Thursday, December 10, 2015

Book Review: Here Today, Gone Tamale by Rebecca Adler (Taste of Texas Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good cast of characters and interesting plot
Cons: A little slow at the start
The Bottom Line:
Tex Mex mystery
Grows delicious as you read
Savor this debut

Josie Finds Herself in a Hot Sauce Situation

I love Mexican food, or at least what we think of as Mexican food here in California.  So when I saw Here Today, Gone Tamale, I knew I had to read it.  Yes, the book is set in a small town in Texas, but I figured that a mystery set in a Mexican restaurant would leave my mouth watering.

Josie Callahan has found herself back in Broken Boot, Texas, after losing her job as a reporter in Austin and her fiancĂ©e at the same time.  She’s even back working at the family Tex Mex restaurant, Milagro, at least until she figures out what her next step will be.

Every year, the town hosts the Wild Wild West Festival as a tourist draw to help the local economy.  One of the events is a tamale eating contest, with the tamales supplied by Milagro.  The entire event committee is helping make the tamale’s this year, but as the tamale making party is breaking up, Josie finds Dixie Honeycutt strangled behind the restaurant.  While Dixie could be difficult, she was an artist renown for her jewelry, and her donation to the festival auction always raised a lot of money for charity.  Who did Dixie upset enough to murder her?  With one of the employees of Restaurant under suspicion, Josie digs in to find the killer.

I will confess this book took me a little bit to get into.  The book starts out with the tamale making party, and the result was too many characters for me to track.  As the book progressed, I got a better feel for the cast as their personalities developed.  I didn’t feel they quite reached the level of fully developed, but I certainly came to care for them and am looking forward to seeing them be more fleshed out in future books.

With the tamale making party starting off the book, the murder isn’t far behind.  The plot does stall a bit in the second quarter, but it picks up again for the second half.  The clues lead up to a logical solution, and the suspenseful climax kept me turning pages quickly to see how Josie would get out of danger.

If, like me, the book will leave you craving Mexican food, you’ll be glad to find the recipes in the back of the book.  Of course, there is a recipe for tamales, but you’ll also find a chili pie, chili rellenos, and a peachy pecan pie.

Here Today, Gone Tamale will easily leave you craving Josie’s next adventure.  I can see this series growing into a favorite for many.

NOTE: I was sent 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 Thursday, December 17th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 12/17.  You will have until midnight on 12/22 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 12/23.


  1. Sounds like a 'yummy' book. :) Merry Christmas!

    afarage (at) earthlink dot net

  2. Great review. I read the first chapter of this book at Barnes&Noble last week and I was intrigued, but I only had money for one book. I put this one on my to-buy list.

  3. Great review, I've been eyeing this one, the cover is so eye catching and I love Tex-Mex. I will definitely add this to the tbr list now.

  4. This sounds interesting! I love the Tex-Mex angle though I'm not in love with the massive amount of characters at the beginning. This definitely sounds like a series worth trying though.

  5. Sounds great. Merry Christmas

  6. I enjoy culinary cozy mysteries.. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book!

  7. I enjoy reading your reviews.

  8. I enjoy reading your reviews.

  9. Thanks for the review on this new series.

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

  10. I am always looking for a new food series and havent heard of this one. Thanks for the chance!
    Foxyj00 at hotmail dot com

  11. I enjoyed the review! Thanks for offering to us!

  12. I am a tamale fan. Had 3 this week. Love the cover and play on words title.
    judydee22002 at yahoo dot com

  13. I love Mexican food, so this sounds like a book I would really enjoy.

  14. Love a pun for a title.

  15. I am a fan of Tex Mex food and think this sounds like a fun new series! Thanks!