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A Catered Halloween (A Mystery with Recipes, #5)
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A Catered Halloween (A Mystery with Recipes #5)

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  528 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Sisters Bernadette and Libby Simmons are thrilled they've been asked to cater a haunted house fundraiser. But they soon discover that ghosts aren't the only unwanted guests when a murderer strikes...

With the promise of a hefty commission and some valuable word-of-mouth for their catering business, A Little Taste of Heaven, Bernadette and Libby Simmons agree to cater the ch
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Kensington (first published September 1st 2006)
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Joan - xstitchfan The back story of the sisters, their father, and their town will make the books less confusing and hence more enjoyable. However, unless you need to…moreThe back story of the sisters, their father, and their town will make the books less confusing and hence more enjoyable. However, unless you need to know all about how Bernie returned back to her hometown, I'd skip book 1. Please see my complete review of book 1. It was just okay compared to the other 3 books I've read from this cozy mystery series.(less)

Community Reviews

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Nov 07, 2015 Kelley rated it liked it
This book was what I was looking for right now--an easy read, a mystery, and a seasonal, spooky feel since it was Halloween. I also enjoy books that feature a cook or baker or someone who owns a small business. Then again, I read cookbooks for fun, too. I haven't read the other books in the series, but I didn't find that as distracting as some. I could figure out who they were by their actions in this book. Although, I do want to know what happened to their dad and why he's in a wheelchair most ...more
Oct 10, 2011 Bridget rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
Anyone who knows me, knows that one of my favorite things to do is to read a book that is seasonally appropriate, particularly during the fall/winter holidays. So when I saw that this book was available for my Nook Color, I decided to download it. I'd read "A Catered Thanksgiving," and though it's not great literature, enjoyed it a lot, so I thought I'd try another of Isis Crawford's mysteries featuring Libby and Bernie Simmons.

In this installment, the sisters are asked to provide the food for a
Book Club October/ Haunted Halloween 2012 Challenge
Level: Pale Rider: Once Upon A Time: Alice in Zombieland, Smooth Criminal: Vanity, Vengeance And A Weekend In Vegas, Halloween Night: A Catered Halloween, and Rules Of Darkness: Addicted.

So I learned something useful. If you are going to read a book with a dessert theme, it's best if you have cookie and cake mix and all the ingredients in your kitchen, ready for when that sweet tooth hits you. This book spends more time describing
Oct 13, 2009 Amber rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I made a resolution to only read Halloween/scary books until Halloween. I have a feeling I will regret this, but oh well!

This book was ok. It was part of a series, and this is the first one I've read. I'm notorious for reading books out of order (and never had much trouble with that), but I've never found one as difficult as this one; there was just no character back story. I realized that I never knew how old the characters were -- they mention something about getting Botox and being paranoid i
Oct 13, 2008 Barb rated it it was ok
Halloween is my favorite holiday - the title of this book sucked me in. The story was just barely ok and even though I am a big fan of books in a series (as I can really bond with the characters), I won't read anymore of these. The writing was poor, the story line was not captivating and the characters were tolerable - not likeable. My advice for this one is don't bother.
Oct 10, 2016 Me rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ghosts, murder, a haunted house, slight twist at the end of the story AND awesome Halloween recipes!
Joan - xstitchfan
Jan 29, 2017 Joan - xstitchfan rated it really liked it
My favorite in the series so far! Ghosts, costumes, a haunted house, apples, pumpkin pies, warm cider, and a interesting mystery are all included. Pick this book as your autumn read. Enjoy!
Oct 27, 2016 Tole rated it liked it
It dragged for me. Could easily have been a 250 page book.
Feb 04, 2017 Vintagebooklvr rated it did not like it
I just couldn't get into it.
Kristin Lundgren
Oct 30, 2011 Kristin Lundgren rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy-food
First cozy I have read in years. this one was fun, it was the night before Halloween when I read it, and it was light-hearted, and fun. But there was a lot of backstory from earlier in the series that I missed - it's not a series you can pick up in the middle as well - she did a poor job of bringing new readers into the new book with out boring older readers. It took me a long while to figure out if one of the main characters was married or not. Certain comments made me think she was, but then.. ...more
Sep 15, 2014 Rage rated it it was ok
this was quite strange to read. I have not read the first four books in the series. the characters are not really introduced, so I had no idea how old anyone was in this. relationships are implied, but not explained. it took me a long time to figure out what kind of business the two catering sisters even own. (since they make savory food as well as sweets; apparently it's a cafe?) it seems like everyone is designed to resemble a human who has had all of their redeemable features removed. the mys ...more
Nov 23, 2016 Jessica rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for ghost stories and Halloween is my favorite holiday so I really enjoyed those aspects of the story. I liked what little history was shared about the Peabody school and would have liked to have had that developed a little more. I think it would have added a little more dimension to the story. Some of the phrasing seemed a bit off. I don't know, maybe it's a regional thing, but I've honestly never heard anyone say "cleared her voice" instead of "cleared her throat". Throughout the ...more
Molly Cline
Sep 27, 2015 Molly Cline rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, series-5, halloween
I'm usually a big fan of the mystery-recipe type books. But this book took a while to capture my attention and it never really 'kept' it. Although I did want to know 'who did it' and 'why'. But after reading 17 chapters and the author didn't seem like she was going anywhere with the story and had WAY to many characters I skipped about five chapters and started reading there and it was like deja-vu as it was saying pretty much the same as what I had been reading. So I skipped to the end and read ...more
Rosa Cline
2 star

I'm usually a big fan of the mystery-recipe type books. But this book took a while to capture my attention and it never really 'kept' it. Although I did want to know 'who did it' and 'why'. But after reading 17 chapters and the author didn't seem like she was going anywhere with the story and had WAY to many characters I skipped about five chapters and started reading there and it was like deja-vu as it was saying pretty much the same as what I had been reading. So I skipped to the end an
Sep 21, 2014 Kim rated it liked it
This book is stuck in a weird spot for me. I like the lightness of the mood despite the murder mystery. I really didn't guess the murderer so that was a plus. The author really kept me guessing but man did the plot get weird in the end.

Other issues I had included problems with the characters. Just how old are Bernie and Libby? Bernie mentions both but man they argue like 10 year olds. Libby lacks any self esteem like someone who is 18 or younger. Also the deceased mother and the father seem to j
Sep 01, 2014 Misty rated it it was ok
My favorite mystery writer's books are always filled with delicious sounding foods. I've often thought that if she put out a recipe book based on the food in her books, I'd snatch it in a second. When I came across Isis Crawford's A Catered Halloween, I was looking forward to the food/mystery combination. Alas, I was disappointed. The characters were flat, prose repetitive (how many times can one sister say her other sister wears inappropriate clothing?), and dialogue contrived. The mystery plot ...more
Sep 30, 2014 Tiffani rated it liked it
I have always loved reading Holiday/Seasonal themed cozys in real time. So when I read about this book I thought awesome, Halloween is approaching! I have to say it wasn't the best. There were 2 really good things about this book. The first was that I did not guess the killer and that's always a plus when reading a mystery book. The second was the fact that you really felt it was Halloween in the book with mentions of all the decorations and the delicious Halloween/autumn treats. However being t ...more
Kim j
Dec 02, 2015 Kim j rated it it was ok
Shelves: isiscrawford
This was a surprise because ALL of the other 4 books that start this series were pretty bad & this one has potential, finally! It still has problems with editing & basic english that is taught in first grade so someone wake up in that area. The story was much better & the characters are not as annoying but still have issues. Everyone has issues but what self respecting so-called adult takes all the crap that any of the characters take from each other? Bullies all over the place. Now ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: holiday-reads
Bernie & Libby own a catering company in upstate NY (Ok, I'm assuming it's upstate, I didn't bother to figure out if it's a real town).

They are on their way to cater a haunted house, which is being held at a former school. It also happens to be a local legend-it's supposedly, really haunted.

When a dead body just so happens to show up in one of the haunted house displays, Bernie, Libby and their cast of friends find themselves trying to solve this whodunit, before someone else gets their head
Jen Dombrowski
This is a book about a place that used to be a school but there were some deaths there nd the school closed down. A man bought it and made it into the Haunted House that caterers Bernie and Libby Simmons have to cater. They also encounter ghosts and have to solve the mystery of why the person who was killed at the haunted house gathering and could she be responsible for the death of Bessie Osgood, the girl that fell out the window and died at the Haunted House when the haunted house was still th ...more
N.C. Patterson
May 24, 2015 N.C. Patterson rated it liked it
A Catered Halloween was overall a charming and enjoyable read. The main characters are fun, well written, and interesting. The mystery itself in intricate and well plotted while still being clear enough for the reader to solve it on their own. However, a flat supporting cast and inconsistent quality in the prose take away from the story. The charm and ambiance of Halloween, which is so delicious when it is there, somewhat peters out when the story hits a bump. A Catered Halloween is not the best ...more
Debbie Maskus
The last two books that I have read have relied on the detective powers of Bernie Simpson to investigate and solve the mystery. Poor Libby is constantly eating chocolate and worrying about her old, frumpy clothes. The treats for the Halloween party at the Haunted House sound delicious. And what a haunted house, complete with a real head falling down the steps! The sense of a grudge lasting for decades and finally being resolved is plausible. This novel is not one of the more exciting books of th ...more
This is my first read in this series. I might have enjoyed it more if I had started at the beginning and understood a bit more of the back story of the characters. (I know that's a tough one for series authors to figure out, too much is boring and not enough..well, readers like me get confused!) The plot was a familiar one, the boarding school murder years ago that now catches up with the bad seed and I never did quite figure out why the 2 sisters who are caterers got involved. But the worst thi ...more
Sep 19, 2011 Toni rated it did not like it
Made it about 3/4 the way through and I just did not want to spend anymore time reading this. The story could have been good but it seemed to bounce around too much. I lost interest and felt annoyed while reading it. It took me awhile to figure out who Sean and Marvin were (I had not read previous books in the series). It changed perspectives way too much and hard to follow. Disappointing. Now I need to find another halloween mystery to read....
Holly Booms Walsh
A so-so culinary mystery, in the vein of Diane Mott Davidson's catering mysteries, but not as well-written. I got the feeling that the author was trying too hard to make you like the characters and their community and for them to be "unique", but it just ended up sounding sort of cliched and forced. Even the strange ghost/paranormal tack the book took ended up seeming as though it didn't quite fit.
Sep 16, 2010 Frankie rated it really liked it
I loved that this was a Halloween setting -- the storyline was perfect for it. Libby and Bernie are such fun characters and I enjoy how they work things out and work together. Really, my only complaint would be the dang recipes. How on earth does Isis Crawford bill these books as "A Mystery with Recipes" when the recipes that are included are NOT the recipes the sisters use -- not even close. That part disappoints me every single book.
Caterer sisters Libby and Bernie are working on a charitable haunted house, but unfortunately the house is really haunted, and on their tour the sisters find the head and body of an unpopular local woman--separated. Their father, a reluctantly-retired policeman, and their boyfriends pitch in to help identify a murder. If you like your mysteries rational, you'll find the ghosts in this one a bit obtrusive.
Oct 27, 2008 Heidi rated it liked it
This mystery was ok.. I got it to read this time of year for the title alone, found there were other books in the series already... probably wont go back and read the others... the sisters are good characters but I'm left hanging as to what their personalities are. There wasn't good character dynamics and it was had to figure out how everyone related to everyone else. Mystery was reletivly easy to solve with no drama ... luke warm on this one
Oct 25, 2010 Sharon rated it it was ok
Returned it to the library without completely finishing it. I got to the part where they figured it out but, like others who have reviewed this book, I figured out who it was before then. Maybe not down to the detail as to why or how, but in this book I didn't really care. I didn't even like the main characters in this book. I keep saying this book because I've read the first two books in the series and liked them. Maybe I need to go back and read them again...
Sep 04, 2014 Kilgallen rated it liked it
Shelves: ghost, mystery, 2014-reads
A good, quick cozy mystery. I have read another of this series and this one is very comparable in pacing and character development. I did like the conclusion as it seemed to be "fair". ( Sometimes cozy mysteries are somewhat ridiculous in their unbelievable endings!) A recommended read for the "cozy" fan.
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Isis Crawford was born in Egypt to parents who were in the diplomatic corps. When she was five, her family returned to the States, where her mother opened a restaurant in Upper Westchester County and her father became a university professor. Since then Isis has combined her parents’ love of food and travel by running a catering service as well as penning numerous travel-related articles about plac ...more
More about Isis Crawford...

Other Books in the Series

A Mystery with Recipes (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • A Catered Murder (A Mystery with Recipes, #1)
  • A Catered Wedding (A Mystery with Recipes, #2)
  • A Catered Christmas (A Mystery with Recipes, #3)
  • A Catered Valentine's Day (A Mystery with Recipes, #4)
  • A Catered Birthday Party (A Mystery with Recipes, #6)
  • A Catered Thanksgiving (A Mystery with Recipes, #7)
  • A Catered St. Patrick's Day (A Mystery with Recipes, #8)
  • A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange (A Mystery with Recipes, #9)
  • A Catered Fourth of July (A Mystery with Recipes, #10)
  • A Catered Mother's Day (A Mystery with Recipes, #11)

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