Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Review: A Sticky Situation by Jessie Crockett (Sugar Grove Mysteries #3)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters (old and new) and a strong plot
Cons: Nothing that will stick
The Bottom Line:
Body in basement
Revives sticky mystery
Delight for readers

This Book Will Stick in Your Hands

Every time I start reading one of my favorite culinary cozy mysteries, I start craving the food featured.  Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue since my favorite Saturday breakfast is real maple syrup over waffles.  Ironically, right now I’m playing in an Ultimate Frisbee beach league and don’t have time for that before I need to head out the door.  Why am I bringing all this up now?  Because that was the only downside of reading A Sticky Situation which brings us back to the Greene family’s maple syrup farm.  Still, I was thrilled with another great mystery.

Spring is almost here and the sap is running, which means that Dani Greene is out in the sugar bush every day checking on the trees and the sap flowing from them.  Not only that, but it is a month until the annual Sugar Grove Maple Festival, which brings tourists to town, and Dani is responsible for helping organize that.  This time of year also means the appearance of Dani’s aunt Hazel, a woman who tests the patience of everyone in the family, and she seems to be in rare form this year.

The last thing Dani needs is a mystery, but that’s just what she gets when a skeleton is found in the basement of town hall.  The remains are identified as Spooner Duffy, a drifter who came through town for a few months and then vanished with the proceeds from that year’s Maple Festival.  Of course, finding his body in the basement tends to bring up questions about whether he really stole the money or not.  Even though it has been thirty years since the man was in town, his reappearance starts old gossip and resentments flying.  When Dani is asked to prove Spooner didn’t steal the money, she starts asking questions.  Will she find the real thief?  Will this investigation put her on a killer’s radar?

Since this is the third book in a series, the main cast of characters already feel like old friends, and I was thrilled to get to visit them again.  Dani is a wonderful main character, and her continued journey towards independence is fun to watch.  We got to see some different sides of other series regulars as the book progressed.  Then there’s the new casts of characters who feel just as real as those we already know.  There were one or two supporting characters I wish we’d gotten to see more, but that was a minor complaint.

Between a couple of strong sub-plots and the main mystery, the pace of this book never faltered, and I was turning pages as quickly as I could, wishing I had the time to finish it in one sitting.  The sub-plots did their job – they supported the mystery and provided new insight into the characters without overwhelming the main story.  The clues were perfectly planted but hidden by enough red herrings I didn’t figure things out until just before Dani did.  Still, the solution was logical and that final scene suspenseful.

If you love maple syrup as much as I do, you’ll be thrilled to find three new maple syrup themed recipes in the back of the book.  Someday, I’m going to have to give them a try.

Once again, it’s been a privilege to head to New Hampshire and visit the Greene family.  A Sticky Situation is a pleasure to read and will leave readers with a sweet taste in their mouths.

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


Thanks to the publisher, I have one physical copy to give away to a lucky commentor.  Just leave your name and e-mail so I can get in touch with you if you win.  Sorry, US addresses only.

The contest will close at midnight California time on April 21st.

Good luck!


  1. I am looking forward to this cozy! Anticipation is getting the best of me. ;-)

  2. I've not heard of the series. Thanks, Mark for a new author! Knapp.MP@gmail.com

  3. Thank you for the giveaway! jillian.lauder@yahoo.com

  4. This series is new to me. Thanks for the opportunity to win. dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com.

  5. This does sound like a sweet series. I would love to win. Thanks for the review!
    ElaineE246 at msn com

  6. Sounds great!! I would love to win! jawdance@yahoo.com

  7. I read the first book in the series and loved it, I just realized that I missed the second, I guess that I had best get reading, LOL. I love your review, and I can't wait to see the maple recipes, I love maple syrup.

  8. I am a nut for culinary cozies! As much as I cook, I find I always learn something new in every one of this type of mystery that I read. You have made this book sound like a real winner and one that I would thoroughly enjoy reading. Thank you. Pattie.tierney@gmail.com

  9. I love this series...thanks for the giveaway! cking78503@aol.com

  10. This is a series I'm really looking forward to starting! Interestingly enough we had waffles for dinner last night with this tasty Grade B syrup I found. So good! katherine.e.pitts@gmail.com

  11. Wow, great review! jeaniedannheim ( at ) ymail ( dot ) com

  12. Thank you for a chance to win a copy of A Sticky Situation.
    twbooks (at) cox (dot) net.

  13. It's already on my Kindle... can't wait to read it.

  14. I craved Maple Fudge when reading the first one. Happy the third one is just as good as the first

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

  15. I am hungry just reading this! Thanks for the giveaway.

  16. I've been considering this series suefoster109@netzero.net

  17. would love to read this book!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  18. I'll be adding this one to the list! afarage(at)earthlink.net

  19. Thank you for this awesome chance! areewekidding@yahoo.com