A Roux of Revenge
When a band of travelers arrives in Snowflake, Vermont, the past returns with a vengeance. Long kept secrets are revealed and the lives of many in the village are irrevocably altered.
Writers are often asked where their stories come from. What magical, opportune and blessed synapse connects one neuron to a few others and creates a whole book? I’m not exactly sure how that process works, but while I sat at the computer playing endless games of Freecell, waiting for my personal muse to return from vacation, I came across a web news article. The Canadian Border Patrol had captured a group of eleven Romanian gypsies attempting to cross into the United States. Of course, I imagined a handsome Royal Canadian Mountie, with large hat and horse, apprehending a group of colorfully dressed travelers in a brightly painted horse-drawn wagon. Back to the real world. The event undoubtedly looked nothing like that at all.
I had been spending some research time on the state of Vermont, familiarizing myself with its towns, population and industries. But was I thinking too narrowly? If you live in the U.S. and watch the national weather reports on television, you could possibly think that all weather ends at the borders of the United States. You might see some vague cloudy cold fronts moving south on your TV screen, but they’re only mentioned in terms of how they affect the American states. You’d never learn the temperature in Toronto for example.
Yes, I realized I was thinking much too narrowly, thinking that the stories of Snowflake began and ended at the borders of Vermont. What if those travelers had been successful in crossing, unmolested by the border patrol? What if they had arrived in Vermont? And what if they made those voyages frequently?
About this time I was invited to a small dinner party at a friend’s house. My friend is a singer and musician, and consequently, many of her friends are similarly talented (although I am not one of them). Several people brought their instruments and as the evening wore on, began to play. One woman had carried a large stand-up bass into the living room. She was asked to do a song of her own. She was a bit shy, but finally agreed and playing her bass with a bow, began to sing a haunting song in Scottish Gaelic. Shivers ran up my spine. I was swept away by the mournful sound and the mysterious language, and later when I had a chance to speak with her, she told me she had learned her songs in Cape Breton, a place she returns to every year.
My Gaelic speaking clan of travelers was born. And perhaps they really do exist somewhere north of the border. In any case, readers can get to know them all in A Roux of Revenge.
A Roux of Revenge (Soup Lover's Mystery - Book 3) by Connie Archer
Publication Date: 04/01/2014
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
Connie Archer on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Soup Lover's Mystery
1. A Spoonful of Murder
2. A Broth of Betrayal
3. A Roux of Revenge
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, A Roux of Revenge, courtesy of the author's website.
STIRRING UP TROUBLE
Snowflake, Vermont, is known for its skiing in winter—and its soup all year round, thanks to Lucky Jamieson’s By the Spoonful. Autumn brings golden leaves, pumpkin rice soup, the annual Harvest Festival…and murder.
Lucky’s soup shop is busier than usual this October, with groups of itinerant travelers in town to work the Harvest Festival. One newcomer seems to take a particular interest in Lucky’s young waitress, Janie, spying on her from across the street. Is the stranger stalking Janie?
After an unidentified man is found murdered in a van by the side of the road, simmering suspicions about the travelers are brought to a boil. But when Janie is put in harm’s way, Lucky must join forces with the travelers to turn up the heat on a killer…
The Soup Lover's mystery series continues with the third book, A Roux of Revenge by Connie Archer. Fans of this series love everything from the delectable recipes that are always included to the interpersonal relationships between the cast of characters that Archer has created. The town of Snowflake, Vermont is gearing up for the annual harvest festival, but murder is afoot and the gang from By the Spoonful Soup Shop is a decorating mood. Add a group of gypsy travelers to town, with a pinch of possible stalking and you've got a recipe for a good whodunit.
What I liked:
I like soup. Loaded Baked Potato is my favorite and just like the soup this series hits the spot. Archer has a way with description, especially where food and anything culinary is concerned. She makes the reader believe that they are smelling the aroma of pumpkin, and seeing the harvest decorations go up. They can feel the nip in the autumn air and and hear the sounds of preparations for the festival. This series and this book in particular is a feast for the senses. I haven't found too many cozy authors that can paint such a wonderful picture of a small town and a great local hangout.
By the Spoonful Soup Shop is the kind of local hometown place that readers will wish they could visit. One of those iconic little hole in the wall joints that are hard to forget. I think Connie Archer has not only created a very authentic New England town in Snowflake, Vermont, but she has created a kind of old school hangout in the soup shop as well. I enjoyed all of the scenes in this book that took place in the shop and I want to try that Pumpkin Rice Soup, it sounds absolutely yummy.
I also enjoyed all of the interactions between the characters in this book. Lucky, the owner of By the Spoonful is quite a culinary idealist. She always finds herself in another fix, but I like the way she interacts with all of the townspeople of Snowflake and in this book, with the travelers as well. Her relationship with Elias in having some issues and readers will be wondering where it is going to go in this one. She has a waitress she knows little about in Janie and she and her grandfather are always talking or interacting in some way with everyone else in the town. I enjoyed that part almost as much as I did the mystery.
The mystery was well crafted and brought some new faces to Snowflake. I liked the gypsy style travelers who showed up to help run the festival. They provided some outside influences and gave the book an old world kind of atmosphere that was fun to read about and not that hard to understand. I liked that the mystery centered around them, from the man killed in the van to the armored robbery from twenty years before. Archer pulled out all the stops and gave readers a great list of suspects and plenty of motives.
What I didn't like:
For the most part I liked this one a lot and this is probably just a pet peeve, so don't take it too seriously. I thought the balance between the relationships of the characters and the mystery aspects of the story were a little off. I wanted to know more about what was going on with the case, when Archer was busy with Lucky and Elias' relationship. It wasn't a big thing, but the mystery was so interesting I just wanted more of that part.
This is a great series based on one of my favorite things, soup. Connie Archer gives readers a likable heroine and a great mystery in A Roux of Revenge that keep them guessing all the way to the end.
A Roux of Revenge is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the soup lover's mystery series set in Snowflake, Vermont. A Spoonful of Murder, the first in this series from Berkley Prime Crime was released in August 2012. A Broth of Betrayal was released in April 2013.
Connie was born and raised in New England and now lives on the other coast.
Visit her website at http://www.conniearchermysteries.com and her blog at www.conniearchermysteries.com/blog. You can also find Connie on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.
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