On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Deep Bitter Roots (Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery Series)
2nd in Series
Setting – Washington
Publisher : Ten16 Press (April 15, 2020)
Paperback : 374 pages
ISBN-10 : 1645381226
ISBN-13 : 978-1645381228
Kindle ASIN : B086PWWSC3
The promise of Spring in Deep Lakes, Wisconsin brings the community out of hibernation to plan the annual Roots Festival. Bubble and Bake owner Frankie Champagne just wants to help the Granite Mansion quarry heiress plan the keynote presentation. So, why does she find herself in the middle of the legendary and deadly Quarry Curse?
They joke that in Wisconsin you can sometimes experience all four seasons in one day. Spring is just starting to bloom in Deep Lakes but you could still see snow in addition to the April showers or the blistering hot heat of summer. People who have been enduring the snow and bitter cold are ready to escape to a milder climate just in time for the annual Roots Festival snd this year will be even more special with quarry heiress Emily Spurgeon giving a speech as the park is rededicated and introducing some new features. Bubble and Bake owner Frankie Champagne has been asked to assist Emily with her presentation. After meeting with Emily several times Frankie is shocked that the heiress had passed away in her sleep. She has a lifelong relationship with Sheriff Alonzo Goodman and he knows she has a keen sense of observation and she doesn’t believe her death was due to natural causes so he allows her to check out Emily’s bedroom to see if she notices anything unusual. From the minute she walks into the room she sees many things that don’t make sense. She knows someone killed Emily and she is going to prove it,
Frankie and her BFF Carmen own and operate Bubble and Bake, a bakery during the day, and a wine bar at night. Right now they have the extra help from Carmen’s mother, Tia Pepita, and Frankie’s Aunt Cece. Cece arrived with a lot of luggage saying “I want to see Wisconsin one last time before I die.” Tia plans to stay with Carmen and Ryan to participate in a three month clinical trial at the UW – Madison Hospital Eye Research Unit. These ladies bring so much to the story and their antics are hilarious.
Frankie has her hands full with the bakery and the vineyard and still holds the dream of being a news reporter. Working with Emily Spurgeon added more to Frankie’s plate but she really enjoyed the time they spent together. Now she is determined to find out who robbed the woman of the last years of her life. Good thing Carmen is on the ball and can take on things Frankie has to let slide while she investigates. Emily Spurgeon was a wonderful character. She had so much depth and had a wealth of knowledge about the history of the quarry and its employees. Her heart was in the right place as she tried to right the wrongs of the past. We didn’t get to know her long but like Frankie, I was invested in her well-being and heartbroken when she died. We also meet a long-lost family member of Emily’s. The woman was the complete opposite of Emily.
The author has written a complex mystery and drops clues in an intriguing way. I will say I missed a few along the way that probably would have helped me solve the mystery sooner but I did pick up some great clues that at least had me looking in the right direction. I enjoyed the way Frankie worked to solve the crime. No matter what she was doing the case was on her mind and even with several twists, she didn’t lose her focus.
What I really liked about this book and the one prior is the way Ms. Ribar highlights Wisconsin. I love seeing places I know visited within the book. Frankie, Garrett, Lon, Jovie, Carmen, and Ryan plan to have a triple date at Feil’s Supper Club. The restaurant has been there forever and I remember going there with my parents and later and still with my husband. The food there is awesome, they have several Bavarian specials, Sunday Brunch, and Friday Fish Fry. My go-to is Herb’s Special – “sirloin steak topped with a MOUNTAIN of Feil’s famous onion rings”. Just reading about it in this book had my mouth watering and wanting to make a reservation. The author also highlights many other places too. I do wish the Bubble and Bake was a real establishment because the descriptions of the food and wine tell me the place would be right up my alley.
Deep Bitter Roots has a large wonderful cast and it was fun following them through everything they do. I enjoyed my visit to Deep Lakes and look forward to returning soon. I will be reading and reviewing Deep Green Envy next month and hope to read Deep Flakes Christmas during the holiday season.
About the Author (from Amazon)
Joy Ann Ribar is a Wisconsin native who embraces her Scandinavian roots – wine-tasting and food-munching from every culture. A semi-retired English educator, Joy teaches writing classes at Madison College. She earned a Journalism degree from UW-Madison and a Master’s in Education from UW-Oshkosh. She and her husband, John, run a backyard buffet for winged creatures, plus the occasional furry critter. Someday, they plan to sell everything, buy an RV, and escape Wisconsin winters.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. 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.”