for leaving New York and the perfidy of her fiancÚ. Bel's family is quirky enough to amuse readers and the secrets revealed essential to solving the murder. The next mystery in the series is entitled Bel of the Brawl..