Good Day! A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot is a historical romance novel and will be published on March 20. The Summer of New Beginnings by Bette Lee Crosby will be out on March 27.
Southern Discomfort by Caroline Fardig is the debut novel in A Southern B&B Mystery. Quinn Bellandini with the assistance of her grandfather and sister run the Bellandini Bed and Breakfast in Savannah, Georgia. Quinn whips up delectable delights for the guests as well as helping with the cleaning chores. One night Quinn stops by Green, the restaurant co-owned by Drew and Jason Green, to speak with Drew. The back door is open, and Jason is on the floor with knife stabbed into his chest. After falling in the blood and contaminating the crime scene, Quinn manages to call 911. Detectives Flynn and King are assigned the case. Detective Flynn is accusatory and believes Quinn aided Drew in bumping off his brother. Drew is arrested, and the police quit investigating the crime. Quinn knows Drew is innocent and sets out to pursue the truth with the aid of her sister, Delilah. Who disliked the unpleasant Jason Green enough to slay him in his own restaurant? That is just what Quinn intends to find out in Southern Discomfort.
Southern Discomfort is a new series for Caroline Fardig who is the author of A Java Jive Mysteries. I was never able to get drawn into the story. I felt the author failed to properly set the stage for her readers with the setting or with the characters. We are given few details on the main characters or the B&B. We are given lovely descriptions of Savannah (I would love to visit). The main problem was Quinn. I kept hoping she would grow on me, but she did not (I did plot some good ways for the author to do her in). She had a chip on her shoulder (regarding Tucker and incident that occurred in high school), judgmental, naïve at times, loses her temper frequently and easily, and wishy washy (she is a contradiction). I found myself cringing at some of Quinn’s comments. Sal, Quinn’s grandfather had a good attitude and his magic act sounded entertaining (also unique for a B&B). Delilah seemed grounded and more realistic. I enjoyed her interactions with Uncle Fred, the resident ghost (Sal’s as well). I would have enjoyed Southern Discomfort more if Delilah had been the main character with Quinn as her sidekick. There was a hint of a ghost in the story, but it was in the background. I wanted more of Uncle Fred (the resident ghost). He provided some good insight into the mystery. Solving the crime is not one that can completely be solved because readers are not given all the details until right before the reveal. Those people who read a significant amount of mysteries will have no problem predicting what will occur (two little nuggets of information give it away). There was a lack of action in the book (there was Quinn asking questions and I wanted something more). I felt too much time was devoted to Quinn thinking and speculating about the mystery and Tucker. Let us not forget the cliché nasty detective (Detective Flynn). The reason for Quinn returning to the restaurant and discovering the body was slim and farfetched. I think there should have been less focus on Tucker and the romance between him and Quinn. As you can tell, I was not the right audience for Southern Discomfort (my mother, though, found it funny—as you can tell we have different reading tastes). To see if Southern Discomfort is the right fit for you, download a sample from your favorite retailer (for e-book readers). My rating for Southern Discomfort is 3 stars.
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The Avid Reader