Curds of Prey: A Cheese Shop Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – California
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (March 28, 2023)
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250795230
ISBN-13 : 978-1250795236
Kindle ASIN : B09XL7RX52
In Korina Moss’s Curds of Prey, murder again comes to Yarrow Glen, and cheesemonger Willa Bauer must be the predator… before she becomes the prey.
Yarrow Glen’s favorite cheese shop, Curds & Whey, gets to be a part of the social event of the season: Summer Harrington’s wedding. Cheesemonger Willa Bauer is going all out for the wedding shower’s cheese bar. But the eagle-eyed Harrington family is proving to be a pain in her asiago. A last-minute tasting ends in disaster when one of Willa’s potential beaux, Roman, gets in a fight with the groom. Then the shower arrives, and while there’s anything but love in the air, there is plenty of cheese. Oh, and Roman… again. The day officially ends in disaster when Willa finds the groom―who also happens to be the mayor’s nephew―in the stable, dead as a dodo. At the mayor’s request, Willa must follow the trail of cheese curds to find a killer while continuing to walk a tightrope between two of Sonoma Valley’s most powerful families.
As Cheesemonger Willa Bauer continues to grow her business she has a grand opportunity to have a cheese bar at a bridal shower for a family who has just taken over All Things Sonoma Magazine, which means fantastic publicity for Curds & Whey. That is something Willa needs after the bad review she received from the former food critic at the magazine. Add to that the groom is the mayor’s nephew and impressing her is definitely a good thing. When a last-minute taste testing finally comes to an end Willa gets a huge surprise when her almost-boyfriend Roman arrives and gets into a fight with the groom. Seems Roman knows the bride quite well. Willa is not sure what to think about that.
The day of the shower arrives and Willa is very excited about getting the cheese bar set up until she notices Roman is there again talking to the bride-to-be. When the groom arrives chaos erupts and the party is canceled. Upset, all the vendors pack up along with Willa. But before she leaves she finds herself in the stable looking at a corpse. The groom is dead and she knows Roman will be a suspect. Unsure of her feelings for Roman, she knows he is not a killer. The mayor has asked for Willa’s help and she can’t get her cheesed off so she finds herself right in the middle of another murder investigation that will hopefully clear Roman of the crime and the mayor happy.
With every book in this series, Willa gets stronger which is good because her life gets pretty topsy-turvy in Curds of Prey. Archie and Mrs. Schultz are developing nicely too. They make a strong team both at Curds & Whey and in solving murders. They have become friends and really care about each other. I also enjoy the friendship Willa has with Baz. Together the four of them make up Team Cheese and they sure know how to have fun when the case is closed.
Ms. Moss plotted out a very entertaining mystery with several suspects. I had a good time following along with Team Cheese as they worked through the clues. Willa’s sleuthing techniques are definitely improving but she still finds herself in hot water when all is revealed. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns and the exciting reveal.
Romance was in the air with the Valentine’s Day theme but there were a lot of shake-ups in the relationships. I really liked that the Good Neighbor Committee set up a F.U.N. (Friendly United Neighbors) dance to bring people together whether they had a Valentine or not. Teenagers that got in trouble in the previous book were tasked to volunteer for the committee until graduation so they were very involved in decorating the hall and promoting the dance. The camaraderie that was built between the elders of the community and the teens was heartwarming. I wish more communities offered more opportunities like this.
There is plenty of mouthwatering cheese talk throughout the story from the different cheese varieties to the food Willa created with cheese. I am always delighted when a few recipes are included at the end of the book. This time a Dutch Baby was made and the recipe was included. I can remember my mother making something very similar when I was growing up so I am excited to try that recipe out soon.
Curds of Prey is a fine addition to this series, in fact, it is my favorite book in the series so far. Fans of culinary cozies, this book/series is for you. I am looking forward to reading the next Cheese Shop Mystery, Case of the Bleus very much.
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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.”