Wednesday 7 February 2024

Book ~ "Punch, Pastries, and Poison" (2021) Harper Lin

From Goodreads ~ Fran throws Matt a birthday party at the cafe and invites all of Cape Bay to attend. Halfway into the party, many of the guests become sick, and some end up in the ER. Fran fears the cause was food poisoning but Detective Mike Stanton informs her that it was actual poison - someone at the party intentionally poisoned the pastries or punch. 

Did the perp mean to target one person or to hurt as many people as possible? Did they want to shut down the cafe and destroy her business? Was it someone she knew or a sick stranger? 

Whoever it was, Fran had likely met the culprit at her party. And that makes her shudder. When another partygoer ends up dead days later, Fran is on high alert. She must find the murderer before anyone else gets hurt.

Francesca is in her mid-thirties and worked in New York for many years in PR.  She moved back home to run the family Italian café in a small town in Massachusetts when her mother passed away almost a year ago.

Fran plans a joint birthday party for Matt, her boyfriend, and her birthdays and has it at her café. Everyone in their small town is invited and Fran and her staff do all the preparation of the food and punch. During the party, though, everyone gets sick and food poisoning is suspected. When the police investigate, though, it's discovered that someone intentionally poisoned what Fran has prepared and she wonders why?

This is the tenth in the Cape Bay Cafe Mystery Series (I've read them all) by this author ... it works as a stand alone (you don't have to read the others to know what's going on). This book is written in first person perspective in Fran's voice. The "whodunnit" and ending came together quickly. It was a quick light read and is a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity. There are recipes at the end.

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