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Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Thursday, November 05, 2020

A Diverse Cozy Mystery? Yes, Please!


(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After earning her MBA, Bronwyn "Win" Crewse decides to put her skills to good use by taking over the operation of her family's ice cream parlor in quaint Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  She's got big ideas for how to bring the business into the 21st Century while still keeping the menu focused on her grandmother's beloved recipes.  Unfortunately, Win's renovations cause a delay in her plans to reopen the shop during the peak of summer tourist season.  Opening while snows piles up on the ground doesn't exactly lure customers in for a frozen treat.  What can Win do to entice people to venture through her door?

A light bulb moment sends Win on a late-night traipse down an isolated, snow-covered path.  What she finds freezes the very blood in her veins.  Although she doesn't recognize the man lying dead at her feet, he's soon identified as a drifter who once caused financial ruin for the Crewse Family.  When it's discovered that he was poisoned with a difficult-to-find drug, Win's physician father becomes the prime suspect.  With a fledgling business and her family's reputation at stake, Win's not leaving the murder investigation to a biased police force.  As she does her own sleuthing, she makes some shocking discoveries that will put her vulnerable neck on the line.  Can she crack the case and save her family's beloved ice cream shop before it's too late?

The first in a new culinary cozy mystery series, A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette brings some fresh ingredients to the genre.  It's written by an author of color and features a professional Black family, which is something I haven't encountered before in a cozy.  While I've read cozies set in candy stores, cafés, bakeries, breweries, and all kinds of restaurants, I've never encountered one set in an ice cream parlor.  These elements bring some originality to a book that otherwise ticks off all the usual cozy boxes:  an unlikely death in a small town, quirky characters, an amateur detective, and a mostly predictable storyline.  While the plot's a little slow, I still enjoyed A Deadly Inside Scoop overall.  I appreciated its original elements, its emphasis on family loyalty, and the fact that it's a clean, entertaining enough read.  I can't say this series debut knocked my socks off, but it engaged me enough that I'm keeping an eye out for the next installment.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other culinary mystery series, including those written by Vivien Chien, Eve Calder, Kylie Logan, and Ellie Alexander)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The War Librarian by Addison Armstrong



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