Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Grilled for Murder

It is the last day of May.  The month just flew by so quickly.  Does anyone else keep forgetting that today is not Monday?  It is National Macaroon Day.  A day to honor the flourless cookie called the macaroon.  The macaroon  (click on macaroon for a recipe) is made from ground nuts and leavened egg whites.  They are frequently made in pretty colors especially at Easter.  If you have not tried them before, this is the day to check them out.  I have to admit that I am getting a good laugh at my mother's expense. Her doctor ordered a test for her and her reaction is priceless.  It is a test that she can do in the comfort of her own home (trust me you do not want details), but it beats her alternative.  The kit arrived today and I am still laughing at her reaction (I cannot help it).  It was priceless (I take my giggles where I can get them)!
Aren't they pretty?
Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day is the second book in the Country Store Mystery series   Robbie Jordan is the owner of Pans ‘N Pancakes in South Lick, Indiana.  It is a restaurant and country store (has great vintage cookware).  Robbie has agreed to cater a welcome home party for Erica Berry Shermer.  Erica recently lost her husband, Jon Shermer (twin brother to Jim Shermer, local attorney and Robbie’s romantic interest) and is returning to South Lick from Chicago.  Erica has been home a month, but her parents want her to feel welcome.  Erica arrives late to the party.  She is flirtatious with a few of the men, but she is rude to others.  The party ends late, and Phil (Robbie’s friend and baker) offers to close up for her (since she has to get up so early).  The next morning Robbie is a little sluggish and eager for her coffee.  Robbie comes downstairs and finds Erica dead in the store next to the pickle barrel.  This is not a good start to her day!  Detective Octavia Slade is the State Police Homicide Detective assigned the case.  It turns out that Jim Shermer knows Octavia (they dated).  Phil ends up being a prime suspect in the murder and Robbie knows Phil would not hurt anyone.  Robbie wants to clear Phil of the crime and find the real culprit (this murder is affecting her business).  It is suggested that Robbie enter the Nashville Gingerbread Log Cabin competition. She could enter a miniature Pans ‘N Pancakes made of gingerbread, icing, and candy.  Robbie has her hands full with the restaurant, the gingerbread competition, decorating the place for Christmas, the investigation, ordering supplies for the restaurant, her stolen Christmas tree, and complications with her love life.  Will Robbie be able to find the killer before the killer comes after Robbie?

Grilled for Murder may be the second book in the series, but you can read it alone (the author provides the necessary background material).  The book is easy to read and has good characters (and a quaint, small town), but the focus of the book was not on the mystery (more on romance, stolen Christmas tree, dancing, her forgetfulness with regard to ordering supplies for the restaurant, etc.).  Figuring out the killer was extremely easy (you just need one clue—I will not tell you which one).    I give Grilled for Murder 3 out of 5 stars.  I have read other books by this author and this is not her best work (sorry, just being honest). Did you know that Maddie Day is a nom de plume for Edith Maxwell?  Do not get me wrong.  It is not a bad book.  I like this authors writing style and the unique murder weapon.  It makes for a pleasant reading experience.  I just wanted more in Grilled for Murder.  I wanted more focus on the murder mystery and subsequent investigation (it is supposed to be a mystery novel).  Will I read the next book in the Country Store Mystery series?  Yes, I will be reading the next book to see if there is improvement.  One thing that is particularly appealing to me is the description of the vintage cooking equipment (I grew up with two antique dealers for aunts and we have always had antiques in our home).

The first book in A Country Store Mystery series is Flipped for Murder which is currently $1.99 on Amazon.  I received a complimentary copy of Grilled for Murder by NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.

Thank all of you so much for stopping by and reading my blog.  I am currently enjoying A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell.  I have not read one of her books in years.  I am off to retreat to the back of the house.  My neighbors are having their band practice tonight (they have not improved in ten years).  I hope all of you have an enjoyable and relaxing night!  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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