Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Riley Adams (aka. Elizabeth Spann Craig) on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Books in the series:
Delicious and Suspicious (2010), Finger Lickin' Dead (2011), Hickory Smoked Homicide (2011), Rubbed Out (2013)
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Rubbed Out, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside Feature.
Even Lulu Taylor—proprietress of Aunt Pat’s Barbeque Restaurant in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee—needs to get out of the kitchen now and then. But at the Rock and Ribs festival, she finds more than a taste of trouble…
Reuben Shaw rubs a lot of people the wrong way—including Lulu’s best friend, Cherry, who has the misfortune of being in the booth next to his at the festival. The pigheaded pit master thinks he’s a shoo-in to win the barbeque competition, but he spends more time stirring up trouble than seasoning his spare ribs. Hours after she gets into a quarrel with him, Cherry finds Shaw dead with a butcher knife in his chest. Now it’s her turn to get grilled—by the police. Lulu sets out to clear her friend’s name and finds Shaw had more secrets than his BBQ recipe. She’ll need to act fast, because the real killer will spare no one…including Lulu.
Lulu Taylor and the crew from Aunt Pat's Barbeque are back in Riley Adams, latest book, Rubbed Out, the fourth book in the Memphis BBQ mystery series. This time it's off to the Rock and Ribs festival, where Lulu's friend Cherry hopes to bring home the prize, but when a fellow contestant ends up dead, Cherry is in hot water. Adams continues to entertain with humor and wonderful background on the Memphis BBQ scene. Her characters are realistic, yet captivating and her suspects and motives are intriguing. A great addition to the series.
One of the things that I love about this series, is all of the information about BBQ and the Memphis area. I like the fact that the author is able to balance those details against the mystery aspect of the story and still provide a lot of interesting facts. This includes the great recipes at the back of the book. You gotta try the Pineapple Casserole!
Lulu is such a delightful heroine. She is middle aged but still has a lot of spunk. She is determined and full of vinegar. There is a lot of humor added into this book and a lot of that comes from Lulu's character. She always seems to find herself in the middle of something. I think Adams does a fantastic job of making Lulu the heroine of the book, but also providing her with a great supporting cast of characters like Ben and Sara and Cherry.
I liked the background for this particular book. I have heard and watched television programs about BBQ Pit masters and that sort of thing and the Rock and Ribs festival from Rubbed Out really reminded me of that. I liked that a lot. These things get super competitive and I could actually see Cherry getting into an argument with the crew next door. That made the plot very plausible which is always good in these types of mystery. If you can't read the book and decided whether something like this could actually happen in real life, it takes a little something away from the mystery.
I totally bought the whole concept. The suspects were believable and interesting and there were certainly some serious motives for wanting Reuben dead. I thought the way that Lulu and Cherry worked together to figure whodunit, was fun to read and had some depth to it. I didn't figure it out until the last chapter, which made it that much more interesting. There were several directions that the author could have gone. I was happy with the ending and left wanting more. Can't wait til the next one comes out!
Rubbed Out is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink and independently. She blogs at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer's Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Her most recent releases are Quilt or Innocence (June 2012) and A Body in the Backyard (October 2012.) Her next book, Knot What it Seams, releases February 5, 2013.
Elizabeth is active in the online writing community. She shares writing-related links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig and posts on craft and the publishing industry on her blog, Mystery Writing is Murder. She and Mike Fleming of Hiveword also manage the Writer's Knowledge Base-a free search engine to help writers find resources.
As the mother of two in North Carolina, Elizabeth writes on the run as she juggles volunteering, referees play dates, drives carpools, and is dragged along as a hostage/chaperone on field trips.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Rubbed Out by Riley Adams.
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~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 5th.
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