Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review: To Brie or Not to Brie by Avery Aames (Cheese Shop Mysteries #4)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Characters and a good story
Cons: Sub-plots tend to slow down the mystery at times
The Bottom Line:
Ice cream as weapon
As we enjoy a visit
To killer cheese shop

To Read Brie or Not to Read Brie – There Is No Question

Earlier this year, I made it my goal to get caught up on Avery Aames’s Cheese Shop Mysteries in 2014.  Since I’ve now finished To Brie or Not To Brie, the fourth out of five published so far, I’m definitely on the right track.  However, when I sat down to start this book, I realized how much I’ve actually come to love these characters because I couldn’t wait to get started.

Autumn has hit the town of Providence, and it’s shaping up to be a busy but wonderful October for Charlotte and her friends and family in The Cheese Shop.  Her cousin Matthew is marrying her best friend Meredith, and Grandmere’s theater company is putting on an outdoor production of Hamlet that is bringing in the tourists.  If only Charlotte and Jordan could set a date for their own wedding, everything would be perfect.

Into this bliss come two strangers who are not part of the normal tourist crowd.  Then one of them is murdered inside the local ice cream shop – beaten to death with a tub of Charlotte’s Brie Blueberry Ice Cream.  His connection to people in Charlotte’s life puts her future in jeopardy.  Suddenly worried about what might happen to those she loves, Charlotte starts digging, hoping to find the killer.  Can she succeed?

Now, if you haven’t met the characters, I don’t recommend you start here.  There are several sub-plots you just won’t enjoy if you jump in.  Once you’ve gotten to know the characters better, you’ll appreciate how their various stories advance.

If you are already a fan, you’ll experience the joy I did of visiting old friends.  Everyone was in characters, which means that most of them are charming with occasional bouts of annoying – just like people in real life.  The new characters are equally as strong and provide viable suspects for the murder.  Of course, there are the characters we love to hate, and they are just as much fun to hate here.

The plot was good, and I never would have figured out who the killer was.  However, the pace was uneven.  There were just too many sub-plots, and they slowed down progress in the mystery.  It was still enjoyable, and I loved my time in Providence.  But this is another reason I think those who try to jump in here will be a little lost.

There are so many mouth watering descriptions of cheese in this book!  Reading it made me wish I had something other than my tried and true cheddar around the house (and I love cheddar cheese).  I really must get out and experiment more.  There are several delicious recipes in the back, including a grilled cheese sandwich and the Brie Blueberry Ice Cream that causes so much trouble in this book.

Fans will be delighted to revisit Charlotte and her friends and family.  If that’s you, don’t hesitate.  Dive right in and enjoy To Brie or Not To Brie.

And if you've yet to find this fun series, you'll want to read the Cheese Shop Mysteries in order.


  1. I have got to catch up with this series. I really enjoyed the first one. It had one of the stronger mysteries for a cozy that I've read. I do have the second one.

    1. I was in the same boat at the beginning of the year. Almost caught up now. It hasn't helped that under her own name, Daryl Wood Gerber, the author has released two books in her Cookbook Nook series this year as well.

    2. Wait..what? She writes another series? I didn't know that. I know some of them have multiple series. I think I have the Cookbook Nook books on my wish list too. I am so far behind on some of these series.


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