Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Review - A Taste Of Murder by Virginia Smith


I have been working my way through one of the Love Inspired Suspense books by Virginia Smith titled "A Taste of Murder." Love Inspired Suspense is fabulous division by Steeple Hill. I like it more than the other Love Inspired stories, because I enjoy a little thrill with my inspiration, and I love me some mystery! Excuse me for not being very grammatically correct here. I am just sharing my shear joy. I first discovered Virginia Smith when I read "Murder By Mushroom" another Love Inspired Suspense book. At that point, I became an instant fan.

About The Book (From Goodreads):
Who murdered a small-town beauty-pageant judge--in a very strange way? Jasmine Delaney must find out. Because she's taken the victim's place. She came to the Kentucky Bar-B-Q festival for a wedding, eager to meet the bride's handsome brother, Derrick Rogers. Yet she's suddenly surrounded by pint-size contestants whose competitive parents will do anything to ensure the crown. Even kill? Derrick fears she's the killer's next target and promises to keep a close eye on her. Yet someone is already watching Jazzy's every move. Someone who's had a taste of murder. And is hungry for more.

My Review:

I was thrilled to get into another one of Virginia Smith's mysteries.  I have enjoyed her well-developed characters and attention to detail with settings.  She really fleshes out a book from top to bottom which allows a reader to get totally immersed in the story.  Also her humor totally shines through, and I love that.

Jazzy is part of a classical trio who have been hired to perform at a wedding that is taking place the same weekend as a colossal Kentucky B-B-Q festival.  The girls arrive at the hotel in the midst of pageant moms and beauty queen hopefuls.  The hotel is absolutely engulfed in chaos.  The girls are taken aback by the crowd and surprised at the wedding's timing, but they are professionals and more than ready for the task at hand.  Jazzy is also looking forward to meeting the bride's older brother Derrick whom she met via a Christian online community as he was looking for someone to perform at his sister's wedding.  

Jazzy has the slight idea of a little romance on the brain, and is completely blindsided when she and her friends find themselves stuck in the middle of a murder investigation and new commitments as judges for several activities that will be taking place during the B-B-Q festival weekend.  Add to that the fact that their host, Derrick is extremely attractive although not really the kind of guy Jazzy is usually interested in.

What ensues is a murder mystery with a little romance thrown in for good measure.  Jazzy feels as if she sees the killer at every turn and is convinced that it must be someone who would like to win one of the contests at any cost.  However, Jazzy behaves several times in ways that aren't terribly bright for someone who is concerned that a murderer is watching their every move.  I expected someone to call her out on this with a little more force though that did not happen.  

I quite enjoyed "A Taste Of Murder."  I felt like I was on a little vacation with just enough excitement and puzzle thrown in.  The romance to me was a little off with everyone and their mother being over-the-top pushy with Jazzy and Derrick, but I would not say that it is unbelievable.  I have a friend who met her husband when they were both in a wedding and they fell VERY quickly.  As for meeting the man of your dreams online...that happened to me and my husband and I are heading to our fifth year of wedded awesomeness.  My only head scratching was that with all the murder and worry going on, who really has time to think about courting?  Still that did not take me away from the story.  

I understand that there are more mysteries with these characters, and I plan to check out each and every one.  Oh, and if I ever find myself in Kentucky, I am hitting up some BBQ and looking for some burgoo!

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