Book Review: Melinda Wells’ Killer Mousse

Posted November 1, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Melinda Wells’ Killer MousseKiller Mousse is a paperback edition on February 5, 2008 and has 320 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

three-stars

First in the Della Cooks mystery series revolving around the widowed Della Carmichael stepping into her first cooking show.

My Take

I loved the homeyness of Wells’ writing. Her descriptions of the exterior of Della’s English cottage and the in-and outside of Lulu’s — oh!!

She’s got some great-sounding recipes that I can’t wait to try out.

I had to sigh…gag?…a little at Della’s decision to investigate the murder herself. Too cheesy…oops, guess I’m playing into this theme… Too soon. Too easy. It would have been more believable with more drama and tension if Wells had held off until there was a real threat such as the death caused by the use of her knife when Halls seems to think it’s an open-and-shut case. Even if it is too lame for Halls to leap on her.

I do like Della raking D’Martino down for his ageism. And then the way she struck back at him! Oh, yeah! I loved it. Ooh and then her remark that “newspapers [are] the very best source of yesterday’s news”…meow!

The premise for her cooking school is lovely. I like how homey, real, and practical Della is. Her pumpkin carving class with its tips and then cooking with the pulp and the seeds was perfect.

…before she turned prematurely blonde

Why would the bomber think Della would drive a car with smashed windows?

On the whole, I like this series. Homey, loyal, with enough of a twist to keep it interesting. I’d like it even better if she’d get rid of the occasional sappy comments. I do love that Della is an older woman, and I adore Della’s attitude toward Nick and all the romance possibilities.

The Story

Desperate, her cooking school failing, Della jumps at the offer from Mickey to replace Mimi’s cooking program on his cable channel. The premise for Della’s show is good, practical cooking, but there is so much animosity on the set for her first show. Small sabotages and then murder.

The murder is news and so is Della. When Nicholas D’Martino arrives early for his interview with her, that and his attitude about women sets Della off.

The Characters

Della Carmichael‘s new TV show, In the Kitchen with Della, is built around her cooking school, The Happy Table, with its emphasis on family time, making do, and easy cooking. She was married to Mack, a police detective for twenty years. Now the closest she gets to him is when she drives Mack’s beloved, carefully restored Mustang. Tuffy is her much-loved black standard poodle. Liddy Marshall is an even older friend now married to Bill, a dentist. She’s been very encouraging of Della’s plans.

Big John O’Hara was Mack’s partner and best friend. He’s married to Shannon, a paranoid schizophrenic. Rough waters are ahead as Big John has fallen in love with Della. Eileen is Big John and Shannon’s daughter. She’s attending UCLA and working at The Happy Table. She also lives with Della because it’s too dangerous living with her mother.

Mickey Jordan owns the cable company, the Better Living Channel (BLC), and he’s renowned for his business acumen as well as his restlessness. It’s his wife Iva who takes lessons at The Happy Table who talked Mickey into signing on Della.

Quinn Tanner is the director and has it in for Della. Ernie Ramirez and Jada Powell are the camera operators. George Hopkins is the show’s producer. Al Franklin is a night security guard at BLC. Stan Evans is daytime security who used to drive Mimi until she got him this job. Phil Logan is BLC’s head of publicity. A bit of a ghoul with his 3 a.m. call on Della.

Mimi Bond is a drunken, bitchy diva who threatened and/or seduced everyone around her. She can’t even cook! It’s this truth that’s behind the cancellation of her cooking show. Faye Bond is her troubled daughter. Really troubled in so many ways. Lulu is Faye’s one support.

Lulu Owens is the host of All Things Crafty, a craft show on BLC. She was Mimi’s stunt cooker. Lily Owens Robbins is Lulu’s daughter and more concerned about her mother’s jewelry. Gilmer York hosts That’s Not Junk!, which transforms castoffs into treasure while Car Guy is the host for Car Guy.

Detective Hall is in charge of the case and is suspicious of everyone including Della.

Nicholas D’Martino is a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Chronicle with a preference for dating hot, young chicks. Fred Priestly‘s house is where Della sought refuge when she was being followed. Mr. and Mrs. Tran own the building which houses The Happy Table Cooking School.

The Cover and Title

The cover is cute in its homey creams, orange, and brown. The television set duplicating Della’s kitchen, a pool of batter spreading between the horizontal legs and their black stiletto heels and Tuffy, Della’s black standard poodle.

The title reveals the initial murder weapon, the oh-so-delicious Killer Mousse.

three-stars

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