Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Main characters, decent mystery, ice cream
Cons: Book appears to wander a bit early on, language
The Bottom Line:
When Tally’s niece finds
Body, Tally hunts killer
Here’s the Scoop – This is a Tasty Mystery
My eyes are bigger than my ability to read. What do I mean by that? I keep starting series that I want to read and are lots of fun, but I just don’t have the time to read all the books I want to read. I think I can, but I can’t. That’s why, despite enjoying the first in the series, it has taken me a year to get to Scoop to Kill, the second Mystery A-La-Mode. (Seriously, I need someone to pay me to read 8 hours a day. I might catch up then.)
Tally Jones, owner of Remember the A-La-Mode, never did go to college, but she has still found herself on the local college campus this spring morning. The reason? Her niece, Alice, is receiving an award at the honor reception taking place. Plus, Tally has provided the refreshments, ice cream, at the reception. However, the reception ends early when Alice makes a horrifying discovery – the body of graduate student Bryan.
Bryan was also a local, the nephew of Tally’s childhood friend Cal, one of the detectives on the local police force. Unfortunately, Bryan seems to have made several enemies in his short life, most of them at the college. With Alice still on campus, Tally begins to fear for Alice’s safety, especially when a second body turns up. Even though the campus is a foreign location for Tally, she begins spending more time there so she can solve the crimes. But will she be able to piece things together?
The mystery starts out strongly with the discovery of the dead body very early on. We don’t even get to meet Bryan alive, which means we need to get to know him after his murder in order to solve the crime. Unfortunately, I did feel that the book slowed down at times in the first half. Yes, we needed to learn the information we were learning, but it still felt like we were wandering a bit. Fortunately, the pace picked up in the second half, as the suspects began to gel for Tally and she had to figure out exactly which one of them actually committed the murder.
The length of time between reading books one and two in the series had nothing to do with the characters. I enjoyed spending time with them in the first book, and I enjoyed getting to know them better here. There’s a good core cast, and their relationships are fun to watch. We get to see a few supporting players from the first book in cameos again, which was fun. We could have gotten to know the suspects a little better, but they are developed enough for us to keep them straight and care about the outcome.
I had forgotten that the first book introduced a love triangle, yet it was clear that this is exactly what was going on as this book developed. I’m torn between the two guys, but Tally seems to have made up her mind. I need to read the third book soon to see how that plays out.
I was a bit surprised by the foul language scattered throughout this book. It was certainly pushing the boundaries for a cozy, so keep that in mind when you pick up the book.
This series was originally published by Berkley and then picked up last year by Henery Press. I read the Henery Press edition for this book, which has no recipes. However, the scenes set in Remember the A-la-mode left this ice cream lover craving a cold sweet treat.
If you are looking for a cool book to read in these hot summer months, Scoop to Kill will prove to be a great companion. But you might need to stock up on ice cream first.