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Book Review: Murder for the Halibut by Liz Lipperman

Updated on November 7, 2014
Seasickness or poison?
Seasickness or poison?

Halibut can be Murder

At the end of the second Clueless Cook mystery, Jordan McAllister was excited about going on a cooking cruise with her friends from the apartment. The only problem: she was to be a judge.

Jordan still keeps her clueless culinary tastes to herself, but will do anything for a free cruise. She just has to figure out how she's going to bluff her way through the voyage.

As the third installment, Murder for the Halibut begins, Jordan is on a fishing excursion with the competing chefs and falls victim to seasickness. It's the day before the cruise sets sail and her friends will be arriving later that day, so this is a good way for the chefs and judges to get to know one another.

Jordan's not too fond of chef Stefano Mancini and on the evening of the cruise, his death seems like an accident, but in actuality it's murder. His signature halibut dish seems to be the culprit but someone "helped" contribute to his nut allergy.

With all of the characters again this installment began to drag, but I have to give author Liz Lipperman credit. While all of the action takes place on the ship, she does give the characters liberty as they pull into various Caribbean ports. This does help move the story along but at a really slow pace.

Generally in fiction writers have free range to do whatever they see fit in order to move the story along. It's something the reader shouldn't question, but unfortunately the resurgence of Alex Montgomery being able to "appear" out of the blue was a little farfetched for me. I didn't believe that he was able to join up with the group at one of the ports of call. It just doesn't make sense and since Lipperman set the cruise up at the end of the second installment, again it should have been a shorter period of time between novels.

As I pushed myself through this series, I had hoped things would have gotten better, but at the end it does look like a fourth installment may be in the works. After finishing I don't know if Lipperman would be pushing herself for a fourth entry. Time will tell.

Lipperman does include more recipes so be sure to go on a diet after reading.


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