Amy Wellington is about to get married and she couldn't be more miserable.
Sure, she loves Peter Johnson, but the problem is her mother, Pepper. Amy hasn't spoken to her in over a decade and for good reason: Her mother is cursed with being interesting. Take for instance, Amy's real name: Sausage. She blames her mother entirely.
The wedding will take place at the beautiful Leelanau Lodge, a secluded spot in northern Michigan. When Peter convinces Amy to invite her mother, Amy knows there's going to be trouble. But how could she know the trouble will involve her first love, the sexy Graham, a series of murders, and excellent lentil soup?
In Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage there's murder and sex, but not at the same time. There is also a string of questions. Will Amy finally live her life authentically? Will she choose a grey life with Peter, or a colorful one with Graham? How many people will end up dead? And most importantly...what kind of mother would name her daughter Sausage?
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I really wanted to like this book. Tanya Eby is a brilliant narrator and, as expected, this book is well written, the story flows and the narration is perfect.
However for me, it would probably be better as a TV romantic comedy, or as a stage play. All the characters are wildly exaggerated and not very likable. The plot is based around the h, who was raised by a hippy mother, and rebelled by becoming boring, “grey” and conservative. She is about to marry a man who fitted her image of a boring, grey and conservative marriage. He was deeply unpleasant, having an affair with his cousin, openly lusting after other woman and generally unlovable. The rest of his family were pretty much just as awful. The h does not seem to notice, just like she failed to notice that her hippy mum may have been a bit weird, but did actually love her.
The h had reluctantly invited her mother to the wedding after not speaking to her for 10(15?) years. Never really understood why. Her mother,however, holds no grudges and brings her daughter’s ex who had, apparently, broken her heart when they were both 18. H decides within a few hours that he “still loves” the h. Her greeting is to try to scratch his eyes out – literally. Apart from this insta-love we find out nothing more about the ex - not even what he does for a job, nor why, in 15 years, he never bothered trying to reconnect with the woman he "loved".
At dinner, the night before the wedding, an elderly relative drops dead from poisoning. This does not seem to bother anyone too much. Her mother decides it was murder, but the rest of the wedding party pretty much carry on as if nothing happened. The next morning the fiance’s cousin is found murdered. She had just spent the night having sex with the fiancé (her cousin), while the h was having sex with her ex in the garden. The h, who does not seem the brightest spark, seems to think she committed the murder, even if she cannot remember actually doing so. Confused? Yeah, it pretty much continues in the same way.
This book in not really a romance. In the UK it would have been termed “Ealing comedy”. I am not quite sure how to describe it. Maybe “quirky comedy?” It’s not really my kind of book and not what I expected so I don’t want to be too critical. I guess the biggest problem is that the h, the central character, just looked dull and a bit dim alongside her mother. I think if this was marketed as a comedy, with the mother as the central character instead, it would be a more successful read, and reach a better target audience.