PINT OF NO RETURN
SERIES: Shake Shop Mystery #1
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Poisoned Pen Press
RELEASE DATE: May 25, 2021
“The first shake shop mystery delivers all the delectable ingredients cozy mystery fans crave. This terrific series debut is certain to tempt the reading palates of fans of Cleo Coyle, Sarah Graves, and the much-missed Diane Mott Davidson.”—Library Journal, STARRED Review
The first in new dessert cozy mystery series! A murder in town is bound to shake things up…
After her divorce from her thrice-married embezzler husband, Trinidad Jones is finally ready for a fresh start. So when she’s left one of ex’s businesses in Upper Sprocket, Oregon, she decides to pack up her dog, cash in her settlement, and open her dream business: the Shimmy and Shake Shop, introducing the world to her monster milkshakes. And even with a couple sticky situations underway, namely that the other two ex-wives also call Sprocket home, Trinidad’s life seems to be churning along smoothly.
That is, until she discovers her neighbor, the Popcorn King, head down in his giant popcorn kettle. When one of Trinidad’s fellow ex-wives is accused of the murder and Upper Sprocket descends into mayhem, it’s going to take a supersized scoop of courage to flush out the killer.
What a fun start to a new cozy mystery series! Dana Mentink is one of my fave romantic suspense / contemporary romance authors, so I have been eagerly waiting for time to read Pint of No Return! I love cozies. I love Dana Mentink’s books. I love ice cream. This seems like a match made in heaven to me. And it is!
Trinidad is a character we can instantly relate to, even if we haven’t been in her specific situation. We’ve all had people break our trust. And we’ve all been on that precipice between taking a risk for something new or staying in our comfort zones. Plus, she’s warm and insightful, witty and strong – despite all the craziness Upper Sprocket throws at her. Swoony, big hearted, nut farmer Quinn and his brother Doug serve as anchors of goodness in the sea of suspects, and the Martin twins (Trinidad’s teenage employees) had me chuckling every time they’re on the scene. Papa Luis is the mango topping on this delightful character sundae, and I just wanted to hug him all the time.
But the cherry on top, the scene-stealer-extraordinaire, is Noodles, the service dog flunk-out. If you’ve read any of Mentink’s books, you know that she can write an endearingly quirky dog like none other, and this senior pooch is no exception. His earnest desire to help leads to some interesting choices of aid; in fact, Trinidad says it best when she observes that he would bring her “every last condiment in the fridge if he thought it would soothe her.” Oh how I adore rescue dogs… and Mentink dogs… and this one in particular. If you read Pint of No Return for no other reason except to meet Noodles on the page, then you will certainly get your money’s worth.
Bottom Line: Pint of No Return by Dana Mentink is zany and fun and curiously heartwarming, too. The town of Upper Sprocket is cozy mystery gold, and Trinidad’s Shimmy and Shake shop will make you smile (and maybe even drool a little). The ‘good’ characters are insanely lovable, and I can’t wait to see where this series takes them next. I loved putting on my amateur sleuth hat & following the well-crafted plot, and I admit that I was completely off base as to whodunit, so skillful were Mentink’s red herrings. An adorable older dog, hilarious characters, quirky predicaments, a hint of romance, a clever mystery, sweet family ties, yummy ice cream, and a dash of Cuban heritage. What more could you ask for?
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / love it!
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What about you? What makes you want to read Pint of No Return by Dana Mentink?