Dairy, Dairy Quite Contrary
Dairy, Dairy Quite Contrary by Amy Lillard is the debut of A Sunflower Café Mysteries. We meet Sissy Yoder and her Yorkshire terrier, Duke. They have traveled to Yoder, Kansas to help her aunt, Bethel who broke a leg. Bethel needs help running the Sunflower Café. Sissy is glad for an excuse to get away from Tulsa, Oklahoma after breaking up with her boyfriend and losing her apartment. Unfortunately, Sissy’s fresh start begins with the murder of the local milk delivery driver in the back doorway of the Sunflower Café. Deputy Sheriff Earl Berry has Sissy at the top of his suspect list. The only way to clear her name is for Sissy to find the real culprit. I like Amy Lillard’s casual writing style. It is welcoming and friendly. The pacing is leisurely and could have used an injection of caffeine. Sissy Yoder is a friendly character who has an adorable dog named Duke of York (aka Duke). We meet a cast of quirky characters as Sissy works in the café and investigates the mystery. I enjoyed the descriptions of Yoder. It sounds like a quaint small town that is a mixture of English and Amish. I thought Sissy’s new home was clever and cute (I am not going to spoil it for you).
The murder of the milkman happens early in the story. Sissy is the prime suspect even though she barely knew the man. There are several suspects since the milk delivery driver is the local lothario. There are few clues which makes it challenging for Sissy to solve. Sissy gets help from local reporter, Gavin. I wish the whodunit had been stronger and more complex. I also thought the mystery needed a better conclusion with any lingering questions answered. I kept hoping the bumbling deputy sheriff would find himself the next victim. In the end, Sissy finds the final piece of the puzzle and identifies the guilty party. Gavin Wainwright is a reporter for the Sunflower Express, the local underground newspaper. He helps Sissy with the mystery plus he is her new love interest. I did feel it was a little soon for a love interest since Sissy is still getting over her ex-boyfriend. I am hoping that the romance will progress slowly.
I like Sissy’s job as the syndicated advice columnist Aunt Bess. Aunt Bess is a sassy, know it all seventy-year-old grandmother (at least that is what everyone thinks). Aunt Bess is plain spoken with plenty of helpful advice (Sissy should take some of it herself). There are quotes from Aunt Bess at the beginning of each chapter. Of course, Sissy has to have a cover occupation because no one knows that she is Aunt Bess. The food descriptions will have your mouth watering, especially for chocolate peanut butter pie. I enjoyed my first visit to Yoder, Kanas. I am curious what trouble Sissy will stumble upon next time. Dairy, Dairy Quite Contrary is cute cozy with the delightful Duke, the grabby Bethel, the loving Lottie, the laid-up Lizzie, the bullying Earl Berry, the scrumptious chocolate peanut butter pie, the grinning Gavin, and a suspicious Sissy.
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