Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun mystery and characters
Cons: Still doesn’t actually come with pancakes
The Bottom Line:
Resort brings tension
Which escalates to murder
Once again charming
Leads Someone to Resort to Murder
We haven’t quite gotten summer weather yet in Southern California, and I’m
ready. That made reading Strangled Eggs and Ham, set in the heat of
August, all the more enjoyable for me.
As summer is winding down, the tension is town is soaring as high as the
temperatures. Someone has proposed a new resort just outside the town limits,
and people are divided over it. Some want the jobs it would bring while others
are opposed to the impact it would have on their lives and the local
environment. Robbie Jordan is caught in the middle, with her aunt Adele opposed
but some of her customers needing the jobs it would bring in. Robbie is trying
her best to keep Pans ‘N Pancakes neutral ground, but some of the tension comes
into her restaurant.
However, one morning a dead body is found on the proposed site of the resort.
With Robbie’s restaurant a cornerstone of the community, she begins to pick up
tidbits. When events hit close to home, Robbie begins to really investigate.
Can she figure out what is really happening?
I was very impressed with how even handed this book was. We meet sympathetic
characters on both sides of the issue, and it was easy to root for the
community to find a compromise that would satisfy everyone. Of course, murder
does have a way of clouding other issues, but that is exactly why we read these
The plot takes some time to set up the characters and motives before the murder
takes place, and once it does we have plenty of threads to follow up on as
Robbie tries to piece things together. One reason I love this series is that
her restaurant really is a hub of the community, so she can investigate while
continuing to work; her commitment to her job is a bit more realistic than some
of the books I read. Yes, she does do some sleuthing in her off hours in her
efforts to piece things together in a satisfying way.
I also love these characters. There are so many fun series regulars, and I was
thrilled to get to spend time with most of them. A couple are out of town, but
we do still get to hear how they are doing. As I already implied, the suspects
are strong and help draw us into the story.
For those who don’t know, Maddie Day is a pen name for Edith Maxwell, who has
written some mysteries under her own name. There is a very fun Easter Egg for
fans of one of those series in this book.
As usual, we get some absolutely delicious sounding recipes at the back of the
book. I need to get motivated to try the southern jam cake, although the
chocolate chocolate chip muffins sound good, too. All told, there are five
recipes to enjoy after you’ve finished the book.
This series continues to entertain; I just love visiting Robbie. If you are a
fan as well, be sure to pick up Strangled Eggs and Ham today.
Need more? Here are the rest of the Country Store Mysteries in order.
Note: I received an ARC of this book.