Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, talk of ice cream
Cons: Pacing could be stronger
The Bottom Line:
Ice cream and murder
Make for a delightful mix
You’ll Scream for This Debut
I am an equal opportunity dessertetarian, but ice cream is my favorite. So, I’m a bit baffled that it has taken me so long to read I Scream,You Scream, the first in the Mystery a la Mode series. After all, I bought the book when it first came out, so it’s been sitting on my shelf for nine years now.
Tally Jones has just poured everything into an ice cream shop in her home town of Dalliance, Texas. However, people aren’t exactly flocking to Remember the A-la-Mode, so she has agreed to take on a catering job for Wayne, her ex-husband, and Brittanie, his new girlfriend. Her bank balance is forcing her to swallow her pride.
But things go from bad to worse when Brittanie dies the next morning. Tongues in town start wagging, and both Wayne and Tally are on the top of the suspect list as far as the police are concerned. While Tally doesn’t think Wayne could have done it, she knows she is innocent, and she begins poking around to figure out who killed Brittanie. Can she find the truth?
This may be a series debut, but I felt like I knew these characters within just a few pages. I especially loved Tally’s interactions with her cousin Bree and Bree’s teenage daughter Alice. I might have laughed a few times. Okay fine, more than a few. Tally’s high school boyfriend has just returned to town, and I’m very curious where that relationship will go in future books. And, of course, there are the suspects, who are just as strong.
Unfortunately, the mystery wasn’t quite as strong as the characters. Early on, the book seems focused on Tally’s life and several interesting sub-plots. The mystery does grow stronger in the second half, and I appreciated the twists we got then. Likewise, the solution was perfectly logical and satisfying.
And, of course, there is plenty of talk about ice cream. My mouth might have drooled a time or two as I wished I could taste the flavors Tally was describing. At the end of the book, there are instructions for creating a tropical sundae, including a special topping that sounds delicious.
Just a quick note. Henery Press has recently republished this book and the next two in the series. I am linking up to that edition, however, I read the original mass market paperback released back in 2009. Trust me, I’m kicking myself for having this book on my shelf that long without reading it.
Now that I’ve met Tally, you can bet I won’t be waiting so long before I visit her again. With summer coming, now is the perfect time to dish up some ice cream and setting in with I Scream, You Scream.