Body and Soul Food (A Books & Biscuits Mystery)
by Abby Collette
About Body and Soul Food
Body and Soul Food (A Books & Biscuits Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Timber Lake, Washington (Near Seattle)
Berkley (November 9, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593336178
ISBN-13 : 978-0593336175
Digital ASIN : B08YWW1DCH
In this page-turning new mystery series, fraternal twins Keaton and Koby will pull double duty when they take down a killer while preparing to open their new bookstore and soul-food café, Books & Biscuits.
When Koby Hill and Keaton Rutledge were orphaned at age two, they were separated, but their unbreakable connection lingered. Years later, they reunite and decide to make up for lost time and capitalize on their shared interests by opening up a well-stocked bookstore and cozy soul-food café in the quaint Pacific Northwest town of Timber Lake. But this new chapter of their lives could end on a cliffhanger after Koby’s foster brother is found murdered.
The murder, which occurred in public between light-rail stops, seems impossible for the police to solve. But as Keaton and Koby know, two heads are always better than one, especially when it comes to mysteries. With just a week to go before the grand opening of their new café, the twins will use their revitalized connection with each other to make sure this is the killer’s final page.
Separated at the age of two Koby Hill and Keaton Rutledge come back together to realize their dreams. For Koby, that means a soul food restaurant. For Keaton, it means a bookstore. They find the perfect place in Timber Lake not far from Seattle. Keaton had been adopted and Koby lived his life in foster homes. Because of that Koby has an eclectic group he calls family. His “family” and Keaton’s “mom” are very supportive of their new venture.
Working long days to prepare for their grand opening Koby is concerned about Keaton taking public transportation home until his foster brother Reef offers to meet Keaton and see that she gets home safely. But when Keaton boards the train to meet Reef she finds that the man has been murdered. Someone on that train had to see something . . . or is one of them the killer? Koby and Keaton intend to find out, putting their lives in danger right before they are set to have their dreams come true.
What a fun theme for this new series!
Twins Koby and Keaton are wonderful characters, each with their own strengths. Strengths that seem a little backward to me but they seem to make it work. Koby is very detailed oriented and observant. Things I would usually associate with a well-read librarian like Keaton. Her strength is that she has a keen sense of smell. Something you would expect a chef to have. They both do love mysteries so they willingly become amateur sleuths to find a killer.
My favorite character though is Mama Jola. She raised both Reef and Koby and many others. She is also the one who taught Koby how to cook soul food. A stylish black woman who speaks her mind and cooks like a dream. She steps right in and almost takes over the chef position at the cafe. I think I gained weight just reading about the food she was cooking and baking. She doesn’t hit it off immediately with Keaton’s adoptive mom but soon they are fast friends encouraging their kids and helping in any way they can. While being brought up in totally different ways, these moms raised remarkable children.
The mystery was complicated because of the way the author twisted all the different characters together. A random event was not as random as originally thought. Also, people are not exactly as they seem. That all adds up to a good number of suspects. I did hone in on one individual immediately just because of their general attitude about everything but couldn’t figure out their motive so I was following all the clues right up to the end. That ending was very exciting and ended up being pretty heartwarming too.
Koby and Keaton are growing closer every day and they both would like to find their biological mom so that subplot is left open to continue into future books in the series.
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About Abby Collette
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Abby Collette loves a good mystery. She was born and raised in Cleveland, and it’s a mystery even to her why she hasn’t yet moved to a warmer place. As Abby Collette, she is the author of the Ice Cream Parlor mystery series, about a millennial MBA-holding granddaughter running a family-owned ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and the Books & Biscuits mystery series, starring a set of fraternal twins who reunite and open a bookstore and soul food café. Writing as Abby L. Vandiver, she is the author of the Logan Dickerson Mysteries, featuring a second-generation archaeologist and a nonagenarian, as well as the Romaine Wilder Mysteries, pairing an East Texas medical examiner and her feisty, funeral-home-owning auntie as sleuths. Abby spends her time writing, facilitating writing workshops at local libraries and hanging out with her grandchildren, each of whom are her favorite.
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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.”