Up to No Gouda (Grilled Cheese Mysteries)
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Poisoned Pen Press (January 25, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 312 pages
ISBN-10 : 1728238323
ISBN-13 : 978-1728238326
Kindle ASIN : B0939H36N8
The first in a delicious new culinary cozy series featuring a grilled cheese eatery owner who must solve murders in her small town before she is put under lock and brie
Back in Balsam Dell to heal after the death of her husband, Carly Hale is finally pursuing her lifelong dream—opening Carly’s Grilled Cheese Eatery. After only five months, business is booming as Vermont vacationers and townspeople alike flock to lunch on her Party Havartis and other grilled cheese concoctions. All but Lyle Bagley, Carly’s one-time high school boyfriend and now town bully who just bought the building that houses her eatery and wants Carly out. After a muenster of a fight, Carly’s forced to put her nose to the rind and find a solution to keep her business afloat.
That is…until Lyle is discovered dead behind the dumpster of Carly’s shop, and one of her employees becomes the prime suspect. In order to save her eatery and prove her friend’s innocence, Carly must sleuth out the killer before she’s the one who gets grilled.
With a delightful cast of characters, an inventive amateur sleuth, and a whole host of cheesy hijinks, Up to No Gouda is the perfect cozy murder mystery to melt into.
Grilled Cheese, Yes Please! I have been excited about this book/series since I saw a post about it on Facebook several months ago.
Carly Hale has returned to her hometown of Balsam Dell, Vermont after the death of her husband. Doing a life reset isn’t easy but Carly has always dreamed about opening a restaurant, Carly’s Grilled Cheese Eatery, and serving up a delicious variety of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. She has leased a building, remodeled it to her needs and since opening the door she has had a very successful business. Now the building has been sold to Lyle Bagley, who she once dated, and he wants her out. After her banker gives her the news she is upset but determined to find a new place for her thriving business.
But then Lyle Bagley is found dead in the alley behind a dumpster behind Carly’s eatery. But Carly isn’t the only one getting grilled about his death. The police decide one of her employees is their prime suspect and it has her cheesed off royally. She finds herself sandwiched between saving her business and saving her friend. Can she do both or will they both brie out of luck?
This is a marvelous theme for a new cozy series but don’t start reading it on an empty stomach or you will be stopping to make a grilled cheese and some tomato soup. That is exactly what we had for supper before I started reading so my appetite was taken care of for the most part. Carly has some delicious variations on her menu and I took note of each one for future reference.
Ms. Reilly has introduced her readers to a great cast of core characters. Carly is instantly likable. She is dealing with the grief of losing her husband and starting her business and reconnecting herself to her hometown. She has a top-notch staff in Suzanne and Grant. They all seem to genuinely care about each other and that really shines when one of them is a the top of the list of suspects. All these characters have loads of room for growth and I am happy about that.
There is also a diverse cast of supporting characters. They are all well-crafted with purpose. Some will appear in just this story and others I hope will pop up in future installments. I was really taken with Becca, a homeless veteran. She really added to my enjoyment of this story.
Who killed Lyle? This mystery was very well-plotted complete with cheesy strings to some clever subplots. The victim was not well-liked at all serving up several suspects with a motive to want the man six feet under. I must say the author is very talented in her ways of misdirection. After an abundance of twists and turns, I was totally surprised by the dramatic reveal. She also was able to tie up loose ends in the subplots while building excitement for the next book in this yummy series.
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