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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Book Review: Sex, Death and Canapes

'Sex, Death and Canapes' is book one of the 'Sex, Death and Dinner' series by Petrina Binney, a Devon based author. It is a noir comedy about fine dining and murder in a village rife with gossipy neighbours.
(Review does not contain spoilers).

This story was good and intriguing, however there was so much happening and going on and jumping between character backstories that I found it confusing and difficult to follow. The writing had a fanciful quality to it which beautifully fitted the descriptions of the village and its inhabitants. Characters of Fiona and Roland were very well-developed; I couldn't stand Roland and found him humorously vile. I liked that their crumbling marriage was shown throughout the story although I did wonder why Fiona was with him, she seemed too good for him! Also thought the romantic tension built up between Fiona and Jennifer was well executed rather than being explicitly shown.

There was a lot of humour in the book which I enjoyed; a particular passage that jumped out which made me really laugh:

'To take pills with any kind of regularity meant starting a cycle: he would begin taking the pills, so he had to keep taking the pills, and then he wouldn't be able to go without the pills. A natural progression, the dosage would need increasing as his body grew accustomed to the pills. And then there would be side effects from the pills. Which would mean other pills to counteract the side effects of the original pills. Perhaps a slight disease would sneak in while he was working out how to operate child-proof caps. Quite rapidly, he would become a walking chemical plant.'

- Petrina Binney, Sex, Death and Canapes, Chapter 21, p.105.

We were introduced to the killings earlier in the book, yet they seemed brushed underneath later as the dinner parties took precedent. While the conversations were interesting, reading about wealthy couples having dinner became a bit repetitive (and made me very hungry!)

The ending had a clever twist, however it still left me confused as to who the actual killer was or whether or not the murders had been planned. I felt there was too much jumping between different character perspectives within chapters which made me unaware of whose point of view we were following.

Nevertheless, it was an engaging and entertaining read on the whole and if you like soap-opera style dramas with dark humour and mystery, do check out Binney's works! This one is FREE to download via Kindle until Friday, and her other two that follow are called 'Sex, Death and Scallops' and 'Sex, Death and Venison.'

3/5 stars


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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
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