Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review of Death Before Dinner, An Otter Tail County Mystery by Gerald Anderson

Review of Death Before Dinner,  
An Otter Tail County Mystery by Gerald Anderson
From Product Description (ISBN 0738708747, Paperback)
Could something like murder happen in Fergus Falls-a quiet Minnesota town known for its Scandinavian heritage and great lake fishing? Yah, you betcha!
Every August Dr. George Gherkin, the Fergus Falls State University president, hosts a faculty party. It's tradition for George to lock himself inside the kitchen to prepare his signature dish. But instead of Chicken Kiev, the guests find their chef with a meat cleaver buried in his head.
All the guests are suspects. There's Sally Ann Pennwright, Gherkin's scorned secretary and former mistress; Sherwin Williams, the assistant professor of Art who's been denied tenure for years; and Francis Olson, the athletic director whose attempt to leave Fergus Falls was thwarted by Gherkin. Everyone has an ax to grind with the selfserving, manipulative university president. Can the small-town sheriff-who hasn't handled a homicide case in his entire career-solve this unsavory crime?

Leona's Review

I has a problem rating this book but it did get better as it progressed. The Ole joke advanced it from a 3 1/2 star to a 4 star rating. I usually give 4 star ratings when research has been done and I learn something; I did from this book.
I chose this book from my library because I was doing genealogy research for my husband's family. They are from Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
The book begins with a prologue and the death of George Gherkins. The first chapters describe the characters in the book and their issues with the president of the Fergus Falls State University.
The descriptions of the town and people were great and so I liked this history and information. The author is detailed in his descriptions of food, the decor of the homes and clothing of the characters. The author does leave the reader trying to solve the mystery of the murder and why it happened . I did see politics in this book but we are in Minnesota and they are political.  ( I am not a Minnesotan, just married to one and he is a Scandinavian. We do live in Minnesota).

Main characters:
Dr. George Gherkin-President of Fergus Falls State University
Dolly Gherkin-Wife of George Gherkin
Guest List:
Abigail Armbruster- Mayor of Fergus Falls
Dr. Isabel Corazon- Newest Vide-president at Fergus Falls State University
Francis Olson- Athletic Director at Fergus Falls State University
Sally Ann Pennwright- Private Secretary of George Gherkin
Lance Sterling- President of alumni association
Ruth Sterling- Wife of Lance Sterling
Dr. Harold Winston-Professor of History at Fergus Falls State University
Brick Wahl- A Contractor
Sherwin Williams-Assistant Professor of Art
Mae Williams-
 Wife of Sherwin Williams

Sheriff and Deputy
Palmer Knutson- Sheriff of Fergus Falls
Orly Peterson- Deputy of Fergus Falls

I recommend  Death Before Dinner for a good read and some history of a small town in west central Minnesota.
Leona Olson


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