Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am delighted to feature Gayle Leeson’s latest Down South Cafe Mystery Today!
Apples and Alibis (A Down South Cafe Mystery Book)
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Grace Abraham Publishing (August 13, 2019)
Print Length: 188 pages
That’s the last time Amy agrees to do a favor for a stranger…
Down South Cafe owner, Amy Flowers is in over her head. Operating a cafe while hosting the first Farmers’ Market in Winter Garden has her swimming in apples. And when an elderly woman calls the cafe, pleading for a delivery for her upcoming party, Amy relents, feeling compelled to help the desperate customer.
But when she arrives, the woman is slumped over her kitchen table, and Amy is catapulted into the middle of a small town crime. Guilt-ridden for not arriving earlier to save the woman, she sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding the woman. Now, between running the cafe and dealing with the chaos of the farmers’ market, Amy is squeezing in a murder investigation, a run-in with her boyfriend’s mom, and her own mother’s quirky life decisions. Life can’t get any worse…or can it? This cafe owner needs a break–in the case.
Amy Flowers has an amazing idea for the community of Winter Garden and to bring more business to her Down South Cafe – A Farmer’s Market. She just didn’t realize how much added work it would be for her.
Then she receives a phone call for a food delivery, something the cafe doesn’t have enough staff to offer. The woman sounded desperate so Amy agrees to this one-time delivery. She also persuades her cousin Jackie to come along. But when they arrive they find the woman unconscious at the kitchen table. The police arrive but Amy can’t leave the investigation to them. She feels responsible, in that she hadn’t arrived in time to save Gladys Pridemore.
So she has the Farmer’s Market on her plate where a special vendor gets her nose out of joint, plus a murder case. Add to that a new man in town she thinks is perfect for her mom, an AWOL employee, her Aunt Bess trying to add more pictures to her Crime Board on Pinterest, and dinner with her boyfriend’s parents.
A girl can only juggle so many things . . . good thing Amy is becoming an expert juggler.
Amy Flowers is just so darn nice which is important when you own a customer-driven business. This time her kindness lands her right in the middle of a murder case. She is surrounded by great friends and a few off-the-wall patrons and family members. They are all wonderfully developed and it is easy to get invested in their lives. Homer’s Heroes of the day always make me smile and most times I learn something too. He is a quirky character that has shined in every book in this series.
The mystery had quite a few suspects, twists and complex clues. Like Amy, I try to see the best in people and I think that muddled my thinking. Thankfully, it didn’t muddle Amy’s. I was totally surprised when all was revealed. The author plotted this one out so well.
Oh, I can’t forget to mention the food, so deliciously described, it always leads to at least one dish in an upcoming meal at our house.
I zoomed right through this book. It had a fantastic flow and was totally entertained beginning to end!
This series is a must-read for culinary cozy lovers.
You can read my reviews of The Calamity Cafe here, of Silence of the Jams here,
and of Honey Baked Homicide here.
About Gayle Leeson
About the Author
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.
The Cake Decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.
Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”
Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”
The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.
Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”
Pat Cooper of RT Book Reviews says, “If her debut here is any indication, Lee’s new series is going to be fun, spunky and educational. She smoothly interweaves plot with her character’s personality and charm, while dropping tantalizing hints of stitching projects and their history. Marcy Singer is young, fun, sharp and likable. Readers will be looking forward to her future adventures.” (RT Book Reviews nominated The Quick and the Thread for a 2010 Book Reviewers’ Choice Award in the Amateur Sleuth category)
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!
Author Links – Webpage Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram
Purchase Links – Amazon B&N Kobo
Writing as Gayle Trent
Writing as Amanda Lee
Just click on covers for more book information or to order from Amazon.
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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.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday featuring – Apples and Alibis (A Down South Cafe Mystery Book) by Gayle Leeson #Review / #Giveaway @GayleTrent”
Wow, Lori, nice review. This convinces me that I really need to read this one!
Thank you so much for your wonderful, thoughtful review! 💕
Sounds like a great addition to the series. Looking forward to reading the book.
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