Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Book Review: For Cheddar or Worse by Avery Aames (Cheese Shop Mysteries #7)



Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Well-done wrap up to a fun series
Cons: Pacing a bit off at times
The Bottom Line:
Murder at retreat
Characters we love shine here
As series wraps up




You’d Cheddar Read This Book

My favorite type of cheese is cheddar, so I was thrilled when I saw that it would be the featured cheese in the latest Cheese Shop Mystery.  And fans of the series will be delighted to read For Cheddar or Worse.

The town of Providence is hosting the first annual Cheese Festival, and to go along with that, several of the people involved in making cheese are participating in a brain trust in order to help each other.  Naturally, Charlotte, owner of the Cheese Shop, is included in the retreat, and she and her new husband, Jordan, are treating this as a weekend getaway, even staying at the bed and breakfast just outside of town where the meetings are to take place.

The brain trust is surprised when Lara Berry shows up the first day.  She has written books on various cheeses and cheese farms and is a recognized expert in the field.  However, Charlotte soon sees through her pleasant shell to the truly mean woman underneath.  At dinner after the first full day, Lara unloads some horrible comments on the rest of the group before storming off to bed.  The next morning, she is dead inside her locked room.  While at first glance it might look like natural causes, the police soon determine it was murder.  But how did the killer get into and out of the locked room?

I don’t find very many locked room mysteries in the books I read, and I greatly enjoyed that aspect of things.  Yes, there is a very logical solution to that part of the puzzle.

I did feel that the plot was a bit uneven.  On the other hand, those bits are balanced out by some of the tensest scenes in the series.  In fact, I found it easy to believe that all of the suspects were capable of the murder.  Despite the clues, I didn’t have the killer figured out until Charlotte identified the villain, and the climax was great.

There is quite a large cast of series regulars, and they all get a moment or two or shine.  Series fans will be delighted to see these friends again and gets updates on them.  Obviously, I found the suspects just as fleshed out.

Author Avery Aames has shared the bad news that this is the final book in the series.  However, she was given a chance to wrap things up for the characters, and she does a great job of doing just that in this book.  A couple of these wrap-ups felt a little rushed, but that’s a minor complaint.  Honestly, I loved how things are left – major things wrapped up and a hint at the immediate future while still leaving things open to imagine what else the future might hold.  Some TV shows could take a page or two from this ending.

 Of course, there are recipes; in fact, I think we have a record number for the series with right around a dozen.  We’ve got recipes for everything from quiche to a cheddar-chocolate stracciatella ice cream and caramel cheesecake.  My mouth is watering just reading them.

While For Cheddar or Worse might be the end of this series, Avery Aames is still writing under her real name, Daryl Wood Gerber.  Still, it is always hard to see a well-loved series end.  I do believe fans will be satisfied with this book; I know I was.

And if you've missed some books in this series, here are the Cheese Shop Mysteries in order.  Looking for Daryl's other series?  Here are the Cookbook Nook Mysteries in order.

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

Giveaway!

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, February 16th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 2/16.  You will have until midnight on 2/21 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 2/22.

39 comments:

  1. I read the first book in the series soon after it came out and wasn't wowed by it but I do love the idea of a cheese chop and this sounds like a series I need to revisit.
    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! katherine.e.pitts(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Just stared reading the series so might be a few weeks before I get to this one. Thanks for the chance. firelily001(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. Just stared reading the series so might be a few weeks before I get to this one. Thanks for the chance. firelily001(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. I started reading this series almost a year ago and I love it. Maybe it's because I love cheese, or a good cozy, or just snuggling up under a blanket and reading. skatss@gmail.com

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  5. Cheddar is one of my favorite cheeses as well. I made a cheeseburger soup last Sunday and was tempted to exchange it for the american cheese it called for.
    Good luck Ms Ames on your next book.

    karen94066 at aol dot com

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  6. I just finished To Brie or Not To Brie and am working my way to For Cheddar of Worse. Thanks for the review -- I would love to win a copy! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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  7. Starting this series.
    Would love to win this one so I'd have a head-start
    thanks
    txmlhl@yahoo.com

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  8. I can't wait to read this book!

    sandybar57@msn.com

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  9. Would like to win

    pwtish171@gmail.com

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  10. I have learned so much about cheese from this series! lkleback@hotmail.com

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  11. This would be a great title to add to my cozy challenge list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

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  12. I've just started collecting the books in this series so I would love to win it to add it to my collection. Thanks for the chance!

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  13. I am a big fan of Darul Wood Gerber, even as she channels Avery Aames. This Cheese Shop Mystery series was the catalyst in renewing my passion with cheese. I explored my local shop finding imports that were marvelous. I love Stilton! I love Irish cheddar! I love being creative on the Americam Classic...grilled cheese sandwich...
    kat8762@aol.com

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  14. I'm reading her As Gouda as Dead right now. I was never a cheese person until I started reading her books, now I find that I want to try quite a few different ones.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

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  15. Thanks for the review! I've only read one book in this series (so far!!!), and loved it! :-)
    nicolev.girldetective @gmail.com

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  16. Great review. This is one of my favorite series. So sad that this is the last. But no matter what I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the chance to win.

    robbfan141729@yahoo.com

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  17. I like this series, haven't read this one yet. Always enjoy her books.
    jademoss17@gmail.com

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  18. I'm sorry to see this series end. I have enjoyed the books so far and also enjoyed the recipes. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  19. I love cheddar, too (and other yellow cheeses such as Colby). I have two books in the series and two in her other series.
    catbooks72(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. While I am sorry to see this series end, I'm looking forward to what Avery/Daryl will have up her sleeve next! Good to hear it wasn't too easy to figure out this last mystery. Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Thanks for the chance. Awesome, kimberlygayheart@ymail.com

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  22. Thank you for the giveaway! I was sorry to hear that this series was coming to an end but I'm looking forward to reading how it's wrapped up! smmolloy1105@yahoo.com

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  23. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity! Jillian.lauder@yahoo.com

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  24. As a teenager, I hated Cheddar Cheese...fast forward to getting married and meeting my Mother-in-Law a wonderful cook. She made something for dinner with Cheddar Cheese and it was awesome....cheddar cheese where had you been all my life.

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  25. I'd love to have a copy of this book. musiqmom@yahoo.com Thanks for the giveaway.

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  26. I would love to read this.
    Sjgolding@sbcglobal.net

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  27. I have the others on my kindle but would like a real book simce it's the last one in the series.ruthenixon@sbcglobal.net

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  28. I am sad to see this series end.

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

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  29. I enjoy this series and hate to see it end. I have not read this one yet. Thanks for chance.
    lhxp73@yahoo.com

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  30. I enjoy this series and hate to see it end. I have not read this one yet. Thanks for chance.
    lhxp73@yahoo.com

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  31. I'm sorry to see this series end. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the latest. elainehroberson@gmail.com

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  32. I have read several books in this series and would love to read this one, too! Thank you for the giveaway!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

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  33. Sorry to hear the series is ending stoeser1@pie.midco.net

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  34. I haven't read this series yet. Thanks for the heads up about it. I'm going to have to look into it.

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  35. I'm relatively new to cozy mysteries, but I love cheddar! Thanks for the chance to win. slovering1@verizon.net

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  36. Sorry to see it end. Can't wait to read this. :)
    pmettert@yahoo.com

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  37. Well if I win this book I will have to pick up the rest of the series to read first, I guess, since I haven't read any of them at all. wendyklik1517@gmail.com

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  38. Sounds like a fun series! I hadn't heard of it before now! amyscookingadventures(at)gmail(dot)com

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