By: Leslie Karst
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: February 2017
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: August 15, 2017
Leslie Karst tantalizes her audience with her savory new ‘Sally Solari Mystery’: A Measure of Murder.
Sally Solari is a busy gal. Her balancing act includes working in her family’s Italian restaurant, Solari’s on one hand, while planning the autumn menu for Gauguin, the restaurant she inherited from her aunt on the other. Sally also loves to sing and joins a chorus. It was a no-brainer to join when she learned it would be performing a newly discovered version of her favorite Mozart composition, the Mozart Requiem. On her first night of rehearsal at the church, accomplished tenor, Kyle, falls to his death in the church courtyard. His soprano girlfriend Jill isn’t convinced this was an accident. Jill knew Sally solved the mystery of her aunt’s untimely death; which happened to be murder and convinces Sally to dig deeper into Kyle’s death.
Matters become more complex in Sally’s life as rehearsals intensify and demands at both restaurants escalate. Tempers and jealousies are rearing their ugly heads at rehearsals. To add to her challenges, when a fire breaks out during a busy service at Gaugin’s one evening, Sally is more than convinced the reason behind the fire is because she was getting closer to establishing murder as the real reason for Kyle’s unfortunate death. The fire may have been a setback, but it doesn’t deter Sally from forging forward to solve the mystery. What she doesn’t know is more greed, jealousy, secrets and another death lies in wait in her path ahead.
Leslie Karst creates a great recipe of mystery and intrigue in her latest novel. Like a culinary master, she has mixed up a batch of yummy characters who are full of zest and individual personality. She has accomplished the golden rule when it comes to writing a murder mystery in that she delivers the body to her audience in a timely fashion. There is a nice ebb and flow throughout this read of rich and engaging scene set ups that is followed by equally credible dialogue. At story’s end, the reader is treated to the bonus of a handful of recipes in the back of the book—recipes that were showcased in the story. I find this to be innovative as much as creative when an author shines a light on yet another facet of their creative ability. I have not had the pleasure of reading Ms. Karst’s first book in her Sally Solari Mystery series and hope to do so at some point in the future. Meanwhile, I give a thumb’s up to A Measure of Murder. It’s a well-rounded murder mystery without a lot of blood and gore, but certainly a bounty of ‘who done it’ at the turn of each page.
Quill says: A Measure of Murder is the perfect recipe of one-part mystery and two parts engaging which makes for a dish served well with a glass of wine and a comfy chair.