Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review: Olive and Let Die by Susannah Hardy (Greek to Me Mysteries #2)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Memorable characters in a confusing mystery
Cons: A few minor editing errors annoyed
The Bottom Line:
With mother’s return
Georgie finds a mystery
That’s well worth reading

Family Can Be a Mystery

It never fails, but when long lost family suddenly appears in your life, that means they will be at the center of new trouble.  Oh wait, maybe that’s only in a mystery novel, but that does happen to Georgie Nikolopatos in Olive and Let Die, the second in the Greek to Me Mysteries by Susannah Hardy.

In this case, that family is in the form of her mother.  When Georgie turned 18, the woman left Georgie to her own devises.  But now she’s back in town with a new name and lots of work.  It seems that Georgie’s mother has reinvented herself as Melanie Ashley, the star of the popular soap opera The Desperate and the Defiant.  Georgie is surprised to see her, but before they can reconnect at all, the two stumble over a dead body.  Worse yet, Melanie identifies the body as that of her cousin Doreen Webber.

The fact that Georgie had any blood relatives in the area is news to her, so she is very curious about this mysterious cousin she didn’t know she had.  However, her mother is obviously hiding something.  Why did Melanie come back to town now?  She didn’t have anything to do with Doreen’s death, did she?

When we learned that Georgie’s mother had disappeared 20 years earlier in book one, I figured she’d factor into a book at some point in the series.  However, what author Susannah Hardy did with this plot was wonderful.  It was obvious that Melanie had an agenda, but figuring out what that was and how it factored into the murder kept me turning pages.  The book did feel like it was taking a couple of tangents early on, but I correctly figured they’d factor into the mystery at some point.  The climax of the book is unique for a cozy, which I loved, yet it still answered all our questions.

Of course, all the characters we enjoyed from the first book are back in this one, including Georgie’s love interest Jack Conway, her soon to be ex-husband Spiro and his new partner Inky, and her mother-in-law Sophie.  They are quite the colorful cast, and I enjoyed getting to visit them again.  The characters introduced in this book can certainly hold their own and are just as memorable.

Unfortunately, the book did suffer from some minor editing issues.  Things like a car that magically moves at one point.  The hours of the restaurant that Sophie owns and Georgie manages seem to change as well.  These items do not affect the outcome of the story, they just annoyed me.

Being a culinary cozy, we are treated to several delicious sounding meals over the course of the book, and there are recipes for four of them in the back.  We get Keftedes (Greek meatballs), Tzatziki Sauce, and Greek Lemon Rice as well as a delicious sounding recipe for banana bread with a mystery ingredient.

Olive and Let Die is a fun continuation that fans of the first book will love.  And if you haven’t met Georgie yet, fix that today.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, November 10th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 11/10.  You will have until midnight on 11/15 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 11/16.


  1. Thanks for the review, Carstairs! Now I'm going to have to go look for that magically moving car, LOL! Good luck, everyone :)

  2. I have been looking forward to reading this. I love Georgie! Thanks for the chance to win. Sarakgrotz at gmail dot com

  3. I love the title and now that I've read your review I definitely want to read it! Mfg20A@aol.com

    1. Thanks, Sharon! I hope you like it, and good luck!

  4. I'm curious about the magically moving car! I do notice editing errors like you talk about but I'm glad they don't overwhelm the book. This sounds like a fun read and hopefully since I'm not an olive lover it won't make me too hungry!
    Thanks for hosting the giveaway - email is katherine.e.pitts(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I am also curious about the magically moving car, Katherine! Maybe I'll run a contest--Find the Magically Moving Car, LOL! Good luck!

  5. Looking forward to this new release! Between the food and all the Greek family connections, it looks like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. This one is on my list!!
    afarage at earthlink.net

  7. Laugh-out-loud title and great review! This is on my TBR stack! katecollier14610(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Sounds great and your review makes me want to read it even more...greek food yum...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  9. This sounds like a good read! :)

  10. Another great review. Sounds like a great cozy mystery.

    xzjh04@ gmail.com

  11. Thanks for the review. Glad the 2nd was just as good as the st.

    gibsonbk @ hiwaay dot net