Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery, characters, and setting
Cons: One element that was fortunately dropped early on
The Bottom Line:
Brings murder to town. Book filled
With fun, charm, puzzle
Maple Festival Brings a Killer Out of the Woodwork
While I love breakfast foods in general, one reason is that I love maple syrup. It fits so well with so many different breakfast foods, too. So, when I heard the premise of this book, I immediately thought a maple syrup festival makes a great setting for an entry in the Country Store Mysteries, and Biscuits and Slashed Browns proved me right.
Every March, Brown County, Indiana, hosts a maple syrup festival, and this year, Robbie Jordan is jumping at the opportunity to get some added publicity for her store. Pans ‘n Pancakes is hosting a maple syrup cooking competition, and Robbie is hoping her maple syrup biscuits will be a hit. However, there is drama with one of the judges. Warren Connolly is in town for the parallel academic conference, but despite his knowledge of maple syrup, he is anything but sweet. In fact, he has made multiple enemies.
The morning after the contest, Dr. Connolly turns up dead. As the investigation beings, the police begin to question a chef friend of Robbie’s. Then a local maple syrup farmer goes missing. What is happening? Can Robbie find the truth before something else happens?
I must say, this book got off to a bit of a rocky start. When we are first introduced to the victim, it quickly comes up that Dr. Connolly is a climate change denier. Honestly, I was afraid that might mean we’d be up for lectures on global warming. While it was mentioned again a time or two and we get a mini lecture, that was dropped after the first couple of chapters.
In fact, even the suspects who brought that up quickly developed into characters with other motives for wanting Dr. Connolly dead. He wasn’t a nice guy at all, so there are plenty of suspects. There’s so much going on that there was never a dull moment, and I was kept guessing until we reached the logical and suspenseful climax.
I love this series because I love the setting and the cast of characters. They were in fine form here, although one of my favorites was sidelined. Still, I hardly missed her since the rest entertained like always. As I mention, the suspects are strong, and I have a feeling we might have met a new series regular or two here.
And the book would not be complete without recipes. We get five here, everything from maple curry biscuits to chocolate biscotti and roasted garlic hummus. If your mouth isn’t already watering from reading the book, these will definitely put you over the edge.
This series continues to give us puzzling mysteries filled with delightful characters and a charming setting – exactly what a cozy mystery should have. Pick up Biscuits and Slashed Browns today and get lost in the fun.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Country Store Mysteries.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.
Check out the rest of the stops of the Biscuits and Slashed Browns tour.
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