Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am absolutely tickled to have Terrie Farley Moran visit us today!
I am delighted to be spending another Cozy Wednesday with all of you. Read to Death is the third cozy mystery novel in the Read ’Em and Eat series set in the sunny island community of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Every winter season, the Cool Reads/Warm Climate Book Club gathers both local residents and snowbirds to mingle, drink sweet tea and talk about books. The season generally ends with a party of some sort and this year is no exception.
Read ’Em and Eat owners Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield have arranged for members of the book club to read The Florida Life of Thomas Edison by Michele Albion and then to take a trip off-island to visit the fabulous Edison and Ford Winter estates where Thomas Edison and Henry Ford spent their winters a hundred years ago.
To insure the success of the trip, Sassy and Bridgy have rented a van and requested driver Oscar Frieland, who they know will engage in entertaining chatter with the club members. Sure enough, Oscar is both flirtatious and informative.
With such splendid planning, the day is a huge success complete with a snack break next to a statue of Thomas Edison which stands under the largest Banyan tree in America. After arriving back at the Read ’Em and Eat, everyone gathers in the café for a brief book club meeting. Bridgy runs out to retrieve her sunglasses from the van only to discover Oscar’s dead body sprawled across the seat.
Although Lieutenant Frank Anthony of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department insists that Bridgy is a witness, not a suspect, Sassy is afraid that Bridgy’s status could change in an instant. She calls lawyer Owen Reston to come to Bridgy’s aid and then enlists reporter Cady Stanton to help her investigate Oscar’s life, past and present.
Bridgy’s mother, who is the flamboyant Ophelia’s sister Emelia arrives to comfort Bridgy but the sparks that fly between the sisters are anything but comforting. And the surprise guest that Emelia brings along with her is nothing short of spectacular.
So, open up a copy of Read to Death and get ready to spend a few hours at the beach, sipping sweet tea and nibbling on a Drunken Raisin Scone (recipe included) while solving a murder in the coziest town on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Read to Death
(Read Em and Eat Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – Florida
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Ransom House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTN5W
At their seaside Read ‘Em and Eat bookstore café, Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield offer fresh scones, great books, and excellent detective work…
With their book club season wrapping up with The Florida Life of Thomas Edison, Sassy and Bridgy decide to take their group on a day trip to the beautiful Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Hiring driver Oscar Frieland, who’s known for his colorful stories and love of the café’s Robert Frost fruit tartlets, the bibliophiles set off for a day of sunshine and history.
After a lovely excursion, the club returns to the café for lunch and a book discussion, but the group falls silent after Oscar is found dead in his van. The sheriff’s deputies have some questions of their own for the group, and if the ladies don’t find some answers soon, the next book they read might be from a prison library.
The Cool Reads/Warm Climate Book Club goes on a field trip but it ends badly. The van driver, Oscar, is killed on the van after all the book club members have scurried off. Bridgy ends up finding his body when she returns to look for her missing sunglasses and that makes her the prime suspect for his death. Everyone knows she is innocent but the police don’t appear to be looking for other suspects. Before Bridgy is reading her books in a jail cell she and Sassy with the help of their friends do their best to find the real killer.
I have escaped right into all three books in this series. Sassy and Bridgy are fabulous characters and I wish the Read ‘Em and Eat bookstore café actually existed because I want to visit and meet them, Miguel, Ophie, and all the other characters that come through the doors. I really enjoy reading about the teenage book group and all the things they do.
The plot was terrific, just as I knew it would be. Plenty of suspects with plenty of twists. As each suspect was eliminated the focus kept returning to our Bridgy. When things seemed too dire Ophie always came to the rescue to brighten things up. Things were a little tense when her sister, Bridgy’s mom, came to town but Sassy’s mom came too and that helped to lift the tension. These women love to shop and you can’t stay mad when you are shopping.
Of course the setting was pure bliss and we get to see many different places as the girl’s investigation continued. We also traveled to some touristy spots to keep one certain mother out of Miguel’s kitchen.
An truly captivating cozy! Great characters with great relationships, an intriguing whodunit in a delightful setting! I can’t wait to return to the Read ‘Em and Eat!
I highly recommend the entire series!
About The Author
Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”