About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Read Em and Eat Mystery (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (August 5, 2014)
First in a new series!
Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ‘Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder.
Read ‘Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lunch treats, along with quite a colorful clientele. If it’s not Rowena Gustavson loudly debating the merits of the current book club selection, it’s Miss Augusta Maddox lecturing tourists on rumors of sunken treasure among the islands. It’s no wonder Sassy’s favorite is Delia Batson, a regular at the Emily Dickinson table. Augusta’s cousin and best friend Delia is painfully shy—which makes the news of her murder all the more shocking.
No one is more distraught than Augusta, and Sassy wants to help any way she can. But Augusta doesn’t have time for sympathy. She wants Delia’s killer found—and she’s not taking no for an answer. Now Sassy is on the case, and she’d better act fast before there’s any more trouble in paradise.
Includes a buttermilk pie recipe!
I love reading brand new cozy series. I feel like I’m getting in on the ground floor and meeting new “friends”. The characters in this one were so easy for me to get to know and I already adore them.
First, the setting is a bookstore café in Florida - so it immediately won me over. Sassy, along with her best friend, Bridget, are the owners of the “Read ‘Em and Eat” café. Sassy loves the bookstore side, while Bridget is all about the café part. Each table is decorated with a specific author theme and quotes from that author. Customers might find themselves sitting at the Agatha Christie or Emily Dickinson table. I would so love to have a shop like this in my area. The closest thing we have is a chain bookstore with a café in it and that’s not quite the same. I could feel the ambiance at the “Read ‘Em and Eat” café right through the pages of the book.
Our amateur sleuth this time is Mary Sassafras Cabot – “Sassy” to her friends. At first I was a bit annoyed because the entire town seemed to rely on Sassy to do everything for them, but then I saw what a close knit group the town was and how much Sassy loved them. She will do anything for the people she loves and cares about.
Sassy runs several different types of book clubs. When a soft spoken member is found dead, one of the victim’s relatives asks for Sassy’s help in finding out who was responsible. She never expects to uncover that the victim had so many secrets and finds villains in some interesting places. It’s up to Sassy to stop them before someone else is killed, since she's getting no help from the police.
The author does an amazing job with developing the characters such as Sassy, Bridget, Aunt Ophie, and Miss Augusta. They were so realistic to me. Aunt Ophie and Miss Augusta made me smile. Eccentric characters with a heart of gold.
The story moves along at a great pace and keeps readers guessing until the end. I know I didn't guess who the culprit was until the end and I was pretty surprised.
I’m sure the author will be giving us many more books in the future. I can already tell this series will be an interesting ride and I can’t wait to get back for another visit to the “Read ‘Em and Eat”. Great series debut and a very talented new-to-me author! What more could I ask for?
For reading challenges:
2014 Foodies Reading Challenge
FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review for this blog tour. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Author Guest Post
Well Read, Then Dead in Fort Myers Beach
While you are reading this, the weather is likely to be a bit steamy, it being August and all. Good news. Well Read, Then Dead is the ultimate beach read—a cozy mystery set on a southwest Florida island in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a place where the coldest day in February is rarely less than 72 degrees, and most winter days are in the eighties.
When two Brooklyn girls have their lives turn upside down, they decide to head south and live out their dreams in a place where they can swim in the Gulf twelve months a year. Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield head to the town of Fort Myers Beach and open a bookstore and café known as the Read ’Em and Eat—breakfast, lunch and all you can read. Sassy and Bridgy strive for a relaxed and casual atmosphere centered on great books and tasty food. Want to try some Miss Marple Scones? How about some Harper Lee Hush Puppies? Need some hardier fare? Consider the Old Man and the Sea Chowder. And do they have books to match? Just check out the high rattan shelves that line two walls. Oh look—The Goldfinch. Wow that’s a thick book. Still you can pull it off the shelf and take a seat at the Barbara Cartland table while you thumb through it. Or maybe a smaller, lighter book? The newest in the Death on Demand series by Caroline Hart might do. If you’re going to be around for more than a day or two take a look at the book club calendar, lots of meetings coming up and the clubbies always welcome visitors.
Life is hectic but gratifying for Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield as they manage to keep the business in the black and still have a bit of a social life. And then catastrophe strikes. Café chef Miguel Guerra falls in the kitchen and breaks his leg. Fortunately Bridgy’s Aunt Ophelia is an excellent short order cook. Okay, maybe she is a tad messy in the kitchen but girls do need help. Ophie arrives on mega spike heeled sandals and with a dozen quarts of buttermilk. It’s a safe bet that Buttermilk Pie will be on the menu for the next little while.
Before the first breakfast rush without Miguel ends, Fort Myers Beach News reporter Cady Stanton comes to tell Sassy that one of her favorite and sweetest book club members has been found dead. Sassy is crushed but no more so than Augusta Maddox, cousin and best friend to the victim. When Augusta pleads with Sassy to find the killer, how can Sassy say no?
Still the sugar-like sandy beach that runs the length of the island is always there, waving and waiting until the murder is solved and there is time once again for lazy afternoons on the beach with a favorite book and a thermos of sweet tea.
About the Author
www.womenofmystery.net Terrie tells anyone willing to listen that hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren provides life’s grand and joyful moments.
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