Publication Date: June 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 272pp
(Received for review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Riley Adams/Elizabeth Spann Craig on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Excerpt from Finger Lickin' Dead (Courtesy of Genre Reviews)
Synopsis (Book Blurb):
Welcome to Aunt Pat's barbeque restaurant - family run and located in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee. Named in honor of Lulu Taylor's great aunt, the restaurant on Beale Street is famous for its ribs and spicy corn bread, but sometimes Southern comfort food can come with a side of murder...
When an anonymous food critic blasts several local restaurants - including Aunt Pat's - with bad reviews, Lulu and her most loyal customers are burning mad, especially when they discover that Eppie Currian is the pen name of their friend Evelyn's cheating boyfriend. When "Eppie" gets his own fatal review, the list of suspects is long: two fuming ex-wives, an irate former restaurant owner, and even someone from Aunt Pat's own kitchen. Now, to catch the real killer, Lulu is going to have to put down her barbeque tongs - before her loved ones get sentenced to a strict diet of prison food.
Riley Adams gives readers some lip-smacking, good reading with her latest Memphis BBQ mystery, Finger Lickin' Dead. This cozy is set in the heart of the South and it's southern charm is infectious! Readers will fall in love with Lulu and her quirky friends and regulars at Aunt Pat's BBQ on historic Beale Street. With twists and turns and big list of suspects, this is the perfect cozy read for cook-out and barbeque fans!
Nothing says southern cooking like good old fashioned BBQ and Aunt Pat's restaurant has the best around. Lulu Taylor, owner of Aunt Pat's loves to cook up BBQ! But when Aunt Pat's, along with several other restaurants in the area receive horrible reviews from a food critic who calls himself "Eppie Currian" (a person with fine tastes), local residents and regular customers are shocked. When the snarky, food critic ends up being Adam, Evelyn's ex-husband, the steam starts to rise. Evelyn, a regular and friend at Aunt Pat's is blinded by love from Adam's cheating ways and greedy misdeeds. But, when he turns up dead the list of suspects is long! Can Lulu and the gang from Aunt Pat's figure out who the killer is before Evelyn or one of their other friends end up trying out the prison cuisine?
Riley Adams takes readers back to Aunt Pat's restaurant in Memphis, with the second installment in the Memphis BBQ mystery series, Finger Lickin' Dead. Adams' writing style has a flair for the dramatic. Her characters are quirky and fun and full of southern hospitality and charm. This series is set in historic Memphis, Tennessee and readers will fall in love with the setting and great southern food described by Adams. These are characters that readers will love to learn more about. Readers will be almost be able to hear the southern accents as they read. Adams has done a wonderful job in this book of giving readers a glimpse into a family owned restaurant and what it takes to keep turning out delicious food day after day. I think readers will really love the atmosphere that Adam's creates as well as the great whodunit!
The mystery itself in Finger Lickin' Dead surrounds an anonymous food critic who calls himself "Eppie Currain". I appreciated the authors play on words with Adam's pen name. It showed intelligence and sharp wit. Adam was obviously a character that people didn't care much for. He had a long list of enemies from ex-wives to former restaurant owners who were out to get him. His less than stellar reviews of several restaurants in the area left many with a bad taste in their mouths and it wasn't surprising when he turned up dead. I thought Riley Adams did a great job of building the suspense in this one. She started out giving the reader reasons why Adam could end up dead; his cheating, his bad reviews, his greediness and then shows them a ton of suspects. As the book goes on the reader may think they have it all figured out, until Adam's throws in an unexpected twist that keeps the reader guessing to the end. That's what a great mystery is all about, trying to figure it all out before the end. I love getting it right and I love being surprised!
This book can be read as a stand alone easily, but one of the best parts for me, was how the author built upon the foundation she laid in the first book. We are learning more about Lulu and her friends and Memphis itself. I really enjoyed the comradeship that Adam's shows between the characters. They are friends and neighbors and they stick up for one another. Lulu reminds me of Paula Deen or someone you'd love to learn to cook from. The descriptions of the food in this book are mouth-watering and the recipes in the back are a great touch that readers will love. Lulu is definitely a great amateur sleuth that seems to get herself in a lot of tight fixes. She is a delightful, southern lady that readers will just fall in love with.
I recommend this one to cozy mystery lovers, who love to eat! Southern BBQ is absolutely delicious and so is this book, I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next installment in the series. This is a quick read at just over 250 pages. It's full of great characters and really clever mystery. Adam's has created a place readers will wish they could stop at on their way home and pick up some ribs! With southern charm and a knack for creating multi-layered mysteries Riley Adams has another hit on her hands!
Finger Lickin' Dead is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Elizabeth Spann Craig writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin as Riley Adams, the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink (under her own name), and blogs daily at http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010.
As the mother of two, Elizabeth writes on the run as she juggles duties as Brownie leader, referees play dates, drives carpools, and is dragged along as a hostage/chaperone on field trips.
The publisher has been kind enough to offer one copy of Finger Lickin' Dead by Riley Adams to one winner from Debbie's Book Bag!
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