A taste to die for by J. G. Goodhind

A taste to die forBlurb:

The new Honey Driver mystery – Chefs can be arrogant, competitive and downright murderous at times, so when Bath International Taste Extravaganza (BITE for short) organize a best chef competition, Honey Driver, the Hotels Association police liaison officer, senses trouble. Her instinct proves correct when the winning chef is found dead in his own kitchen. Then a second, and a third . . .




In a nutshell:

I read it in: German (Dinner für eine Leiche)

I liked it:     No

For people who like: food mysteries, cosy mysteries, Bath and who don’t mind a convoluted story with neither head nor tail

My thoughts: 

"A Taste to die for" is the second book in the Honey Driver series and the first one I have read. There is no need to read the first book to get into the story.

Honey is the owner of a small hotel in bath and at the same time liaison between the police and the hotel association. Why a position like that is necessary at all I have no idea but apparently it is. Again, why a liaison  would be actually not only included in the investigation but also actively engaged in it is another mystery. Honey goes around questioning people as if she had a right to do so and, astonishingly, people acknowledge that right and tell her whatever she wants to know. If someone tries to refuse she is not beneath blackmailing by suggesting if they won’t cooperate she will simply ask someone else, i.e. a person the witness feels he has to protect, and thus she manages to extract the information from them after all. I personally would tell her to piss off and come back with the investigating police officer.

The mystery in this book is convoluted at best. There are so many potential candidates for position of murderer that after a while I completely lost track. Who hated whom and why got so entangled that towards the end I really couldn’t care less about who did it and why. The whole story felt disconnected and situations seemed to be thrown in at random in order to confuse the reader.

On the side there is a romance between Honey and the police detective, that started in book one. Those two continuously undressed each other with their eyes, but then never got down to it. Unfortunately this did not lead to a tension where the reader – if so inclined; after all this is a mystery, not a romance – was eagerly anticipating the consummation of their love.

Originally I found the setting very interesting, as I work in the hospitality industry myself, but my expectations were not met. I don’t think the setting could be more unrealistic than it was. The behaviour of those hotel managers towards each other left a lot to be desired. There were shouting matches and almost violent outbreaks because of some minor issues which were just ridiculous.
Even considering that Honey’s hotel is a private one it is hard to imagine that she would allow an eighty year old permanent guest who dabbles in occultism and speaks to ghosts to help out at the reception and answer phone calls.
Also I have never seen a hotel manager who passes out from drinking too much in the hotel bar and spends the night on a sofa in the hotel’s public areas. This was just too much.
The only credible aspect of the story was the behaviour of the chefs, I give the author that. Cooks in general are a very special species and chefs are even stranger. So their behaviour rang true to some extent.

All in all I found the story hard to follow, it didn’t make much sense to me, the included romance was lacklustre and the plot disappointing. The only saving grace was the location and the descriptions which made me want to visit Bath. I would only recommend this for the die hard English cosy mystery lover who has read all other series out there already and is looking for something new to give a go.

Location: Bath, England, UK

Bath, Somerset Royal Crescent

Roman Baths Cleveland House

All images from wikipedia

Product info and buy link :

Title A taste to die for
Author J. G. Goodhind
Publisher Severn House Publishers
ISBN 978-0727877413
I got this book from my mom who picked it up from a grab table
Buy link Buy A Taste to Die For
More info The Honey Driver mysteries


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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