A DEADLY INSIDE SCOOP
SERIES: An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Berkley Books
RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2020
This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop–with a fabulous cast of quirky characters.
Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she’s going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away.
To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It’s not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she’ll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown…
I always love starting a new cozy mystery series, particularly if it’s by an author I haven’t read yet. A Deadly Inside Scoop is one of the better series debuts I’ve read recently, and I’m so delighted to have discovered a new-to-me author that I’ll definitely keep following!
Bronwyn “Win” Crewse has a lot at stake as the book begins. She’s putting the final touches on restoring her family’s ice cream parlor (re-opening in the middle of a blizzard) and preparing to follow her beloved late grandmother’s footsteps, under the loving watchful eye of her Pop-Pop and with the help of her friends & family. Win is instantly likable, if a bit scattered (which is excusable, given how much she’s trying to juggle at the moment. Restart a community favorite business, carry on a family legacy, solve a murder… you know, the usual lol). Her ice cream flavors sound really yummy & I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up – and how she uses her grandmother’s cherished recipes – as the seasons & series progress.
Win comes from a tight-knit family who make up the majority of the 0.4 % African American population of their tiny town just outside Cleveland, and I loved the diverse characters that make up the supporting cast as well. (Her Pop-Pop has my heart!) Including Win’s two best friends – Riya (half-Sicillian & half-Indian) & Maisie (whose Jewish grandmother owns & operates the town’s Chinese restaurant). Riya is the hotheaded protector; Maisie is the impetuous free spirit. And while we don’t spend much time with Riya in this book, the trio of friends is a formidable force to be sure.
The mystery is nicely layered and moves at a steady pace throughout the story. Poor Win and Maisie aren’t the most seasoned of investigators, opting for a rather madcap hodgepodge of ideas and stakeouts and interrogations, but it’s highly entertaining. A host of suspects cross their paths, along with some motives that range from fairly weak to pretty strong. You sorta get the feeling that, if Win and her crew had just been patient, Detective Beverley would have figured it out before too much longer but goodness it would have been a lot less fun!
Bottom Line: A Deadly Inside Scoop is a fun start to a new series with diverse characters, a strong sense of family & community, and – of course – yummy ice cream! Win is a heroine readers will quickly embrace, and her relatable struggles make her a sympathetic character. Best friend Maisie is the Lucy to Win’s Ethel – if that infamous comedic duo had also solved crimes – and, while you’re tempted to groan at her ideas, her infectious personality & loyalty to Win keeps her likable too. I loved the ethnic & age diversity of this small community & the unique perspective each brought to the book. A well-plotted mystery rounds out the mix, and I’m ready for another visit with the Crewse family & their ice cream parlor!
(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!
Reviewer’s note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some casual usage of “God” in this book. It is otherwise a clean book & free from curse words.
Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. Born and raised in Cleveland, it’s even a mystery to her why she has yet to move to a warmer place. Author of the two Southern cozy mystery series Logan Dickerson Mysteries featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian who is always digging up trouble, and the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, set in East Texas, it pairs a medical examiner and her feisty auntie who owns a funeral home and is always ready to solve a whodunnit. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries and spending time with her grandchildren, each of which are her favorite.
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What about you? What makes you want to read A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette? What’s your fave ice cream flavor? (Mine is chocolate peanut butter by either Baskin Robbins or Schwans… yum!!)