THE FOG LADIES: IN THE SOUP
SERIES: A San Francisco Cozy Murder Mystery #3
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
RELEASE DATE: October 4, 2021
“Humorous and compelling.” New York Journal of Books
The Fog Ladies are back, in the third installment of this endearing cozy murder mystery series.
“There was a man in the soup.” When the Fog Ladies volunteer at a San Francisco soup kitchen, these spunky elderly friends plus one overworked young doctor-in-training envision washing and chopping and serving. Not murder. Now the soup kitchen is doomed, and the mysteries have just begun. Was the death rooted in a long-ago grudge? Can they save the soup kitchen? Will they find the killer? Could the Fog Ladies, too, end up “in the soup”?
Other Books In This Series
The Fog Ladies – In The Soup is the first book I’ve read in this series, but it can be read fine as a standalone. It took me a bit to acclimate to who was who (especially as sometimes the first names are used & other times the last names are, when referring to the characters – i.e., Harriet or Mrs. Flynn), but otherwise I had no problems not having read the first two books.
These amateur sleuths don’t really mean to be amateur sleuths. They are just minding their own business, volunteering at a local soup kitchen because they need people to chop vegetables and a group of septuagenarians (plus a 20-something medical resident and one octogenarian) who’ve been cooking their whole lives can chop with the best of them! I enjoyed that the author shifted back and forth between characters as far as from which perspective we are seeing the story. While that sometimes felt a bit claustrophobic, overall it enhanced the story & allowed readers to better explore each character’s layers and personalities. Alma and her rescuer heart (Boris!) and her “Oh dear. Oh dear” commentary on life was my favorite character of the bunch, but they were all charming (with the exception of Edna who has clearly lost all filters, if she ever had any).
The mystery in this book revolves around that soup kitchen I mentioned earlier and the quest to win a best big pot of soup contest (to acquire money for funding for repairs and refurbishings, etc.) I think you can see where this is going, as far as murders go, especially given the book’s title. The ladies aren’t quite sure who did it (though Edna is convinced of the guilt of the person the police arrest), and in helping keep the soup kitchen going in the meantime they are able to get an up close look at several suspects. I thought the whodunit was sophisticated and nicely crafted, and the slightly laid-back pace allows for the story to get a bit more in depth.
Bottom Line: The Fog Ladies – In The Soup by Susan McCormick is a smartly-written cross between women’s fiction & cozy mystery. The ladies themselves are a hoot individually – put them together and all bets are off! The mystery was very cleverly done, with plenty of suspects and a few surprising twists – as well as giving us an insightful look at the faces and hearts of the homeless. If you’re a fan of the pace of the Miss Marple or Mitford books – or the Branigan Powers Mysteries by Deb Richardson-Moore, then you will definitely enjoy the Fog Ladies!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it
Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some very mild cursing scattered throughout this novel.
Susan McCormick is a writer and doctor who lives in Seattle. She graduated from Smith College and George Washington University School of Medicine, with additional medical training in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, where she lived in an elegant apartment building much like the one in the book. Susan served as a doctor in the U.S. Army for nine years before moving to the Pacific Northwest and civilian practice as a gastroenterologist. In addition to the Fog Ladies series, she also wrote Granny Can’t Remember Me, a lighthearted picture book about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and The Antidote, a timely middle grade medical fantasy released May 2021. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two sons. She loves giant dogs and has loved an English Mastiff, Earl, and two Newfoundlands, Edward and Albert.
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