Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Do or Diner

Do or Diner (Comfort Food Mystery - Book 1) by Christine Wenger

Publication Date: 08/06/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0451415086
ISBN-13: 978-0451415080

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Christine Wenger on the WEB: Website, Facebook, Goodreads

Excerpt from Do or Diner, courtesy of Google Books


When Trixie Matkowski agrees to take over her aunt’s diner, she pictures lakeside views and delicious comfort food in the small town where she spent summers as a child. But the sweet scene turns sour when someone puts murder on the menu…
Trixie is in need of a fresh start away from her cheating ex-husband, but she may be biting off more than she can chew when she moves to upstate New York to run her family’s famed Silver Bullet Diner. Not only is she caught off guard by the small town’s resident heartthrob, Deputy Ty Brisco, but her first health inspection turns into a nightmare…when the inspector keels over in his Blue Plate Special.
It seems someone made a deadly addition to an old family recipe, and Trixie is determined to find out whodunit. But between serving up orders and sniffing out clues, she’d better watch her back—or her next meal might be her last.


Christine Wenger's first cozy mystery is an experiment in one of the languages of love... comfort food. Readers who enjoy a good diner meal will love this book, with it's characteristic "dinerese" language and some hearty characters. Wenger uses a dash of humor and a heaping helping of diner research to give readers a great first book in a new series. The town of Sandy Harbor, New York and the Silver Bullet Diner will quickly find new fans in the cozy genre. If you like a good mystery and a good meal this one should be right up your alley!

Christine Wenger is no light-weight when it comes to writing. She's had several romances to her credit before she tried her hand at writing her first cozy. Do or Diner is the first book in her new Comfort Food Mystery series and I'll have to say, she did a fantastic job with it. Her characters are realistic but fun. The diner setting is somewhat unique in the genre and full of possibilities. Wenger uses a deft hand in writing the mystery aspects of this book, making them not only hard to decipher but very problematic for heroine Trixie Matowski. 

Sandy Harbor in upstate New York was a perfect setting for a mystery set in a diner. Diner's have always been a passion of mine. I love to find them when traveling and getting that perfect plate of ooey-gooey comfort food. The kind that reminds you of grandma's kitchen, full bellies and relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. It's obvious that Wenger has done her homework with the Silver Bullet. She even goes so far as to use a language that's all it's own... dinerese. I love all of the quirky references and ways the waitresses let the cooks know what they needed. A "cowboy on a raft" was a western omelet for instance. It gave a real authenticity to the book and added to the readers overall feeling of comfort and enjoyment.

Wenger's characters were also a real selling point of this book. I loved the heroine, Trixie and her messed up love life. She came home after a botched relationship with a deputy. Her families diner is on the verge of collapse and now she has a murder to deal with. I thought she was pretty calm under pressure and just as curious as you would expect from any good amateur sleuth. I loved her interactions with other characters and the way she plunged into to learning the diner business as well as finding the killer. Ty Brisco and the other characters in the book were all written with the same easy and pleasure Wenger uses throughout the book.

The mystery was no unexpected but it was definitely written with a flourish. I liked the health inspector angle and the fact that others in the town might want to see the Silver Bullet fail. The victim was not a saint to be sure and it took me a while to catch on to who the killer might be. I like the kind of book that keeps me guessing until the end and this one was definitely that kind of book. Lots of suspects and motives and just the right amount of wrong turns before the big reveal.

An excellent first book in the series. Wenger doesn't spend too much time on background nor does she leave too much out. A good balance of the present and the future of the series, make this one a must read!

Do or Diner is available TODAY at your favorite bookseller.

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

About the Author:

Christine Wenger has worked in the criminal justice field and written romances for Harlequin. She’s always loved to read cozy mysteries, and is thrilled to bring the beauty of upstate New York to life in this series.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Do or Diner by Christine Wenger.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 20th.

1. Please leave a comment describing your favorite comfort food dish.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

My favorite comfort food dish is matza ball soup which I love and is so soothing and tasty. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Angela - Bookaunt said...

This sounds like it is going to be a fun series. My favorite comfort food is my runza's that my family makes from scratch. Thank you for the chance to win.

holdenj said...

One of my favorite comfort food dishes is hamburger rice hotdish. I know, a hotdish seems so dated, but it's the recipe my mom made and tastes great! Congrats to Christine on making the jump to cozies, the book looks like something I'd like to read! Thanks!

lkleback said...

My favorite comfort food is fried potatoes and onions. Yum!

Anonymous said...

My favorite comfort food is mac and cheese.

NoraA said...

Our favorite go to comfort food is my Tuna, Noodle, 3 cheese casserole.

I also add green peas and corn to it.

Rita Wray said...

My favorite comfort food is Finnish meatballs and gravy with mashed potatoes.

Katreader said...

I love all kinds of comfort food, but I'll go with a favorite I get at my local diner-biscuits and gravy! That's a favorite hearty breakfast I love!

Charlotte said...

Cookies and ice cream.

Sue Farrell said...

Macaroni and cheese--a really good homemade version--is my favorite comfort food.

Nancy said...

My favorite comfort food is chocolate.

lag123 said...

I love chicken pot pie! I can't wait to start this series.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Carol N Wong said...

I would like to have a "mouse trap" Grilled cheese Sandwich for comfort food.


Wendy Newcomb said...

I love this title, another great cozy on it's way.


ann said...

My comfort food is homemade chicken corn soup.

great giveaway - i love cozy mysteries

Linda said...

Chicken & stuffing in a skillet. Quick & easy no hot oven.
Thanks for the review & giveaway. I look forward to devouring this new one

bn100 said...

chicken soup


One of my favorite comfort foods is chicken & dumplings.

Elizabeth Schroedle said...

My favorite comfort food dish has always been and shall always be, fried chicken. I could eat fried chicken every day.

Linda Kish said...

Chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans will always be my favorite.

Elizabeth MacGregor-Kirkcaldy said...

,Oh, sounds like another awesome Mystery Series! Thank you for the wonderful spotlight and chance to win a copy. I've added it to my TBR List. My favourite comfort food ~ oh, difficult to narrow it down ~ Chicken and Dumplings and cornbread and butter ~ Biscuits and Honey and Grilled Cheese sandwich. Cheers ~ Elizabeth MacGregor

Carol M said...

I really enjoy books that keep me guessing. I would love to read this one. Mashed potatoes are a comfort food for me. Thanks for the giveaway!

cyn209 said...

my favorite comfort food is french fries!!!! oh yummz!!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

Anonymous said...

My favorite comfort food is big bowl of pasta with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. I hope I win I love food cozies!

Michelle F. said...

Hamburger pie that my mother makes or Stouffer's macaroni and cheese.

Mary V said...

My favorite comfort food is turkey and stuffing. I don't know if it's the Thanksgiving connection and memories or just the deliciousness of it, but it's my favorite. This looks like another fun series.

Piepie said...

My new comfort form is Rollos ... you know, the chocolate/caramel candy. They make such a great (albeit so unhealthy!) snack!! :)

Theresa N. said...

Chocolate fudge straight from my kitchen.
theresa n