The Tell-Tale Tarte by Maya Corrigan

Maya Corrigan brings us a positively delightful mystery with her Tell-Tale Tarte.  It’s a Poe inspired cozy that’s sure to please mystery fans and Edgar Allan Poe fans as well.  The book takes place in one of my personal favorite locales, the Chesapeake Bay area.

Val Deniston runs a small town café and does some cooking and catering on the side.  Currently she’s residing with her eighty plus Grandad.  There’s plenty of room in his large house, giving her a comfortable place to live, and since they are splitting the expenses, it’s a “win win” for both of them.  But probably the most important reason for Val becoming his housemate, is to keep an eye on Grandad, who can be somewhat cagey and charmingly mischievous.

Grandad’s newest gig is “part-time sleuth and problem solver” — at least that’s what his ads and business cards say.  Rick Usher is a local author inspired by Poe. When Grandad finds himself landing a job posing as the local author’s double, he also lands himself in a whole heap of deadly trouble.

Eventually, Grandad and Rick Usher become fast friends.  In fact, Grandad becomes a confidant to the reclusive author.  Seems Rick’s fear of a stalker (real or imagined) has limited his public appearances and he’s asking for help and even legal advice from well-seasoned Grandad.

True to Poe form, Rick Usher’s own house of usher becomes a house of secrets and deceptions.  Much to Val’s dismay, when murder rocks their local town, it lands her and her grandfather smack dab in the middle because it’s all tying back to Grandad’s imposter gig!

There’s plenty of suspects to go around in this witty tale that Poe himself, would be proud of!

I loved all the facts about Poe quietly woven into this Poe inspired mystery, blending shades from the Poe’s past with the present.  After all, he is considered a pioneer of our modern day detective stories.

The police may have hit a dead end in their murder investigation, but Val and her Grandad have the inside scoop on the residents of the Usher house.  They slowly piece together clues including a stolen valuable book, a missing relative, fake identities and more!  The real question is can they stop the murderer from striking again or will this become The Fall of the House of Rick Usher?

A copy of this book was provided by Kensington Publishing, a paid sponsor of Wonder Women Sixty.

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