It's Hump Day! I hope everyone is having a good week. Canyons, Caravans and Cadavers by Tonya Kappes will be released on March 25. It is the sixth story in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series. Leave No Scone Unturned by Denise Swanson, Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien and Half Finished by Lauraine Snelling come out on March 26. The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis published on April 2. Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams comes out on April 30. It is the fifth A Book Retreat Mystery (I cannot wait to read it). There are so many wonderful new books coming out this spring.
One Potato, Two Potato, Dead by Lynn Cahoon is the third A Farm-to-Fork Mystery. Angie Turner, Ian McNeal and the staff from The County Seat are volunteering at a local homeless mission where they will cook and serve dinner. It gives Angie an opportunity to check out Felicia’s new boyfriend, Taylor Simpson who runs the mission. They are surprised when Professor Daniel Monet arrives to volunteer. He is a visiting professor from Canada this semester and it is obvious to all of them that Hope Anderson, training to be a chef, is smitten. There is an odd tension between Ian and Daniel all evening. At one point, Ian calls Daniel by a different name. The next morning, Sheriff Allen Brown is on Angie’s doorstep with the news that Daniel has been murdered and Hope has been taken in for questioning. Hope drove Daniel home the previous night and her fingerprints were found on a wine glass near the body. Angie calls Ian only to find that he left town that morning for England. Angie is not going to allow innocent Hope to remain on the suspect list. She decides to nose around campus and do a little online sleuthing. Angie soon learns that Professor Monet was quite the ladies’ man, but his culinary talents left something to be desired. What secrets were Daniel Monet hiding? Can Angie figure them out before the killer comes after her?
One Potato, Two Potato, Dead is light, relaxing story with a smidgen of mystery tossed in. If you have not read the previous A Farm-to-Fork Mystery novels, you will not be lost. The author provides the necessary information for new readers. Angie Turner is not herself in this story. She is moody, short-tempered and negative (it is off-putting). Angie has her farm with Mabel (the hen), Precious (the goat) and Dom (St. Bernard). I am particularly fond of Dom (though I could do without the endless walks Angie and Dom take). She co-owns The county Seat with her best friend, Felicia. While Angie is a whiz in the kitchen, she leaves the front of the house to Felicia. There are a variety of characters that include Estebe Blackstone (chef at the restaurant), Hope (dishwasher, college student training to be a chef), Bar Travis (owner/bartender of the Red Eye), Ian McNeal (the boyfriend) and Sheriff Allen Brown (who loves Angie’s baked goods). Felicia is dating Taylor Simpson who runs the local homeless mission and Angie wants to check him out to see if he is suitable for her friend. I will say that Taylor is dedicated to the mission. Hope is infatuated with Professor Daniel Monet, a visiting professor and chef from Canada. When Daniel turns up dead the morning after Hope gives him a ride home, she is at the top of Sheriff Brown’s suspect list. It does not help that her fingerprints are on a wine glass near the body. There is little investigation into the murder. When Angie tries to give Sheriff Brown information, he tells her to keep her nose out of the investigation (which she cannot do). It is not apparent that the sheriff is investigating (it is not mentioned). There needed to be proactive investigating by Angie and Sheriff Brown. Angie feels Hope is young, innocent and naïve and wants to protect her. There is a lack of suspects, and, when the killer is finally introduced, it is obvious that this person is the guilty party. Most of the novel comprises Angie doing day-to-day activities like feeding her animals (twice a day), walking Dom, cooking, working on her cookbook, chatting with friends, eating, driving, working at the restaurant, getting ready for the day, and wondering why Ian took off without talking to her (he left for England the day after the murder). There were a couple of mentions that Angie’s neighbors are out of town. I kept expecting that to play into the story (like the killer using their house as a hideout), but it never did (then why was it mentioned more than once). The books pacing is mild (it lacked action). This is not my favorite book by Lynn Cahoon. It needed more substance. One Potato, Two Potato, Dead is a charming story with adorable animals, delicious food, good friends, helping hands and an irksome homicide that needs to be deciphered.
The first two books in A Farm-to-Fork Mystery series are Who Moved My Goat Cheese? (cute story) and Killer Green Tomatoes. Lynn Cahoon also writes A Tourist Trap Mystery series (I love them). The next full length installment is Memories and Murder which will be out on November 12. I will be reviewing Cookin' the Books by Amy Patricia Meade next time. It is the first A Tish Tarragon Mystery. I hope you have an unbelievable day (we all deserve days like that). Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader