Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 296pp
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Paige Shelton on the WEB: website, blog, facebook
Isabelle "Betts" Winston loves reaching the secrets of mouthwatering country food in her hometown, Broken Rope, Missouri - famous for its past of outlaws, knife battles, and hangings. But now an all-too-current murder threatens the start of tourist season...
At Gram's Country Cooking School, Betts and Gram are helping students prepare the perfect dishes for the Southern Missouri Showdown, the cook-off that draws lots of summer visitors. Then they discover the body of local theater owner Everett Morningale in the school's supply room - and Everett's widow points the finger at Gram...
Betts must clear Gram's name and keep the cook-off preparations on schedule - all while worrying about a mysterious cowboy only she seems to be able to see. And after shots are fired at her, Betts has to dig into Broken Rope's history to find a modern-day killer - before the last wing is served...
Paige Shelton brings readers the first book in a new series, If Fried Chicken Could Fly. That's quite the catchy title for the first Country Cooking School mystery. Readers will fall in love with the "old west" town of Broken Rope, Missouri and all it's quirky inhabitants including a few ghosts thrown in for good measure. Fans of culinary mysteries that are light and funny will enjoy this one, as well as, fans of the supernatural, as Shelton weaves a cozy mystery that will appeal to readers of all types.
Paige Shelton is quickly becoming a favorite of mine and her latest book mixes two genres that I am particularly fond of, it's a cozy mystery with a paranormal element. I thought Shelton couldn't possibly top the Farmer's Market series, but if this debut in her new series is any indication is will be even better. Gram's Country Cooking School also adds the element of fun to equation and who doesn't love Grandma's cooking? This book has a very homey, down-to-earth feel that I think will resonate with a lot of readers.
Bett's Winston is a great amateur sleuth character. She finds herself trying to clear her Gram of suspicion of murder when they find a body in the cooking school closet. Bett's is a lot of fun as is this entire book. It is very light and funny and readers will find themselves continually laughing at Bett's and Gram's exploits. Though Bett's is the main character, Gram really added a richness to the story that made it seem authentic and believable.
Broken Rope has tons of interesting characters, most notably, Jerome, a friendly ghost of sorts that helps Bett's solve the case along with her friend Jake who happens to be a part of the local historical society. This mystery is rooted in the past and I loved how Shelton used the supernatural to her advantage her. Jerome was an essential part of the tale and I think readers will embrace the paranormal element and run with it.
When there are recipes provided in the back I always try to choose one and make it before my review goes up, so I can say... This recipe was delicious, you gotta try it. In this one I chose, the Fake Fried Chicken and I have to say, it may not be good for you... but it tastes amazing! You gotta try it... LOL!
Shelton gives readers a solid mystery with some really great motives and suspects and having a ghost along to help you out doesn't hurt. I liked this first in a series book better than most and I think there is a lot of potential her for a great series. Can't wait to see what Bett's and Gram end up in the middle of next!
If Fried Chicken Could Fly is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Paige Shelton spent lots of years in advertising but now writes novels full time. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and son. When she's up early enough, one of her favorite things is to watch the sun rise over the Wasatch, Mountains. Paige is the author of the national bestselling Farmers' Market Mysteries.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of If Fried Chicken Could Fly by Paige Shelton.
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~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST February 13th.
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