Tuesday, September 23, 2014



Publisher:  Berkley
Published:   December 31, 2012
ISBN:  978-0425251829
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com


Talk about a dream vacation!  Jordan McAllister and her friends from the Empire Apartments are off on a Caribbean Cruise!  Thanks to her friend Michael the gang has been given the opportunity to work and play on a fabulous cruise ship.  Even though she’s not a gourmet by any means, Jordan has been selected as one of the cooking contest judges.  With stops in different ports of call and opportunities for some fabulous eats they are on their way.  But it isn’t long before one passenger has a bit of an accident followed by another suddenly dying.  At first it appears that Stefano Mancini’s death is either a tragic accident or an undiagnosed medical issue but when jewels go missing and another passenger goes missing Jordan becomes certain there’s a killer on board.

I enjoyed the first two books of Liz Lipperman’s Clueless Cook series, LIVER LET DIE and BEEF STOLEN-OFF.  Her latest, MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT took a few turns I found a little unpleasant.  First, is a general complaint about authors who don’t do their research.  I’m not talking about hours in a library and traveling to distant ports to find their information.  I’m talking about a simple phone call to a local police department or federal agency.  With few exceptions they are more than happy to give an author the straight scoop on what they do.  Maybe not how, but a general idea of where their jurisdiction begins and ends.  Lipperman missed the boat on this one.

The other is where she has gone with Victor.  He and Michael were one of the better written gay couples I’ve seen in a cozy mystery.  They weren’t put in gratuitously to attract additional readers, but a well written couple that added to the mystery’s elements.  In MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT Lipperman needlessly turned Victor into a mean-spirited, sniping, unlikeable character.  Sure, it was kinda funny when he makes a comment to Jordan about going off alone with her to make snarky comments about the rest of the passengers—but overall he was boorish and just plain nasty.  I didn’t care for the direction of that character at all.

The mystery in this one was good and in this case I had no idea who the killer was until that character was revealed – and what a good twist it was.  I’ll continue with the series to see what happens with Jordan next. 
The books are stand alones and you don’t have to read the earlier ones to enjoy the current read because the author gives her readers a solid backstory without being overwhelming about it.  I do recommend reading them in order though simply because it’s just a good series. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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