Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Robbie, fun new characters
Cons: Plot could be stronger, missing the rest of the regulars
The Bottom Line:
Robbie visits home
For murder on vacation
Entry a bit weak
Vacation with Murder
It can be tricky when an author sends a series character on vacation. Sometimes, it’s a fun change. Other times, it doesn’t work as well as a regular entry in the series. Sadly, Nacho Average Murder falls into the second category.
This book finds Robbie Jordan taking a well-deserved vacation from Pan ‘N Pancakes, her country store in Indiana, and heading back to Santa Barbara for her high school reunion. While she is looking forward to seeing her friends, this is the first time she’s been back since her mother died, and she is having nixed emotions on her return.
Robbie gets a shock when she reconnects with her mother’s best friend and hears a rumor that her mother’s death might not have been from natural causes. Then someone her mother knew dies under similar circumstances. Is there any truth to the rumor? Will Robbie get the truth before her vacation is over?
My favorite cozies are filled with great plots and characters I love spending time reading about. Robbie is definitely one of those characters, and we got to see a new side of her as she hung out with her old friends, acquaintances, and rivals. However, I love the rest of Robbie’s normal circle of friends, and I missed them here. The new characters are good, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t the same.
I was very intrigued by the set up for the plot. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like it paid off quite as well as it could have. It’s hard to discuss in greater detail without giving away spoilers. I will say things are wrapped up in the end, so that’s not my concern.
There were definitely parts I enjoyed. Robbie is staying at a small bed and breakfast attached to a restaurant, much like what she’s built at home, and I smiled at the comparisons. Normally, these books have me craving breakfast foods, but this one had a twist – I was craving Mexican food. I’m certainly not complaining about that, and the recipes at the end will help you if you find yourself craving the same thing.
I started listening to my first audio books in months while I was reading this book. It was probably a mistake, but I had snagged one of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone books. If you aren’t aware, Kinsey’s native Santa Teresa is a thinly disguised Santa Barbara. The similar settings made me stop and think a couple of times to make sure I had the right events in the right story. On the other hand, this book makes a few references to Sue Grafton and her books, including one that was something new for Kinsey in the book I’m listening to. Talk about perfect timing!
Fans of the Country Store Mysteries will still enjoy Nacho Average Murder. However, if you are new to the series, this isn’t the place to jump in. Instead, back up to one of the earlier entries.
Make a reservation for the rest of the Country Store Mysteries.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.