Review: Hostile Taco-Ver by Gretchen Allen

Posted July 6, 2023 by Lola in Mystery, Review / 0 Comments

Review graphic

Hostile Taco-verHostile Taco-ver (Street Food Cozies #1)
by Gretchen Allen
narrated by Carrie Coello

My Rating: 3 stars

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF

When an unexpected inheritance turns deadly…

Billie Halifax is not only new to Sea Glass Island, Florida, but also to the food truck business. After her late grandmother left her a non-functional fleet, Billie packed up and headed out on a new adventure, ready for anything. Or so she thought…

Her first task is to find a manager for the initial truck, so she narrows it down to three potential candidates from a local culinary school. They’ll show off their skills and she’ll pick the best of the best for her first truck, Taco the Town.

Billie’s off to a bit of a rocky start, having to deal with a cranky business partner she didn’t even know she had. Things go from bad to worse when one of the contestants competing for the manager position is found dead and the other two are at the top of the suspect list.

With her entire future at stake, it’s up to Billie to solve the crime before her taco truck’s next stop is failure.

Hostile Taco-ver is packed with mystery, food, and fun. This fast-paced culinary cozy will leave you turning the pages and begging for more.

My Review

I received a free audio copy from Tantor Audio and am voluntarily reviewing it.

Hostile Taco-ver caught my eye as it’s a food themed cozy mystery and I liked the idea of reading about a main character running a taco food truck. This was a fun book to listen to and I enjoyed it, but also felt like it tried to pack a bit too much in a relatively short read that’s the first book in a new series and some parts felt a bit rushed or underdeveloped because of that. The food truck theme was fun and I enjoyed seeing Billie find a new life on Sea Glass island.

Hostile Taco-ver follows Billie as she makes the move to Sea Glass island where her late grandmother left her an inheritance that contains a fleet of food trucks. Her grandmother set everything up in such a way to make things easy for Billie, but Billie still has to go there and claim it and get used to all of it. I liked seeing her make a new start at the island and figure out how to run the food truck business.

The mystery almost felt secondary to the plot of Billie making her new start on the island and the competition for who gets to run the taco food truck. The murder actually has happened before the story starts and even happened on the mainland. I didn’t really feel invested in it as Billie didn’t really seem as involved in it either at the start. She does slowly get pulled in the mystery as she finds out the victim was supposed to be one of her candidates for her food trucks and she wonders whether one of her current candidates might be the murder.

I have to admit I was more invested in the daily life stuff and the food aspect than the mystery, but I did enjoy seeing it all play out. I would’ve liked the mystery to be a bigger part of the plot so I was more invested in it, but at the same time I liked reading about the daily life stuff and would be sad to have less of that. The ending felt a bit rushed and I was a bit disappointed Billie wasn’t the one to solve it, but with the way she wasn’t fully the one investigating either it also didn’t feel as annoying as it might otherwise be. I liked how it made sense who the murderer was and how everything fell on it’s place.

I liked the theme of the food truck and reading about Billie and the other characters on the island. I wish we had seen more of the actual food truck work, but with Billie adapting to her new life, the competition for who gets to run the food truck and the mystery I felt the actual food and food truck weren’t as big of a part of the book as I might’ve liked. Nevertheless I think it made for a fun theme and I am planning to continue the series.

While I liked Billie, there were some scenes where she annoyed me, especially when interacting with Asher. I disliked how argumentative Asher and Billie both got every time they talked, they both jumped to conclusions and were argumentative instead of communicative and I just didn’t like how they interacted. With the way the ending leaves things I hope the next book will have less of that. Besides those interactions with Asher I liked reading about Billie and enjoyed the way she interacted with the other characters and found her way with her new business and life on the island.

I liked the narrator for this book, she was a new to me narrator. There was almost no adjustment period and I easily got into the story. I liked the different voices the narrator did for the different characters and could keep them apart well thanks to that. It was pleasant to listen to and I hope the rest of the series gets made into audio too so I can listen to them.

To summarize: I enjoyed this book. It has a fun set up with Billie inheriting a food truck business and moving to the island to run it. I liked reading about Billie and her finding her way on the island, a fresh start for her and a new business. I did feel the book tried to fit a bit too much into a relatively short book and the book could feel a bit rushed in a few spots, but mostly some parts like the mystery felt a bit underdeveloped to me. I liked the daily life and food truck parts of the book, but the mystery didn’t hook me as much. The murder already has taken place before the start of the book and I felt like Billie wasn’t as invested in the mystery at first which made it hard for me to get invested. She slowly becomes more involved and I liked seeing how it all played out. Billie was a likable main character and I enjoyed reading about her. I didn’t like how Asher and Billie were super argumentative with each other for most of the book, but I have hopes that will be resolved in the next book. I liked the narrator for this audiobook and found it pleasant to listen to.

3 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.