About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in A Deep Fried Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: May 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads...
FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!
Talia Marby serves up delectable English deep fried fare in the heart of the Berkshires—but she soon discovers there’s something fishy going on…
Sometimes in this life, you have to fish or cut bait. After walking away from a miserable job and an even worse boyfriend, Talia Marby has no regrets. She’s returned to her hometown and is happy to help her dear friend Bea Lambert by working at Lambert’s Fish & Chips, a cornerstone of a charming shopping plaza designed to resemble an old English village.
But not all the shop owners are charming. Phil Turnbull has been pestering Bea to sign a petition against a new store opening up, and his constant badgering is enough to make her want to boil him in oil. When Talia and Bea stumble upon Turnbull murdered in his shop, the police suspect Bea. Now it’s up to Talia to fish around for clues and hook the real killer before her friend has to trade serving food for serving time…
Includes delicious recipes!
Things weren’t looking good for Talia Marby after she left a job she hated. Her fiancé didn’t support her decision and they eventually broke up. Looking to start over, Talia moves back to her hometown in the Bershires and helps her friend Bea Lambert at her fish & chips restaurant. Lambert’s Fish & Chips is set in a small town set to look like an old English village complete with cobblestones. Talia figures this is just for a short time while she figures what she really wants to do with her life.
When a fellow shop owner, Phil Turnbull, approaches Bea to sign a petition protesting the opening of a comic book store, things turn nasty when Bea refuses to sign. It’s not long after they fight when Talia and Bea discover Phil’s dead body. He had been murdered in his own shop and Bea is the number one suspect. Talia’s not about to see her friend spend the rest of her life behind bars. She investigates and learns that Bea wasn’t Phil’s only enemy. It’s up to Talia to find the real killer.
First a warning – This book made me hungry right from the start. All I could think about was having deep fried foods and I don’t even eat deep fried foods anymore! LOL
I adored the main character, Talia. She’s strong, intelligent and realistic. Her loyalty to Bea is admirable – it shows she’s a true friend. It’s always nice when the amateur sleuth has a good reason to be sticking her nose into things. In this case, it was to help her best friend.
The setting in New England is quaint and made me want to visit. It’s the perfect setting for a cozy mystery. The secondary characters are vividly portrayed and come to life on each page.
The mystery had me guessing to the very end. This is an excellent start of a brand new series. I love getting in on the ground floor of these cozy series. I feel as if I’m meeting a whole new set of friends and I look forward to my next visit to the Berkshires.
For reading challenges:
2015 Foodies Read Reading Challenge
2015 My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge
Where are you reading? challenge (Massachusetts)
FTC Disclosure: The publisher 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
by Linda Reilly
It’s all about comfort . . .
What does the expression “comfort food” mean to you? Is it the enticing whiff of a tray of chocolate chip cookies emerging from a warm oven? The aroma of homemade chicken soup simmering in the pot? Or could it be the heady scent of deep-fried goodies fresh from the fryer?
When I was a kid, I was probably one of the pickiest eaters on the planet. (There are those who will tell you I haven’t changed, but don’t listen to them . . . they’re just trouble-makers :) ) The hit parade of foods I liked consisted of toast with butter, grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and spaghetti with plain tomato sauce. Oh . . . and chocolate. How I loved my chocolate! I suspect many of my childhood favorites are among yours, too.
So how did I go from turning up my nose at nearly everything to writing a cozy series about an eatery that specializes in delectable, deep-fried fare? It starts, I think, with one basic concept—any food that’s been swirled through batter and fried in sizzling hot oil can’t possibly be anything but scrumptious!
When the Deep Fried series begins, the eatery featured in Fillet of Murder is pretty much a fish and chips shop. Swish a slab of haddock around in batter, plunge it into the deep fry, add some crispy, hand-cut “chips” and a side of tangy coleslaw, and you have yourself one heckuva delicious meal. But in Fillet of Murder, a happy accident occurs. A common side treat offered in most eateries finds its way into the batter, gets fried up nice and golden, and then gets eaten by an unsuspecting character. His first reaction is horror . . . until he pauses to savor the taste.
With that, the eatery’s menu begins to morph from primarily fish and chips into one that offers a variety of deep-fried side dishes. But it also means that my main character, Talia Marby, has to scramble to dream up some new deep-fried recipes! Guess who has to help her? Yup. Me.
Thinking about all the new recipes sent my brain (and Talia’s!) into overload. But then it occurred to me—I was making it all too complicated. The reality is that you can deep-fry almost anything. I was flipping through TV channels recently, and landed on a show in which entire sticks of butter were being dipped in a batter and deep-fried. At first the sheer decadence of it astounded me, but then it struck me . . . gee, I wouldn’t mind trying that. (but not the entire stick . . .)
After a lot of brainstorming, Talia and I came up with some fun, deep-fried side dishes. Deep-fried meatballs drizzled with marinara became one of the first concoctions, along with deep-fried pickle rounds. There are so many more recipes to explore. Gradually we’ve been plumping up the menu, but the possibilities are endless.
So tell me, what are some of your favorite comfort foods?
Now it's your chance to win a paperback copy of Fillet of Murder by Linda Reilly? Thanks to Berkley, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.
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