Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Book Review: Quiche of Death by Mary Lee Ashford (Sugar and Spice Mysteries #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, unique setting
Cons: Mystery could be stronger
The Bottom Line:
A family cookbook
Leads Sugar to a murder
In light, fast, fun read

Murder in the Family

It’s been a year since we last visited the ladies of Sugar and Spice Cookbooks, so I was excited to see Quiche of Death hit my radar a few months ago.  This is a light, fun mystery series, and the latest was no exception.

If you are new to the series, it focuses on Sugar Calloway and Dixie Spicer, two friends who have started a company that creates cookbooks for small groups to use as fundraisers.  They are located in Iowa, an often-overlooked setting for mysteries.  This book finds them working for the Arbor family.  The Arbors own a business creating frozen foods, and they are looking to produce a book that will preserve family recipes, including the quiche that made their food company famous.

The family is spending a couple of weeks together at the family home turned bed and breakfast, and Sugar and Dixie have been invited for the weekend to get a jump on the project.  At dinner the first night, they are trying to get to know everyone when Theo, the only grandchild in the family, arrives with his fiancĂ©e, Collette.  This is the first time everyone is meeting her, and the introduction is rocky, to put it mildly.

The next morning, Sugar goes for a walk and discovers Collette’s dead body.  The police aren’t sure whether her death was a tragic hunting accident or if it was murder.  If so, who could have wanted Collette dead?

I really do enjoy spending time with Sugar, Dixie, and the rest of their friends.  The characters are warm and wonderful, and I suspect I’d be right at home if I found myself in their town in real life.  Yes, we do get to see all the regulars even though we start out away from home.

We meet the Arbor family, aka the suspects, rather quickly, and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at first.  However, as the novel went along, I found it easy to remember who all the family members were and how they fit into the story that was unfolding.

Unfortunately, the mystery was a bit undercooked.  There’s one plot point that was never fully explained, and the pace was uneven.  On the other hand, Sugar uncovers several interesting pieces of information as the book went along, and I was engaged the entire time I was reading.

I mentioned earlier that the setting is unique.  I can’t think of any other series I read set in Iowa; much of the middle of the country is overlooked, in fact.  I don’t know enough about the state to place where the books are set, but I still enjoy getting to read about a different part of the country.

And, just to be clear, I had fun reading this book.  The characters truly are charming, and the setting is wonderful.  This is a fast read, and I was sorry to leave the characters behind when I reached the end.

Naturally, we can’t talk about recipes with having a few at the end.  In addition to a quiche recipe, we get two more tasty sounding recipes.

If you are looking for a light, fun, fast read, Quiche of Death will fit the bill.  I was glad to get to revisit Sugar and Dixie and hope we learn what happens to them next soon.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

1 comment:

  1. This series does sound fun and I love cozies with recipes. Thanks Mark! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com