Robbie Jordan may have had reservations about the murder victim, but she still needs to turn up the heat on a killer if she wants to keep her new restaurant open for business....
In the charming small town of South Lick, Indiana, Robbie has transformed a rundown country store into the runaway hit Pans 'N Pancakes. But the most popular destination for miles around can also invite trouble.
Erica Shermer may be the widow of handsome local lawyer Jim Shermer's brother, but she doesn't appear to be in mourning. At a homecoming party held in Robbie's store, Erica is alternately obnoxious and flirtatious - even batting her eyelashes at Jim.
When Erica turns up dead in the store the next morning, apparently clobbered with cookware, the police suspect Robbie's friend Phil, who closed up after the party. To clear Phil and calm her customers, Robbie needs to step out from behind the counter and find the real killer in short order....
©2016 Edith Maxwell (P)2016 Tantor
Good Books Don't Promote Violence
While the second book showed some improvement in character development, I still couldn't relate to Robbie, who never, ever bitched moaned or complained. Sorry, but after working in both restaurants and retail, I find it difficult to believe that Robbie could work 9-10 hard hours on her feet, 6 days a week but never be tired or grumpy.
Also, as a new business owner, Robbie spent more time trying to solve crimes than refining her menu and selection of merchandise. Even a smart woman who enjoyed solving puzzles would realize that the business needed her total and undivided attention.
I did appreciate that Robbie tried to be self-sufficient, not looking for a man to take care of her. I cheered when she was able to defend herself in a dangerous situation, but I expected more emotion when a romantic relationship crashed & burned.
This was an okay follow up to the previous book. The story was entertaining and overall I enjoyed the book. However, I had a couple of issues with it as well.
1. The author needs to decide if she wants a story set in the south or in the Midwest. There are several southern colloquialisms used throughout the story. The narrator even uses a southern accent sometimes.
2. The author introduces a character admits that is easily disliked. Several people in the story have a real motive to kill her ( or strongly dislike her). Yet, the first suspect the police bring in is the only African American in town, who I might add has a very superficial motive. Really??!!! Considering the damage that has been done in real life, I was disappointed to see an author trivialize it in a book. I'm sure she was trying to create drama but it was unnecessary and insulting.
3. I realize that cozy mysteries usually end on a happy note. However, there were some changes and some new developments in Robbie's relationship. Yet the reader can't tell, because, Robbie is all smiles by the end of the book as if there were no changes. This story felt disingenuous and I'm not sure if I will read the next one.
4. The mystery was wasn't very developed. No one really had a strong motive for murder. The actions of the character that did the deed was unrealistic.
All in all the story was superficial and unrealistic. Several of the characters and their actions didn't ring true and I'm not sure I will read the next one.
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