Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Lost and Fondue

Lost and Fondue (Cheese Shop Mysteries - Book 2) by Avery Aames

Publication Date: May 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 320pp

(Received for review from Berkley/Obsidian)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Avery Aames on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from
Lost and Fondue
Book Trailer:

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

Charlotte Bessette - proprietor of Providence, Ohio's, charming Cheese Shop - is busy catering a fund raiser for her best friend, Meredith. In addition to gourmet fondues, Charlotte is serving an array of delicious cheeses and delightful wines - the perfect complement to the setting of the wine-tasting party, a once-abandoned winery. But not everyone is happy, for the winery has long been a source of local legends about hidden treasures - and buried bodies.

When a fresh body is found in the wine seller and Meredith's niece, Quinn, becomes the chief suspect, Charlotte trades in her fondue fork for a flashlight to prove the case against Quinn has more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. But as Charlotte's sleuthing starts to turn up the truth, teh killer starts to turn up the heat...


Author Avery Aames once again delights readers with her mystery series centered around a cheese shop in Providence, Ohio.
Lost and Fondue is full of all the twists and turns that cozy readers have come to love in this sub-genre. The second book in the this cozy mystery series combines small-town dynamics with complex and interesting characters. Readers will love Aames' ability to give a light feel to a deadly subject.

Charlotte Besette and her brother Matthew are the proprietors of Fromagerie Bessette, better known as The Cheese Shop. When they decide to cater a fund raiser for their friend, Meredith, they get a lot more than they bargained for. Meredith is attempting to transform and old winery into a liberal arts college, but not all of the citizens of Providence are on board with the idea. The winery has a long and varied history. Local legend says it contains not only buried treasure, but buried bodies as well. The fund raiser goes on as planned, but when Charlotte finds her neice's boyfriend dead in the wine cellar, that puts a damper on the party. Charlotte's neice, Quinn quickly becomes the number one suspect and it's up to Charlotte to prove her innocence and find the real killer before the case ferments.

Avery Aames does an excellent job of creating a small-town feel for this novel. Providence, Ohio is the kind of place the reader would want to live in. Everyone knows each other and the dynamics between the residents are interesting and provide both comic relief and complex relationships to the novel. Aames allows the reader to become invested in this town and with these characters.

Readers who love wine and cheese tasting will especially enjoy the atmosphere created in this book. Aames is obviously a wine and cheese expert or else she has done some impeccable research in these areas. Her recipes and descriptions of the fondues and wines have an authentic feel and the reader will want to experience the sensations that Aames describes. Her descriptive abilities make the sights, sounds, smells and tastes drift off the pages and into the readers senses. I felt as if I had not only been entertained but also educated on a subject that I had not had much experience with before.

The character development in
Lost and Fondue is done with a gradual pace. The reader begins to learn more about those characters that they first fell in love with in the first book in the series, The Long Quiche Goodbye. Charlotte comes in greater focus in this book, as the reader begins to find out more about her family and how she fits into the town of Providence. I was kind of disappointed that her nemesis from the first book, Kristine has moved away. But, she is replaced by Prudence another eclectic character that readers will enjoy finding out more about.

There are several mysteries going on in this book, some that will come to fruition before the end and others that will keep the reader wondering until the next installment in the series. Quinn, Charlotte's niece is the number one suspect in the murder and we get to see how her relationship with Charlotte develops. Also, Matthew's ex-wife who lives in England has re-entered his life trying to gain custody of their twin daughters. I thought the author did a great job of creating situations that aren't resolved completely in the novel, thus providing a hook for her next book.

I recommend this book to cozy fans as well as wine and cheese lovers. This is great weekend or vacation read. It's a little lighter than the gritty mainstream mysteries and doesn't give the reader the heavy feel that some mysteries do. It's a great example of a cozy done right. Great amateur sleuth, small town setting, and lots of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end. I can't decide whether I like being able to figure it out before the end or being totally surprised!

Lost and Fondue is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Avery Aames loves to cook and enjoys a good wine. She speaks a little French and has even played a French woman on stage. And she adores cheese.


The publisher has been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway for one copy of Lost and Fondue to one winner from Debbie's Book Bag!

~ You must be a Google Friend Connect Follower to participate.
~ US Addresses only (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST June 2nd.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation of the author on THIS post!
2. Please fill out the


Carol N Wong said...

Thank you Avery Ames for writing Lost and Fondue. It will bring back memories ofwhen my family used to make cheese fondue in the 1960s!


Theresa N. said...

Sounds like a great cozy mystery.
Theresa N

skkorman said...

Thanks, Avery Aames, for writing what sounds like a really fun read!

Cheryl said...

Avery, this book looks fabulous. A mystery and food, how can you go wrong?

Wishing you the best.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE culinary mysteries...thanks for the giveaway!

Molly AT reviewsbymolly DOT com

cyn209 said...

congrats, Avery, on Lost and Fondue!!!!
i can't wait to read it!!!!
thank you for the giveaway!!


rbooth43 said...

WOW! WHAT A POST! Congrats, Avery! Your review has me hooked to read LOST AND FONDUE!
A google follower.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Your book sounds really great.

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Hi, all. I stumbled onto this review. Didn't know about it. Thanks, Debbie! I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book, and I'm thrilled that there are so many interested in reading it. Enjoy!

And say cheese.


Madonna said...

I love the mysteries that center around food. This book sounds like one I would truly enjoy reading.

lag123 said...

Glad I found this review! Thanks for the giveaway!

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a deliteful mystery. I would really enjoy reading this one. Thanks for having this giveaway.