Silence of the Jams (A Down South Café Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 4, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01IAUG44C
In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…
It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.
When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.
Includes delicious Southern recipes!
I have been excited to read this story since I finished The Calamity Cafe back in December! I donned my Down South Café T-shirt and started reading as as soon as the book arrived.
We have returned to Winter Garden just in time for their Independence Day Celebration but before the fireworks even start there is drama at The Down South Café. Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln has been a real pain in the butt for Amy. He is still burning about his inability to buy her building just so he can tear it down. But today he finds himself permanently silenced. He keels over right at the counter while eating his breakfast. At first look it seems to be a heart attack but the autopsy points to murder. Poisoning to be exact. This is not good for Amy or her business. Sensible people know there is now way she could be responsible but Amy needs to move fast before she gets so jammed up she loses everything.
Amy Flowers is the perfect protagonist. She is liked by everyone. She is friendly and caring. She also has the right business to keep up with all the happenings around Winter Garden. I love the way her family works together to help the cafe succeed and still deal with all the commotion of a murder and Aunt Renee swooping in for a visit. Amy’s mom, her cousin, Jackie and Aunt Bess are all fabulous supporting characters. I enjoyed Amy’s moments with Homer as well. I can’t forget Amy’s beau, Deputy Ryan. He is an excellent match for Amy.
This story is very fast paced. The clues kept circling round and round. I had an early inkling about the murderer but the clues just weren’t adding up. The Aunt Renee subplot also drew my attention. I really felt bad that she and Jackie were not close. Renee was not the mother Jackie needed but her Granny (Aunt Bess) did her best to raise the girl right while Renee just floated in and out of their lives. Amy does get herself in a little trouble for being too trusting and Renee is dealing with something everyone around her hopes she can start to make headway on. I applaud the author for the way these issues were handled in this book.
I can’t review these books without talking about the food. Thank goodness, there are recipes in the back of the book. The Fudgy Chocolate Cake as well as the Beef and Cheese Pasta Bake had my mouth watering. And yes, there is a Strawberry Jam recipe too!
Gayle Leeson has whipped us up a fine cozy mystery in Silence of the Jams. A great plot featuring fantastic characters filled with mystery, suspense, humor and a little bit romance. A delicious way to spend an afternoon or two. I know y’all will enjoy this one.
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.”