Is there a better day to review a Memphis BBQ Mystery than the 4th of July? Riley Adams' debut book in the series, Delicious and Suspicious, is so enticing I'm ready to pack my bags for Memphis, stay at the Peabody, visit Graceland, and eat barbeque on Beale Street, while listening to the blues. Adams packed all of Memphis into one cozy mystery, with a fun cast of characters.
Lulu Taylor inherited Aunt Pat's, famous for its barbeque, and made it into a family affair. One son, Ben, works the kitchen. His wife, Sara, waits tables, and Lulu has moved from the kitchen to welcoming guests, and chatting up the regulars. When her youngest son, Seb, moved home from New York, she put him to work in the office. So, she couldn't be any prouder to show off the restaurant to Rebecca Adrian, a scout for the Cooking Channel. Rebecca showed a skill no one expected though. She was very good at blowing up dreams. She turned her back on the Graces, a group of docents from Graceland; and humiliated almost everyone she came in contact in the short time she was in Memphis. Is it any wonder she ended up dead?
It's hard for Lulu to work up any sympathy for the dead woman. But, when everyone associated with Aunt Pat's seems to have a motive for killing Rebecca, it's time for Lulu to turn on the charm. It's quite possible that a family member or friend killed the scout, and Lulu's determined to force their hand. Lulu has a gift for schmoozing, and she'll worm the truth out of all the suspects, even if it takes extra barbeque and sweet tea.
Riley Adams packs Delicious and Suspicious with an entertaining cast of characters, beginning with Lulu and her family, including her intrepid granddaughter, Ella Beth. There are the women who make up the Graces. My favorites are the enchanting trio of retired blues musicians who make Aunt Pat's their second home. And, Lulu Taylor is my favorite kind of amateur sleuth, one who turns people over to the police, and is a talented conversationalist. Lulu's method of investigation consists of little chats with everyone to find out what they were doing when the victim died.
I'd recommend an armchair visit to Memphis. Check out Aunt Pat's, visit with Lulu Taylor, enjoy some barbeque with your mystery selection. I'd give anything for some sweet tea to enjoy with Riley Adams' Delicious and Suspicious.
Riley Adams/Elizabeth S. Craig's website is www.elizabethspanncraig.com.She also blogs as one of the authors at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen.
Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams. Penguin Group (USA), ©2010. ISBN 9780425235539 (paperback), 288p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy, in hopes I would review it.