No Grater Crime (A Country Store Mystery)
9th in Series
Setting – Indiana
Publisher : Kensington (August 24, 2021)
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496723198
ISBN-13 : 978-1496723192
Kindle ASIN : B08P81Z7MF
Robbie Jordan’s Pans ‘N Pancakes boasts delicious eats and the best vintage cookware finds in South Lick, Indiana. And now, for a limited time, there’s a new special featured on the menu–murder!
Ever since meeting the wary owners of an antique shop opening across the street, Robbie has been scrambling to manage weird incidences plaguing her café and country store. Pricey items vanish from shelves without explanation, a fully equipped breakfast food truck starts lingering around the area each morning, and loyal diners mysteriously fall ill. When an elderly man dies after devouring an omelet packed with poisonous mushrooms, Robbie must temporarily close down Pans ‘N Pancakes and search for the killer with a real zest for running her out of business–or else.
There is a new business in South Lick, an antique store right across the street from Robbie Jordan’s Pans ‘N Pancakes. She hopes it won’t cut into her vintage cookware sales. But sales aren’t her problem right now, shoplifting is. While she and her employees were busy serving food someone walked off with a batch of graters she just picked up at the Scottsburg Antique Fair. Robbie knows who the thief is but hesitates to make a scene.
Robbie strives to serve her customers the highest quality of food possible so she is shocked to learn a group of them took ill after eating at her establishment. Worse, one man whose health is already compromised dies. The health department closes Pans ‘N Pancakes down while they investigate. Robbie does her own investigation and figures out the mushrooms were the problem. Her wholesaler delivered poisonous ones and Robbie and her staff had no clue there weren’t the usual variety they typically use. Strange that as soon as Robbie’s business is shut down a food truck pulls up next to the new antique store and starts serving her customers. That is just one too many coincidences for Robbie. She knows who is responsible she just has to prove it.
My mother ran a restaurant similar to Robbie’s so this story really hit home for me. Competition is one thing, sabotage with foodstuffs is completely another. Many businesses wouldn’t be able to come back from such a serious matter. Robbie is blessed to have such a loyal group of customers and friends. As you can see Maddie Day has written a story that hit me at an emotional level which she continues to do time and time again.
The mystery is more complicated than complex. The suspects are a small pool and it is just a matter of pinning the right person down. They all had the opportunity but true motives were unclear. Robbie withheld the theft of the graters from Lieutenant Buck Bird who eats most of her menu every time he sets foot in the place. That may have ruffled some feathers earlier in the book and changed the outcome. I was just surprised she didn’t tell him right away. I did enjoy following all the clues though. I was on the right track but a left turn changed everything near the conclusion of the mystery.
I love that this series is set in the Midwest and the characters ring true to almost everyone right out my front door. I have sincerely enjoyed Robbie and the rest of the characters from the start of the series. They continue to grow and new members of the supporting cast are added in each book along the way. In fact, Robbie is engaged to be married to a man with a teenage son. Robbie has nurtured a relationship with the young man and that becomes very important in this story. I really admire the way the author has treated these characters and the way these relationships grew over several stories. It feels natural and is really heartwarming. It also sets up a fantastic ending.
No Grater Crime is filled with wonderful characters and delicious food. I am not a mushroom eater so now kitchen sink omelet for me though. Each visit to South Lick seems to end too soon. I can hardly wait for Batter Off Dead to be released in February 2022.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-winning author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She lives with her beau and an energetic kitten north of Boston
You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.
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.”