On the eve of the opening of her new shop, Spice It Up!, Piper should be relaxing and preparing for the next day when chef Mario Barrone would demonstrate cooking lamb at the opening of her new shop. Instead, she's running around at night, trying to save a puppy. But, the next day when she finds a knife outside Mario's restaurant, and then finds the body of the chef, she also finds herself a murder suspect. Piper's confident she has an alibi in the vet, but when the new police chief Wyatt McBride can't find the vet or the pup, she realizes she's in trouble. Now, Piper's fingerprints are on the weapon; she had an argument with the dead man; and her alibi has disappeared. And, it seems only her BFF, her best friend Reba Mae, thinks Piper's innocent.
Everything Piper had was sunk into her new shop. Now, she's ostracized by people, unless they're gawking at her. No one is buying spices. She decides to take matters into her own hands. "Seems I had a choice to make. I could either sit meek as a mouse - or I could take matters into my own hands and do a little investigating on my own." Reba Mae tries to talk her out of it, but, instead Piper talks her friend into being her sidekick. They thought first they'd be Cagney and Lacey. Instead, they are much more like Lucy and Ethel, as Piper herself admits.
Gail Oust has written a typical cozy mystery that launches a series. The heroine of the series ends up a suspect in a small town. Just recently divorced, there's no romance yet, but there are hints of a rivalry between two men for her affection. It's Piper's relationship with Reba Mae that sets this series apart. That friendship between "Lucy and Ethel" will continue to get the two into trouble, even when Reba Mae is oblivious. Read Rosemary and Crime to discover Brandywine Creek, Georgia where Piper Prescott runs Spice It Up! You'll want to explore the town, and murder, with Piper and Reba Mae.
Gail Oust's website is www.gailoust.com
Rosemary and Crime by Gail Oust. Minotaur. 2013. ISBN 9781250011046 (hardcover), 310p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.