Three Blonde Mice by Jane Heller
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Mystery
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“Elaine Zimmerman and her best friends Jackie Gault and Pat Kovecky venture to a farm in Litchfield, Connecticut. It’s been over a year since their last trip together, a Caribbean cruise aboard the Princess Charming, and after dealing with a murderous ex and his hit man, they’re yearning for a no-drama vacation this time. During their Cultivate Our Bounty Week, they and eight other guests will learn how to cook farm-to-table meals with Whitley’s artisan-in-residence, a renowned TV/restaurant chef named Jason Hill. Elaine, the jaded, neurotic narrator, is less than thrilled—especially because the program wasn’t supposed to include a surprise appearance by her former boyfriend Simon, who’s still the love of her life but can’t commit to her. What’s more, after milking a cow and making cheese, she stumbles on evidence that one of her fellow agritourists is out to murder Chef Hill at the resort’s Bounty Fest finale.
Is the killer among the freakishly fit Manhattan couple who takes their devotion to organic, hormone-free, non-GMO food to the point of obsession? The grandmother from Wisconsin who’s a groupie of the celebrity chef and follows him to every event? The mother and son from Palm Beach who bicker over whether he should give up his law practice to open his own restaurant?
Three Blonde Mice serves up a crackling romance between Elaine and Simon, a twisty whodunit involving a screwball cast of suspects and a satire of current food fads and the farm-to-table chefs who perpetuate them. ”
Three Blonde Mice is a lighthearted mystery set on a farm in Connecticut. It stars three blonde women (the “blonde mice”) as well as a group of foodies, one of whom wants to kill the chef leading cooking lessons for the weeklong getaway they’ve all signed up for.
The mystery itself keeps you guessing. I didn’t know exactly who the killer would be until the end, when the author revealed it. Some of the potential suspects had over-the-top personalities and potential motives, but this didn’t detract too much from the story.
What did detract from the story, in my opinion, were the frequent use of the term “three blonde mice” (we get it, no one calls themselves or their groups this constantly), the unnecessary relationship between the main character and one of the guests, and the sloppy-drunk women who are the MC’s best friends. There were a few other character issues, but I won’t spoil the book by listing them. Suffice it to say that some of the characters are a little too childish.
I gave this book three stars because it’s a light, quick read perfect for the beach (I finished in just two short reading sessions) with a mystery that will keep you guessing. That said, it’s a bit light on both great characters and great plot, so while it was fun enough, it’s not something I’d rush out to buy.
*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley