The Calamity Café (A Down South Café Mystery)
Setting – Virginia
An Obsidian Mystery (June 7, 2016)
Published by New American Library
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B015DLUS8E
First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.
Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…
Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.
At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her. Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.
Includes delicious Southern recipes!
I started reading and just couldn’t stop. Love, love, LOVE this story!!
There is a lot of history at Lou’s Joint, it has been in the family forever. After working there just a short time Amy Flowers knows it is the perfect place for her restaurant but if Lou Lou won’t sell she is ready to start from scratch with a brand new building. Lou Lou does turn her down and it totally surprised when her son calls to say sure has changed her mind and wants to meet with Amy as soon as possible. But when Amy arrives she finds Lou Lou had a previous visitor, one that killed her and left her for Amy to find. While Lou Lou had lived in Winter Garden her whole life she wasn’t the friendliest of entrepreneurs and there are quite a few people that may have wanted her dead. Because Amy is the one that found her, opportunity. And she wanted the joint and was turned down, motive. And the murder weapon is still to be determined, means. She is one of the prime suspects.
Gayle Leeson is off to a fantastic start with this series. I liked Amy right away and enjoyed meeting all the people that pull together to make her dream come true while she tries to clear her name and find a killer. I really enjoyed that friendships that grew throughout the story. The way Amy knew people needed her to keep up with their daily routine was touching.
The plot had some very clever twists. and some suspenseful moments. The real world around me just drifted away and I was right there in Winter Garden. I was not only following the clues, but enjoying the food, and supervising the changes taking place to Amy’s new restaurant. I loved the dashes of humor and the smidgen of romance. Note – I would love a Down South Cafe t-shirt or apron 🙂 Great idea Jackie!
This novel is so well written and didn’t seem to be fast paced but I did read it very quickly. The pages were flying. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. The final reveal was totally unexpected. I hated for the story to end but then we had made it to the recipes! I want to try them all.
A fun read that was an absolutely perfect escape. I am looking forward to returning to the Down South Cafe. I hope it is soon!
About The Author –
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, she writes the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!
Writing as Gayle Trent
Writing as Amanda Lee
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”