Thursday, June 8, 2017

French Fried: An Ethnic Eats Mystery

Greetings, my fellow book lovers!   The sun finally came out in my area after days of rain.  My dog, Doozy dislikes rain intensely.  I have to push him out the back door so he can do his business. Have you ever tried to push a 60 pound dog through a house and out a door?  My mother finds it highly amusing!

French Fried by Kylie Logan is the second book in An Ethnic Eats Mystery series.  Laurel Inwood has been in Hubbard, Ohio for the last six months running Sophie’s Terminal at the Tracks.  It was supposed to be for a short time while Sophie had her knee surgery and recovered.  Recently, Sophie suffered another knee injury requiring Laurel to extend her stay.  Hubbard is getting ready for their Statute of Liberty Festival to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the landmark.  Terminal at the Tracks will be offering French cuisine (French country/bistro type) in honor of the celebration.  Laurel is waiting for Rocky Arnaud, a local farmer, to arrive with a few items before heading over to the Book Nook.  Aurore Brisson, author of Yesterday’s Passion, is in town for a book signing event.  Rocky arrives looking quite unlike herself and slightly drunk.  At the book event, Rocky accuses Aurore of stealing the novel from her deceased friend, Marie Daigneau.  They are watching the parade the next day when Rocky suddenly takes off.  She sends a text assuring her friends that she is fine and will meet them for the fireworks.  That evening Rocky is a no show.  Worried about her, Laurel along with Declan Fury (a handsome Irishman) go to Rocky’s farm to check up on her.  They discover all the lights on in her home and the music blaring.  Inside, Laurel and Declan find Rocky dead in a chair.  The police rule Rocky’s death a suicide which enrages Laurel.  She knows that Rocky would not kill herself and sets out to find her killer.  Can Laurel prove that Rocky was murdered?  What happens when Laurel is offered a dream position that will take her out of Hubbard?

French Fried is the second book in the series, but it can be read alone.  I have not had the opportunity read Irish Stewed (first book in the series), and it did not hinder my understanding in any way.  The author provided the background information on Laurel and a synopsis of what occurred in the first novel in AnEthnic Eats Mystery series.  I did, though, have trouble with the main character, Laurel Inwood.  Sophie is family and asked Laurel to help out.  Laurel, though, cannot wait to escape Hubbard which is mentioned in just about every chapter.  Declan Fury (a very handsome Irishman with a large family) wants to date Laurel, but she is unwilling to make a commitment (does not want to form attachments that will hinder her from leaving town).  I was shocked by Laurel’s choice at the end of the book after all her ranting throughout the novel (I would say more, but it would be a spoiler).  Laurel’s personality was unappealing.  She has no patience, trouble controlling her temper, and unreasonable.  One thing I have discovered after reading cozy mysteries for over fifteen years—you must like the main character in order to enjoy the novel.    I give French Fried 3 out of 5 stars (it was satisfactory).  There are three storylines (murder, Laurel’s job prospects, and did Aurore Brisson write Yesterday’s Passion) in French Fried that keep the story interesting.  The murder mystery was appealing, but I could identify the killer early in the book.  One detail gave away the murderer’s identity.  There is some repetitive information in French Fried along with numerous food descriptions (does every food item need to be described in detail).  The writing style made the book hard to get into (it was not conversational).  French Fried failed to capture and hold my attention.  While I am not a fan of French Fried, I do enjoy Kylie Logan's A League of Literary Ladies series (they are entertaining to read).

Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be reviewing Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle on Friday.  May you have a nice, relaxing Thursday. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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