SERIES: All-Day Breakfast Cafe #2
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground
RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2018
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 . . .
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.
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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What about you? What’s your favorite breakfast food?