I apologize for not getting my review posted yesterday.
Doctor’s appointments have really been cutting into my days.
For more details be sure to read my Sunday Salon/Post post on Sunday.
An Eggnog to Die For (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
by Amy Pershing
About An Eggnog to Die For
An Eggnog to Die For (A Cape Cod Foodie Mystery)
2nd in Series
Setting – Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Publisher : Berkley (November 9, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593199162
ISBN-13 : 978-0593199169
Digital ASIN : B08VRGNFST
Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a certain handsome harbormaster; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately, she’s got family visiting, she’s spending a lot of time in front of the camera, and she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus.
Plus, Sam’s plans for Christmas Eve are getting complicated. There’s the great eggnog debate among her very opinionated guests. There’s the “all edible” Christmas tree to decorate. And there’s her Feast of the Five Fishes prepare. Nonetheless, Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa—but can she pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?
To say professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a lot on her list is an understatement this Christmas season. Her parents have arrived unexpectedly reporting Christmas in Florida is just not the same. Without a rental car, Sam becomes their chauffeur. She has articles to write and videos to make for her job at the Clarion. She also has a Christmas Eve dinner planned, a Feast of the Five Fishes, including eggnog for her family and friends. All that plus a Santa’s Seashore Selebration happening complete with a 5K Santa Stroll and Santa Trolley and Santa arriving at the harbor on Sam’s boyfriend’s boat with Jason decked out in an elf costume.
She wants to check the video for a new restaurant, The Ginger Jar, off her list, so they agree to do it after Santa’s big arrival. The taping went great but Sam finds a terrible gift on her way to the bathroom, a very shiny black boot, a hand clutching a manilla folder, all attached to a very dead Santa. She quickly realizes her Christmas List has gotten suddenly longer. She may need a miracle but she is going to get everything on her list checked off and track down the killer that struck down Santa Claus.
I fell hard for Samantha Barnes in the first book, A Side of Murder. She is such a smart sleuth and she has a terrific sense of humor. She is tall in stature and uses that trait wisely. In An Eggnog to Die For, we see where she gets her drive from. Her mother is like a steamroller when she gets an idea. It is best to get on board to get out of the way. She falls into her old reporter’s shoes quickly to help solve the murder even if it means questioning some dark individuals. Her father is more laid back, a real teddy bear. A man that brings balance to any situation is his own quiet way. I really enjoyed meeting Sam’s parents and am so glad they arrived for the holidays. Of course, the wonderful Diogi returns. Such a great doggie.
The other characters we met in the first book return but there are a couple of newcomers. Julie and Martin Bruni, the brother and sister are the owners of The Ginger Jar. a small plates and craft cocktail restaurant that has been a big hit with the younger crowd of Fair Harbor. Martin is the brains behind drinks like Caribbean Christmas Eggnog and Santa Clausmopolitan. Julie is a terrific chef serving up yummy oyster stew and peekytoe crab dip with wonton chips. I would love a place like that but sadly both owners are on the suspect list.
The author has reeled in a bunch of red herrings to distract and misdirect. Sam is an awesome multitasker juggling her dinner plans, work, and the murder. I really like the way she discusses her findings and theories with Jason. She does notice things other people miss. It was fun following the clues with Sam. The culprit was on my radar for a second or two but was dismissed only to circle back around as the clues really fell into place.
The setting of this series is something that really resonates with me. Sam inherited a wonderful home from her Aunt Ida. There is an ell where she lived her last days but the main part of the house needs work and in this story, we found it holds some treasures. It also has a spectacular view. The descriptions of the wonderful home made me so happy. Years ago when I was just starting my married life I would have loved to find a home like this and bring it back to its glory. Now I can get a taste of the renovations by slipping into Sam’s world.
Ms. Pershing has written a story that will get you in the Christmas spirit. The characters are well crafted and all feel like they could be neighbors and friends we could meet anywhere. The mystery was entertaining and fun. And the food . . . oh! the food! There are recipes for a delightful dinner at the end of the book and I plan to try them all as soon as my own personal chef/husband prepares them. Be sure to add An Eggnog To Die For to your Christmas reading lists.
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About Amy Pershing
Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before leading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time. An Eggnog to Die For is the second of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef who retreats home to Cape Cod where she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, a ginormous puppy and a propensity for falling over dead bodies. Kirkus Reviews gave An Eggnog to Die For a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.” A Side of Murder, the first of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries, which Elizabeth Gilbert called “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read,” was the first book in the series. The third, Murder Is No Picnic, will be published in May 2022.
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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.”