My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Robbie Jordan is temporarily leaving Pans ’N Pancakes, her country store in South Lick, Indiana, to visit Santa Barbara, California—where wildfire smoke tinges the air, but a more immediate danger may lie in wait . . .
While looking forward to her high school reunion back in California, Robbie’s anticipation is complicated by memories of her mother’s untimely death. At first, she has fun hanging out with her old classmates and reuniting with the local flavors—avocados, citrus, fish, and spicy Cali-Mex dishes. But then she gets wind of rumors that her mother, an environmental activist, may not have died of natural causes. With the help of friends, Robbie starts clearing the smoke surrounding the mystery—but what she finds could make it hard to get back to Indiana alive . . .
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.
Nacho Average Murder is a fitting title for this book as it is indeed quite different than the previous ones. In this book Robbie travels to California to attend her class reunion and go for a short vacation. Ofcourse she stumbles upon another mystery to solve while she’s there. I really like this series and happily dove into this latest book.
I both liked and disliked the change of scenery. For some reason in many cozies I feel the change of scenery just doesn’t work as well. I think the author handled it pretty good in this book, but I still missed the usual setting and side characters. The book had a whole different feel due to the change in scenery as a lot of the familiar and usual elements and characters of previous books where missing. It was fun to meet new side characters and discover this new place and even find out a bit more about where Robbie grew up. The different foods and new foods she tries where fun too. So the change in scenery was both good and had me missing the familiar at the same time.
The mystery for some reason didn’t fully grip me. I usually really enjoy the mysteries in this series, but this one just didn’t fully work for me. The few possible suspects where obvious from the start and even the means and motive was clear. It just wasn’t as mysterious. It was clear why someone had wanted the dead man death and how they did it and I even had a good idea who had done it. I wasn’t really surprised at the reveal and the reveal scene felt a bit anticlimactic, especially after a few suspenseful scenes earlier on when Robbie is in danger. I also felt that Robbie was a bit less cautious than in most books.
One of my favorite parts of this book was seeing Robbie interact with some old friends like Allana, Jason and Liz as well as make new friends in Hector, Carmen and Carmen’s mother as well as a few other characters she meets. I also liked seeing her taste new foods and as she was away from her restaurant her days where filled with sleuthing and lots of mentions of food. As Robbie eats so many different new things the food theme came across in a different way and I liked reading about all the new things she ate and the clear foodie focus this book had.
To summarize: This is a great cozy mystery series and this was another fun book in this series. While I didn’t enjoy this one as much as many of the earlier books it was still a great read. The mystery didn’t grip me as much. The means and motive where pretty clear from the start and there are a few possible suspects that are present form the start as well. I wasn’t surprised at who the murderer was, although there were a few unexpected twists along the way. This book is set in a different place than the rest of the series as Robbie takes a short vacation, this was fun, but it also made me miss some of the familiar elements of previous books. There are some nice new side characters that Robbie meets in this book and I liked seeing her try new foods and eating some great local dishes. While this was a fun change of scenery I look forward to Robbie being back in South Lick in the next book again.