Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters in an intriguing plot
Cons: Pacing a little off in the middle
The Bottom Line:
Of the murderous kind in
This intriguing book
Take the Thyme to Read This Series Debut
The last thing I need is to start another long running series. I am struggling to get to books I’ve bought this year I am dying to read. But I haven’t let that stop me in the past when a new to me series catches my eye, which is why I picked up The Diva Runs Out of Thyme. Now I just need to find time to read the second.
It’s shaping up to be a busy Thanksgiving for Sophie Winston. She’s hosting her family for the holiday as well as participating in a stuffing contest against, among others, her high school rival Natasha Smith. While Sophie now works as a caterer, Natasha has gone on to make a name for herself as the authority of all things domestic, and her website and TV show are watched by legions of local fans. Making it more personal, Sophie’s ex-husband, Mars, is now dating Natasha. So Sophie really wants to win this contest.
However, the day before the contest, Sophie’s grocery run ends when she finds a dead body in the dumpster behind the store. She’d met the guy on the way in to the store, but the police start looking at her as a suspect because the victim had Sophie’s picture in his car. When Sophie stumbles upon another dead body, she realizes she needs to act fast before the police pin both murders on her.
It’s easy to see why this series is so popular. This may be a debut, but the characters leap off the page already fully developed. There’s a very large cast of characters, but I was able to keep most of them straight because of how real they are. The few times I couldn’t remember who a character was, it was because they were a minor character, and we were always quickly given a reminder so it wasn’t an issue at all.
The plot started out strongly with some interesting twists and clues. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel Sophie made quite as much progress on the case as the book progressed. There was still plenty happening, but the fresh clues and twists didn’t come quite as quickly. Everything was wrapped up and logically explained during the climax, however, and considering the number of threads going on, that was impressive.
There’s a nice dose of humor as well as Sophie tries to deal with all the craziness of those around her. Natasha is a Martha Stewart wannabe, and we get some nice laughs at that mindset as well.
Each chapter starts with a tip or trick coming from either Sophie or Natasha. In addition, there is a recipe for a bourbon pecan pie and three different kinds of stuffing in the back.