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Ratings and Reviews (4 4 star ratings
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    I loved it!

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. To be honest, I am not a fan of the author's other series, but this new series really grabbed me. This book had an engaging cast of characters and a well paced whodunit. I look forward to reading the next in the series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
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    Destination Wedding, French Food, and Murder

    Mimi Rousseau passed away living her with a mound of debt to pay off. After selling off everything to pay off the debt Mimi moved back to her hometown of Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley. Mimi met Bryan Baker, very successful entrepreneur, through a mutual friend. Bryan saw something in Mimi’s dream to own her own French Bistro and decided to back her in opening a bistro and inn. The bistro and inn were starting to thrive and are hosting their first big event, a destination wedding of Bryan’s niece. After the dinner on the first night of activities, Bryan is found dead on the bistro’s patio. Mimi is devastated to lose her mentor and horrified to find out she is a suspect. Can Mimi clear her name and help find the real killer before any other bad things can happen? This is a great start to a book series. Author Daryl Wood Gerber is a great storyteller. I really enjoyed getting to know Mimi and her family and friends. The characters are really well developed, you feel like you are reading about some really quirky fun friends. The mystery is at a great pace with just the right amount of red herrings, I did not figure out the murderer until the moment Mimi starts to figure out who the murderer was. The storyline was very entertaining and the description of the setting is great, I could really picture the town and vineyards surrounding the bistro. The book includes recipes that are mentioned throughout the book. I recommend this book, it is definitely great for mystery lovers and foodies alike. I was provided with an ARC of this book with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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    First book in A French Bistro Mystery!

    A Deadly Éclair by Daryl Wood Gerber is the first book A French Bistro Mystery series. Mimi Rousseau owns Bistro Rousseau and Maison Rousseau in Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley, California thanks to her mentor, Bryan Baker. Mimi is hosting a wedding at Maison Rousseau for Angelica Barrington and Lyle Ives. The out-of-towners dinner is going beautifully until father-of-the-bride, Edison Barrington arrives late and drunk. Mimi handles the situation and the event proceeds. The next morning, Angelica finds Bryan dead on the bistro patio. Unfortunately, the evidence points to Mimi as the killer. Mimi wants to clear her name and that of her establishment. Mimi uses her deductive skills to track down the real killer and clear her off the suspect list. A Deadly Éclair is nicely written, contains good characters, and luscious food descriptions. Daryl Wood Gerber sets up a lovely backdrop for A French Bistro Mystery series. I appreciate the descriptions of Mimi’s establishments and the area. We are provided the backstory on Mimi and how she came to live in Napa Valley. I found Mimi to be a relatable (and likeable) character along with the other people in the story. I am glad that she is an intelligent woman running her own business. I did feel that readers are introduced to a few too many characters in the first couple of chapters. It was hard to keep track of everyone in the beginning. The pace of the book is a little slower that I usually like, but it does go with this story. The author is setting the stage for her new characters. I am rating A Deadly Éclair 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I wish the murder had been more complex. One clue (if you need it) gives the identity of the killer. The why takes a little longer to discern. I did like the author’s use of misdirection to throw readers off the trail of the real culprit. There are recipes at the end of the book for the dishes mentioned in the story. I am eager to read more stories in A French Bistro Mystery series.
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    Well written case

    In "A Deadly Éclair", Mimi, who was leading a mostly quiet and placid life, is suddenly involved in a murder investigation when her investor is found dead in her bistro. As if that wasn't bad enough, she is seen as the prime suspect because there are some leads pointing her way and she seems to have a motive. To prove her innocence, she starts looking for clues herself - and soon finds out that every single one of her guests is hiding something. Since Mimi does not work in law enforcement, I liked that the author gave her a plausible reason to get involved in the investigation. Not only is she VERY curious about everything, but she also doesn't want to go to jail for a murder she didn't commit. I could understand that she was trying to find the real killer and the way she went about it felt feasible to me as well. I did think it was a bit unrealistic that the people she spoke to told her as much as they did, but that's only a small point of criticism - especially considering that the characters objected to some of her questions or got angry when she was accusing them or loved ones. That behaviour felt very realistic to me and I liked that it made Mimi's investigation more difficult. What did not totally convince me was that she was more or less solving the case on her own; I hope the sheriff will cut a better role in the future. The case itself is well written and not predictable. Every theory I had while reading proved to be wrong and I only noticed a lot of the clues that the protagonist put together at the end in hindsight. There were some clever false leads and the author made Mimi investigate in different directions, so the resolution surprised me, even though it fit the rest of the story. I also liked that while the crime dominated the plot, the lives of the characters and the work in the biestro were important too. It provided some balance. I would rate "A Deadly Éclair" with 3.5/5 stars. It was not a hundred per cent realistic that Mimi could solve the case with relative ease, but that aside the detective work was well portrayed and definitely interesting. I'm just wondering how the author is planning to get her protagonist in future investigations since she can't always be directly involved. But I guess the next book will answer that.
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