Monday, January 5, 2015

Book Review: Feta Attraction by Susannah Hardy (Greek to Me Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters in a fun romp of a mystery
Cons: One sub-plot sort of fizzles out
The Bottom Line:
Her husband missing
Then finding a dead body
In Georgie’s fun start




You Don’t Have to Know Greek to See the Attraction Here

Having worked at a Christian college for a number of years, I’ve had many friends who have taken Greek, and I’m always throwing around the cliché from Shakespeare about it being “Greek to me.”  (Of course, since I never took it and I am horrible at foreign languages, it really is.)  So when I ran across the new “Greek to Me” culinary cozy series, I knew I had to give it a try.  It was like it was made for me, right?  Having just finished Feta Attraction, the series debut, I can see this one being a winner in any language.

Ever since Georgie Nikolopatos’s husband came out of the closet, she’s gotten used to his unexpected trips away from the home they share with his mother above the family’s Greek restaurant, The Bonaparte House.  So when Spiro disappears again, it doesn’t immediately cause her any concern.  But when the ghost hunters he brought in show up before he returns, she begins to worry.  After all, he was excited they were coming.  He would plan to be back for their visit.  Suddenly, the mysterious notes she’d been receiving take on a whole different tone.

However, all this leaves her mind when she and a friend are out on the St. Lawrence River that evening and find a dead body.  Big Dom ran the restaurant just down the street from The Bonaparte House, so Georgie knew him as the competition.  What is really going on with Spiro?  Is he in danger?  Is that tied in to Big Dom’s death?

The story seemed a bit busy with several threads jumping in at once to start things off.  Fortunately, as the book progressed, these threads began to weave themselves into a cohesive whole story.  The twists and setbacks for Georgie were great and kept me turning pages to find out what would happen next.  One sub-plot was sort of dropped along the way, but everything else led up to a logical and fun climax.  This breaks out of the cozy formula, and I enjoyed it more as a result.  The plot was clever and fun, which I really loved.

Likewise, the characters were good.  Georgie is a strong, likeable main character, and her warmth and concern for her family made the stakes of the case real to me.  She did occasionally do some things that didn’t seem like the smartest move, but I could see the logic in her mind, and she did recognize her mistakes as well after the fact.  I was disappointed that we didn’t see a few members of the supporting cast more so they weren’t as developed as they might have been.  I’m sure in future books we’ll see more of them.  The cast members we do see are real and well developed by the time the book is over.

Be sure to read the author’s note at the back for some interesting underpinnings to the story presented in the book.

And, of course, there are some delicious sounding recipes for Greek food at the end.  You could make a meal out of the ones presented here complete with cocktails, although no dessert is included.  (With all the culinary cozies I have, I don’t need dessert recipes.  Trust me on this.  This was actually a nice change of pace.)

Those looking to start the year with a fun, new series that provides a different flavor to a favorite genre will be glad they picked up Feta Attraction.  Sit down and hold on tight as you race through the pages of this promising debut.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book for review during this blog tour.

GIVEAWAY:  The author is generously giving away a $10 gift card.  It's your choice of either a Starbucks gift card of a Dunkin Donuts gift card.  And I'm going to make it very easy on you.  All you have to do is leave me a comment with your favorite thing related to Greece.  It can be a favorite place in Greece to visit.  It can be a favorite Greek food.  Have a favorite Greek god?  That counts, too.

In your comment, also leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you if you've won.

The contest will run until midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning the 12th.  After that, I will have random.org pick a winner for me.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

18 comments:

  1. I lived in Greece for a year during college, so picking ONE favorite thing is hard! I think the street market on Friday mornings was my favorite. One morning I tried to buy one onion, and the vendor threw one at me and said "scram"! We also bought flowers and kept them in the bidet! I may have to take a break from children's literature and read Feta Attraction, if only for the title! (msyingling (at)yahoo.com)

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  2. Lucky you, to have lived in Greece for a year. And you are killing me (ha-ha, get it?) with the flowers in the bidet. Good luck with the contest!

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  3. As a history teacher, I love the sheer amount of history to be found in Greece! I'd also love to see those beautiful blue waters in person. Looks like a great setting for this mystery!

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    1. Hi, Jana! I am a huge history nerd. HUGE. There is some real Napoleonic history that provides part of the framework of this story. And yes, if you ever get the chance, go to Greece. It's stunningly beautiful.

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  4. Sounds great; can't wait to read it. This is definitely a unique book and the series should be so interesting. And I for one, never have enough recipes, or at least like to view more recipes. No calories with reading about food thank goodness!!!!! Cynthia

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    1. My e-mail is ceblain(AT)tmlponline(DOT)net And thank you so much for having this author, her write up and her the book giveaway.
      Cynthia

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    2. You are so right! Definitely no calories in a book, unless you eat the pages or something, which I don't recommend, LOL! Eat moussaka instead. I hope you enjoy Feta Attraction. And I promise there will be some crazy things going on in book 2--Georgie's getting a couple of BIG surprises.

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  5. Love Gyros . Looks like Great cozy mystery. Would love to read this book.

    xzjh04@ Gmail.com

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    1. Mmm, gyros, hold the onions, LOL! I hope you get a chance to read it!

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  6. Lemon roasted potatoes and chicken souvlaki

    littleone at Shaw DOT ca

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  7. Baklava is wonderful :) Thanks for the chance!
    butterflypetals7@gmail.com

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  8. The food (love dolmades), the museum in Athens (been twice) and all the ancient ruins.

    acm05atjuno.com

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  9. I love pitas with gyro and I have a huge weakness for baklava.

    kvmatlock (at) gmail (dot)com

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  10. I love greek food i love spinach pie mmmm alilbitoffaith@gmail.com

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  11. I love chicken souvlaki!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

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  12. I really love Greek Salads! But I am excited to be visiting Greece this summer!

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  13. Hopping over from the Foodies Read challenge...

    A Greece-themed mystery series sounds fun!

    Joy's Book Blog

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