The Only Harm Would Be Skipping This Book
I had thought about reading No Parm No Foul closer to release date, but when I realized it was set at Halloween, I decided to save it to read this month. While it wasn’t spooky, it was a lot of fun.
An annual event in the town of Balsam Dell, Vermont, is a food competition for local restaurants, and Carly Hale is excited to get to enter it this year. It’s being held a couple of days before Halloween, and Carly has come up with the perfect sandwich to tempt attendees to vote for her.
However, Ferris Menard is throwing a wet blanket on things. He owns the sub shop across the square from Carly’s Grilled Cheese Eatery, and he has a temper. Carly seems to be the newest target for his ire, and the day of the contest ends with him creating another public scene. The next day, Ferris is found dead in his shop, and a clue at the scene points to Carly’s boyfriend, Ari. Can Carly scare up some other suspects to get Ari off the hook?
I really enjoyed meeting the characters in the first book in this series, and I was looking forward to seeing them again here. I found them just as charming. The relationships are continuing to grow, and some of the sub-plots build on what was established in the first book, which I always appreciate.
The mystery is strong. We knew who Ferris was from the first book, and we see just enough of him before he dies to understand the story that follows. We have several viable suspects, who are developed enough for us to care about the outcome. I thought I had it solved early only to figure out I was wrong a few chapters later. I really appreciated how the clues were worked into the book. Unfortunately, a key element of the book was never wrapped up. Mind you, we catch the killer, and I understand what happened and why. But that element should have been referenced again.
While this book takes place around Halloween, the real setting is autumn. I could feel the crispness seeping into the air as I read. It was fun getting to read it in fall in real life.
And I love all the cheese puns. Who knew you could come up with so many? The names of the sandwiches that Carly serves are fantastic. There are some other puns along the way as well.
You will be craving grilled cheese the entire time you are reading this book. I know I was. Fortunately, the book ends with two of the recipes that Carly serves at her diner, so you can try them out for yourself.
No Parm No Foul delivered on the promise of the first in the series. I’ve already got the next in the series pre-ordered, and I’m looking forward to seeing what trouble Carly gets into next.