on Feb. 2, 2016
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Also in this series: Guidebook to Murder, Mission to Murder, If the Shoe Kills, Dressed To Kill, Killer Run, Tea Cups and Carnage, Hospitality and Homicide, Killer Party, Rockets' Dead Glare, Santa Puppy, Memories and Murder
The food truck craze has reached the charming coastal town of South Cove, California, but before Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—can sample the eats, she has to shift gears and put the brakes on a killer . . .
Now that Kacey Austin has got her new gluten-free dessert truck up and running, there’s no curbing her enthusiasm—not even when someone vandalizes the vehicle and steals her recipes. But when Kacey turns up dead on the beach and Jill’s best friend Sadie becomes the prime suspect, Jill needs to step on it to serve the real killer some just desserts.
I received a review copy of this book from .
It’s All About the Food
a guest post by Lynn Cahoon
Here’s my secret or not-so-secret confession. It’s all about the food.
Ask me to plan a meeting at work, or a party? Or even a small get together with friends? My first thought it what we’ll have to eat.
I blame my mom for this fascination with food. She was an amazing cook. Good, basic farm food. I still can taste her Fried Chicken – fried in lard in a big iron fry pan. And if she had bacon grease left over from breakfast, even better.
Reviews of the Tourist Trap series tend to talk about the desserts served at Coffee, Books, and More, Jill’s combo coffee shop and book store. I do love writing about cheesecake. And I dream about being Sadie, working in her converted garage/bakery, creating new delights or trying out new recipes.
A reader told me she’d been reading one of my books in the middle of the night and started cursing me. She’d found the scene where Greg orders the meatloaf plate at Diamond Lille’s and all she could think of was meatloaf. At midnight.
When I started writing Murder on Wheels, I knew I wanted the mystery person who bought the food truck in Killer Run to start up a new business. But what was South Cove missing? Jill’s shop with Sadie’s help provides the coffee and sweets. Diamond Lille is your favorite diner or greasy spoon. So what was missing?
Good For You Desserts was developed. Kasey Austin, the surprise-missing wife of Austin shows up with the also missing food truck. And the fun goes from there.
What about you? Do you love food as much as I do? What’s your favorite comfort food? And have you changed it up to be more ‘healthy’ over the years?
There are several reasons I enjoy reading Lynn’s Tourist Trap Mystery series. There’s Jill, bookstore and coffee shop owner, who can never manage to keep her curiosity under control. There’s Greg, her boyfriend and the town’s chief detective (mind you, they only have two policemen.) There’s Toby, who is both Greg and Jill’s subordinate; he’s a cop who also works part-time for Jill as a barista, and he’s too handsome for his own good. There’s Jill’s indomitable, sometimes acerbic aunt Jackie, and Jill’s generally laid-back friend Amy, who works for the mayor and loves to surf. And then there’s the light, enjoyable tone of the whole series. I always know, when I open one of Lynn’s mysteries, that I’m in for an hour or two of engaging puzzle, camaraderie, and comfortably cozy small-town life.
But I have to admit, one of the things I savor about this series is the food. More specifically, the desserts. It’s just not fair that Jill and Co. have access to all those sweet, delicious cheesecakes and other treats. It makes my mouth water every time I read one of these books — and unlike me, lucky Jill never seems to get any fatter no matter what she eats. She runs it all off with her golden retriever. (Hmm… do you think my cats would like to go for a walk or a run with me? On a leash, of course.)
This book introduces several new characters as well as the hobby known as geocaching. Like most cozy readers, I’m always wary whenever a new character comes on the scene, as they are likely to end up as either the victim or the murderer. This time, the new kid on the block is Austin’s ex- or estranged wife Kacey, the one he threw over Jill’s friend Sadie for. (Sadie’s the baker behind most of those to-die-for desserts I mentioned earlier.) Turns out Kacey is about to offer gluten-free competition for Sadie’s sweet creations — using the food truck Jill once wanted to buy for Coffee, Books, and More. But it’s hard to dislike Kacey when you get to know her; she’s one of those genuinely nice people who crop up more frequently in real life than in mystery novels. So why would anyone have wanted to kill her? Sadie has a motive, of course — a double one, both love and business — but Jill is positive Sadie didn’t do it. Being Jill, she starts trying to prove Sadie innocent. . . all while juggling geocaching double dates with Greg, Amy, and Justin; running her bookstore; worrying about Toby’s love life; feuding with Amy; and dealing with a severe drought and water restrictions.
I will admit that I spotted the murderer quite early on, and even suspected the motive. But Lynn kept offering other suspects with motive and opportunity, forcing me to consider them rather than settle on my original choice. I also found that I was more interested in Toby’s and Jackie’s love lives (not with each other!) than in Greg and Jill’s; the latter’s relationship seems to have settled into a comfortable groove while the other two are apparently hitting some snags. I was quite surprised by Jill and Amy’s falling-out, though; I had thought those two friends could weather anything. So the book ended up giving me both the expected and the unexpected.
The result was, as I anticipated, an enjoyable afternoon treat, a chocolate-chip-cookie of a book rather than a rich piece of cheesecake: tasty and quickly devoured.
- February 2 – Book Babble – Review
- February 2 – View from the Birdhouse – Spotlight
- February 3 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Guest Post
- February 4 – Laura’s Interests – Review
- February 5 – The Book’s the Thing – Review, Guest Post
- February 5 – I Read What You Write – Review
- February 6 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – Review
- February 7 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
- February 8 – Community Bookstop – Review
- February 9 – Booth Talks Books – Interview
- February 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
- February 10 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
- February 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – Review
- February 12 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – Review
- February 13 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlight
- February 14 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
- February 15 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Going Back To Basics (Winter 2015-2016)
- Cruisin' Thru the Cozies 2016