Review: The Dinner Lady Detectives by Hannah Hendy

 

Title: The Dinner Lady Detectives

Author: Hannah Hendy

Published: 18th November 2021, Canelo

Status: Read January 2022 courtesy Canelo/Netgalley

+++++++

My Thoughts:

 

When the body of Caroline Hughes is discovered in the walk-in freezer of the Summerview secondary school kitchen, her colleagues are stunned. The police are quick to reassure the dinner ladies that their elderly kitchen manager’s death was simply a tragic accident, but when long time employees Clementine Butcher and Margery Baker, espy the coolroom’s bloodied innards, they disagree. With little more than a hunch and a stray earring to go on, Clementine and Margery begin their own investigation, determined that whoever is responsible will get their just desserts.

Having enjoyed a number of cozy mysteries featuring elderly amateur sleuths recently I had quite high expectations for The Dinner Lady Detectives, but unfortunately I felt its potential was unrealised.

I thought the basic premise for the story was appealing, and I enjoyed several scenes, but I found the way in which the mystery played out was disappointing. It almost seemed as if several of the mystery plot elements were an afterthought, and the clues felt disjointed. The plot was also hampered by slow pacing and there was a lack of suspense generally expected in a mystery.

I did like Clementine and Margery, a couple of some thirty years living quietly in the tiny village of Dewstow, South Wales, but I sometimes had difficulty distinguishing between them. The rest of the cast was problematic in that few held much appeal, including the victim who had a fondness for mean-spirited pranks.

While I wouldn’t consider The Dinner Lady Detectives to be a terrible read, I’m afraid I did find it lackluster at best.

+++++++

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carla
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 09:46:01

    Too bad this book fell a bit short, Shelleyrae.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Jennifer
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 10:59:49

    I’ll pass on this, thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. cleemckenzie
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 11:35:00

    I love honest reviews. Thank you for this one. When characters are indistinguishable, that’s a clear signal the author didn’t dig into her people enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. WendyW
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 11:46:45

    It does have a nice premise. But, I agree, I don’t like mean-spirited characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. sandysbookaday
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 13:10:19

    I agree, Shelleyrae. It’s definitely lackluster. Great review. ❤📚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. lisanaz
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 17:41:40

    Which “cozy mysteries featuring elderly amateur sleuths” did you enjoy? I’d appreciate the recommendations. Thanks!

    Like

    Reply

  7. harvee
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 20:27:32

    I think I won’t read this one. The death is rather gruesome for a cozy!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Davida Chazan
    Jan 20, 2022 @ 21:47:50

    Too bad… it sounded like it might have been fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  10. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Jan 24, 2022 @ 21:14:30

    This does sound like it could have been a haunted read — its such a pity it didn’t work out 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Carol Evans
    Jan 25, 2022 @ 01:58:05

    It’s a shame this one didn’t live up to its potential.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Mystica
    Jan 27, 2022 @ 20:17:10

    Thank you for the honest review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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