Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory

Posted June 22, 2018 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Lena Gregory, mystery/suspense, romance / 35 Comments

about the book

SERIES: All-Day Breakfast Cafe #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground
RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2018
PAGES: 196

To save her cozy Florida diner, Gia Morelli must choke down a heaping helping of murder . . .

New York native Gia Morelli is just getting used to life in Florida when she gets word that the town government wants to shut down her pride and joy: the charming little diner known as the All-Day Breakfast Café. A forgotten zoning regulation means that the café was opened illegally, and hardboiled council president Marcia Steers refuses to budge.

Gia is considering hanging up her apron and going back to New York, but before she gives up on her dream, she discovers something shocking in the local swamp: Marcia Steers, dead in the water. There’s a secret buried in the books at town hall, and someone killed to keep it hidden.

To save her café and bring a killer to justice, Gia and her friends will have to figure out a killer’s recipe for murder . . .

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Other Books In This Series

Lena Gregory does a fabulous job of creating characters who feel like the dearest of friends, and she has done so again with the All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery series. Gia, Savannah, Hunt, Leo, EARL (my fave! ♥), Willow, Trevor, Harley … a host of main and supporting characters you feel you’ve known forever – or at least wish you did.  And once again, she weaves a tangled mystery that isn’t as easy to solve as it first appears.

One thing I love about Gia is that she feels real. What you see is what you get with her – foibles and all. And one of the subplots I’ve really enjoyed in both books is watching Gia adjust to life in Florida after a lifetime in New York. While it does toe the line of ‘overkill’ on occasion, nevertheless it is amusing for this urban Northerner who was transplanted to (at the time) rural Kentucky 27 years ago and had to make similar adjustments. (My city has gotten less rural and more suburbanized in that time period but it was quite the culture shock at first!) The slower pace, the chatty residents, the gossip mill, the wildlife (alligators, snakes, spiders, ticks, and bears – oh my!), and the weather (heat, humidity, tornadoes). She’s a bit like a fish out of water in many ways, but I’m enjoying how the author is using this to further define the layers to Gia’s character.

There is a mild romance thread (that picks up a bit as the story progresses) but it’s not overpowering to the story, in case you prefer more mystery and less kissing. In which case I’m not sure we can be friends 😉 Gregory weaves in several plot threads that at first seem completely unrelated but have a definite structure that comes together in the end. I changed my mind more than once about who I thought ‘dun it’ but mostly I just enjoyed the ride. There’s humor and a sense of warmth and friendship that shines on every page, with a bit of New York edge and southern sass thrown in for good measure. And some kisses. Can’t forget those!

Bottom Line: Be prepared to read this book from the comfort of your favorite local breakfast eatery – because you will definitely find yourself craving breakfast pies and home fries and maybe even grits, if that’s your thing (Not mine). The community is full of the usual cozy mystery suspects, but the goodhearted characters outnumber the sour ones and leave you believing in the power of coming together with a common purpose. Gregory constructs an riveting mystery that is much more layered than it first appears and keeps you fully engaged. And, while it slows down a bit for the required ‘recipe as narrative’ moments, all in all the pace remains steady and well-plotted.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some minor cursing scattered throughout this novel.

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about the author

Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour HERE

What about you? What’s your favorite breakfast food?

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35 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory

  1. Gloria

    I love omelets and burritos with vegies, cheese, bacon and/or sausage and salsa. This sounds like a great book. I will have to check out the series.

  2. Vivian Furbay

    Eggs, bacon and biscuits with butter and jam! But I can dream anyway! I normally eat healthy cereal.

  3. Kay Garrett

    My favorite breakfast food is a tie between pecan waffles and blueberry pancakes. 🙂 Throw in a side of ham or bacon and a Diet Pepsi and I’m good. We aren’t much of a breakfast type folks, but we have our breakfast for supper every once in a while. And yes, I drink Diet Pepsi around the clock as my drink of choice. LOL

    Thank you for your review on “Murder Made to Order” by Lena Gregory and for being part of the book tour.

    How can you not love this cover! LOVE IT! Love Lena’s books. The more I read about this one, the more I would love the opportunity to read it.

    • Thank you so much, Kay!! Actually, Diet Pepsi (or Diet Coke) is my choice of breakfast drink as well. I occasionally try to choke down a bottle of water, but for the most part, I drink Diet Pepsi all day long! 🙂

  4. Janet Estridge

    My favorite breakfast is a breakfast sandwich like my mother used to make for me. Fried egg, crisp bacon, between 2 slices of toast spread with mayo on it.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing the release of Murder Made to Order & thank you for such a lovely review!! I’m so happy you enjoyed spending time with Gia and her friends at the All-Day Breakfast Cafe!

  6. Linda May

    I love eggs, bacon & french toast sounds great to me. Thanks for the chance at this great book.

    • Thank you, Jeffrey! I love doing the first round of edits. After the rough draft is finished I go through and do a very in depth edit. For me, that’s when the story and the characters come to life!

  7. Jessica C

    Captivating books! I’ve added a few to my wishlist! Thank you so much for the giveaway! 🙂

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