My Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
The next in a delicious new culinary cozy series featuring a grilled cheese eatery owner who must solve murders in her small town before someone is cheddar off dead.
Winter in Balsam Dell is a snowy affair, and to add in some cheer after the holidays Carly’s former classmate Klarissa Taddeo is hosting her extravagant bridal shower at the historic Balsam Dell inn. That is, until a double-booking throws some mold in the cheese and leaves Klarissa scrambling. With the venue moved to the maid of honor’s family mansion and Carly rinding to create a new delicious treat it seems the group is going to pull off the shower without a hitch.
That is, until a rowdy band of groomsmen crashes the event. Klarissa is furious with her groom-to-be and when a loud argument ensues, everyone is shocked by what they hear. When the groom is later found dead at the bottom of the stairs, his drink spiked with a hefty dose of poison, Carly must put her nose to the rind and save Klarissa from being suspect #1.
Because you know what they say: it’s always the (almost) wife.
I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
I’ve been enjoying this cozy mystery series so far, but I struggled a bit with this latest installment. The mystery was a good one and kept me guessing. Whether due to my mood or not the tone of this book felt a bit more sad at times, with a bride-to-be losing her future husband. Parents that lose their son and even the motive of the murderer and what they did. I never warmed up as much to Carly as I had hoped and felt the way she got involved was a bit far fetched.
Like the previous two books the mystery was a good one that kept me guessing. Looking back there are also some good clues that do point do the murderer, but plenty of other suspects that seem plausible for most of the book. It also had me stumped how a disappearance of a side character tied into it. The way it all got wrapped up in the end was well done and made sense and it was interesting how the disappearance tied in with it all.
I did feel the way Carly got involved in this one was a bit far fetched, two people she knows back from high school ask for her help catering a wedding shower and then the groom-to-be gets killed while she’s there and she feels she needs to help them. The way her friendship if you can call it that with Dawn started also felt mostly for the case instead of genuine. I couldn’t stand the back and forth for the first part of the book whether she would get involved or not and then later everyone warning her about it.
I also was a bit disappointed Carly doesn’t actually figure out who did it, as the killer comes for her and that’s how she finds out. I just never fully warmed up to Carly and something about her just doesn’t make her as likeable character as I would like. I also was a bit sad there wasn’t more of the grilled cheese restaurant and now she has an assistant manager she keeps running out to solve the mystery instead of running her restaurant and I missed the scenes there at the store as I like reading about it. Luckily there were still some fun scenes there. The romance was pretty much on the backburner in this book and while I didn’t fully feel their connection I was happy there wasn’t any drama.
To summarize: This is the latest installment in the Grilled Cheese Mysteries series and while the mystery was good I felt the one of this book was a bit sadder and I didn’t enjoy it as much as previous books. The mystery is one that kept me guessing and I especially was stumped about the way the disappearance of a side character tied into it all. The wrap up was well done and made sense and I could spot some clues looking back that point to the killer. I never fully warmed up to Carly and the felt the way she got involved in this mystery was a bit far fetched. She also kept trying not to get involved while it’s clear she will get involved and I just wanted her to accept that and start investigating. Just some things about how the characters acted that bothered me. There weren’t as many scenes in the restaurant and Carly keeps running off and leaving her other employees to run the restaurant. The wrap up was all done well and I liked seeing what happened after the murder was solved.