A Perfect 10
A Belfast McGrath Mystery  - Book 3
St. Martin's Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-07730-1
December 2017
Cozy Mystery

Mosters Landing, New York - Present Day

Belfast (Bel) McGrath is a five star chef.  A couple years ago she was at the top of her game in New York City.  But she was forced to come home after her now ex-fiancé sabotaged her job and her upcoming television show by nearly killing the former President of the United States with a fish bone.  Now, Bell is the chef for her parents' business, The Shamrock Manor, which is the finest venue for a wedding reception, if you don't count the two murders that recently occurred there...

In this third installment of the  Belfast McGrath Mystery Series,  we find Bel rushing off to Wooded Lake, a small town three hours away in upstate New York.  A newspaper left at the Manor contains a photograph of Bel's best friend, Amy Mitchell.  It's an old picture, taken at a commune named Love Canyon.  But Amy is supposed to be dead!  Over fifteen years ago she vanished from Foster's Landing.  She and Bel were just seventeen and fresh out of high school.  To this day, almost everyone in Foster's Landing blames Bel for Amy's disappearance.  And recently, the local police found Amy's car at the bottom of the river and a skeleton inside.

Discovering the truth becomes Bel's priority and she enlists help from her newest client, Allison Crawford.  Alison was at the Monkey's Paw restaurant in New York on that fateful night of Bel's disgrace, and she's quickly becoming a good friend.  Bel is determined to find answers.  Why did Amy disappear?  Is she still alive?  And what about the bones found in Amy's car?  The local police are awaiting the DNA results, but Bel knows that is not Amy's body.  She is sure the answer lies in Wooded Lake. However, escaping the kitchen at the Manor is nearly impossible with Christmas almost here and all the decorating and preparation that has to be done.  It's important now to rebuild the Manor's reputation after not one, but two recent ill-fated wedding receptions that ended in murder.

BEL, BOOK AND SCANDAL is a terrific who-dun-it!  Filled with mystery, humor and a bit of romance, this novel is just right for any time of year.  Dynamic characters abound here:  Brendon Joyce is Bel's sort-of-ex-boyfriend; Kevin Hanson, a local cop and also Bel's ex-boyfriend, is now married to Mary Ann D'Amato.  Another great personality is Tweed Blazer, the big, burly owner of The Coffee Pot in Wooded Lake; and also on board are Bel's family with their many personality quirks:  Bel's parents and her brothers, Cargan (undercover cop), Feeney (who can't hold a job), and Arney (divorce attorney).  The brothers also provide the entertainment at the Manor by providing good old fashioned Irish music.

BEL, BOOK AND SCANDAL is the third novel in the  Belfast McGrath Mystery  series and stands alone, following WEDDING BEL BLUES (June 2016), and BEL OF THE BRAWL (March 2017).  I do recommend that readers check out the previous two installments of Bel's story.  I loved BEL, BOOK AND SCANDAL so much that I bought and read those books!  (They're all great!)  All three novels give you a richer back-story and insight into the other two murder mysteries at the Shamrock Manor.  I can't wait for the next  Belfast McGrath Mystery !  (I did not find any news on the next book in the series, and I do hope to see Bel in more mysteries; she's the newest must-buy addition to my bookshelves!)

BEL, BOOK AND SCANDAL is a fabulous and fun mystery, and also earns our Perfect 10 award as one of the best books for 2017.  Do not miss it!

Diana Risso