Maddie Day's Country Store mystery series is becoming a favorite. It has an Indiana setting, appealing characters, good breakfasts, even likable, intelligent small-town cops. And, Day's latest book, Grilled for Murder, emphasizes all of those elements.
Robbie Jordan's country store and restaurant, Pans 'N Pancakes, hasn't been open very long so she welcomes the opportunity to host a welcome home party for Glen and Sue Berry's daughter, Erica, who moved back to South Lick a month earlier, after her husband died. There was food, music, and a good time until the guest of honor arrived fashionably late, and proceeded to stir up trouble. But, Robbie never expected to find Erica's body in her store the next morning. However, a few too many people had reasons to want Erica dead.
There's a body in Pans 'N Pancakes, a broken door, police all around, including a new state trooper the local police haven't worked with, and one of Robbie's best friends is the first one taken in for questioning because he had an argument with the victim. Robbie finds all of it disturbing, and, while she continues to offer the hospitality of her restaurant, her mind continues to work at the puzzle. Who killed Erica, and why was she left in Robbie's store?
Robbie Jordan is an appealing amateur sleuth. She has reasons to ask questions. The body was left in her country store. And, for Robbie, who loves logic and puzzles, the case is an intriguing puzzle. She also does her best to keep the police informed of every clue she finds and every suspicion. But, she's just the lead in an entire cast of likable characters. There's Robbie's Aunt Adele, once mayor and fire chief. Nineteen-year-old Danna is cook, waitress, and bottle washer. Sergeant Wanda Bird and Lieutenant Buck Bird may seem unsophisticated, but they know the people of the community, and they are excellent police officers. There are even family mysteries in Robbie's life.
Even if you haven't read Maddie Day's first book, Flipped for Murder, you can pick up this one. Grilled for Murder has everything cozy mystery readers enjoy - an intelligent amateur sleuth, supportive friends, good food, and a cat. What more do you want?
Maddie Day (Edith Maxwell) has a website at www.edithmaxwell.com
Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day. Kensington Publishing Corp. 2016. ISBN 9781617739279 (paperback), 342p.
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