Two Bites Too Many
(A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein
I am so excited to welcome Debra Goldstein to Escape With Dollycas today!
My Favorite Shirt Has a Tear
by Debra H. Goldstein
My favorite shirt has a tear.
The minute the dryer buzzed, I stopped what I was doing and went to retrieve my shirt, so it wouldn’t wrinkle. I pulled it out, shook it, hung it, and saw the pinprick sized hole at the edge of the pocket. Perhaps it was a spot? No, a hole going all the way through the fabric at a location that makes patching or simply wearing it again in public impossible.
What will I do?
I wear that shirt when I don’t feel up to par, when I think the weather is going to be cold, when I write and things aren’t working, or when it is one of those days. It is my comfort shirt. Oversized, blue-green and white plaid, with sleeves that stay rolled up because it has little buttons and tabs to keep them in place, it would never be mistaken as high fashion. My shirt serves only two purposes: it keeps me covered and makes me feel secure.
My writing is like my shirt. I write comfort books and short stories. Hopefully, readers feel embraced by the wealth of my words and for a moment forget whatever troubles them in the real world. Whether my tale is dark or light, the goal is for the plot, setting, and characters to wrap the reader in a manner that shuts out any other thoughts.
In One Taste Too Many and Two Bites Too Many, the first books in my new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series from Kensington, I address one of my biggest fears – being in the kitchen. As Sarah struggles to avoid making anything from scratch, I express her fears and actions in a fun way that readers can either identify with or laugh at. Whether a reader goes the extra step of making one of the recipes, like Jell-O in a Can, or is engaged by the charms of RahRah, Sarah’s Siamese cat, there should be a momentary sense of enjoyment. The language I use may not be highfaluting, but it always is understandable. Consequently, like my shirt, the purpose of this series is to provide comfort to readers.
Time changes everything. Hopefully, each of my written works has improved. It is an inevitable evolution, comparable to life. Tomorrow, I’ll mourn the loss of my shirt, but I’ll buy another. It will be different, but I bet in the long run it will be just as comfortable. My series won’t be the same as other ones you’ve tried and liked, but I’m hoping you discover, as I will with my new shirt, that different can entertain you and cover you with the security of joy.
Have you ever found giving up something old has led you to something you liked even better?
Thank you, Debra, for visiting today!
Okay folks, keep reading for my thoughts about Two Bites Too Many.
Far from a domestic goddess, Sarah Blair would rather catch bad guys than slave over a hot stove. But when a dangerous murder boils over in Wheaton, Alabama, catching the killer means leaving her comfort zone . . .
Things are finally looking up for Sarah Blair following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with her sassy Siamese cat, RahRah, she has somehow managed to hang on to her modest law firm receptionist job and—if befriending flea-bitten strays at the local animal shelter counts—lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end.
When the president of the town bank and city council is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands—the twins sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice. But as neighbors turn against her family, can she pare down the suspects before another victim lands on the chopping block?
Includes quick and easy recipes!
Sarah Blair doesn’t have to work but she enjoys her job at the law firm and is happy living in the carriage house with her cat RahRah. Her sister Emily along with Marcus have big plans for not just one restaurant but two! The one lost to a fire and one in the “big house” that Sarah inherited. When the bank turns down their loan request her the girl’s mother Maybelle drags Sarah to the bank to hash it out with the president of the bank. Apparently Sarah’s healthy bank account will remind the man who is dealing with. Promising he’ll look over the paperwork, Sarah heads to a meeting but Maybelle has other plans. She waits a short time and then returns to the president’s office where instead of getting the answer she wanted she finds the man dead. She then finds herself the police’s prime suspect.
Sarah is surprised by how quickly people believe her mother is a murderer. Emily has her hands full working at a local hotel until she can get her restaurants open. Sarah is busy with a fundraiser too but knows she needs to help lawyer Harlan do everything she can to keep Maybelle out of jail.
There is a lot happening in Wheaton, Alabama and Sarah Blair seems to be caught up in all of it. She can do many things now that she has received her inheritance but for right now she is content working for Harlan, helping her sister and staying involved with things around town, like the fundraiser. She and Emily are best friends, the yin to the other’s yang. Maybelle knows just how to push their buttons, but we see a different side of her this time. Emily is very driven and Sarah is still finding her way. The core characters are evolving at a realistic pace. We learn more about Sarah’s neighbor George this time and because of that, we meet some new characters. Employees of the bank are also introduced. The author does an excellent job giving us characters to root for and those that could be villains/suspects. RahRah again stole my heart.
I did enjoy the way Ms. Goldstein sets the scene. The bank, the hotel, the carriage house and everything in between were all described so well. I could easily envision each place.
The mystery was murky for me but I latched onto the killer pretty early on. I just didn’t know the details of their motive until it was all laid out for me. There were several red herrings though that could have diverted my thinking but I held strong. Mini mysteries that eventually tied together to the murder were very interesting and pressed me to realize I was on the right track. The ending was pretty exciting.
Debra H. Goldstein has again given readers a fun and entertaining mystery filled with characters I wish I could know in person. Comfortable cozies, both books in this series so far have been Perfect Escapes. Once I started reading they were virtually impossible to put down. Two Bites Too Many has whet my appetite for book #3. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
You can read my review of One Taste Too Many here.
About Debra H. Goldstein
Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Two Bites Too Many, as well as One Taste Too Many, the first of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra serves on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and is president of the Southeast Chapter of MWA and past president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter.
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Praise for Two Bites Too Many
(A Sarah Blair Mystery)
by Debra H. Goldstein
This was a good cozy mystery with all the things I enjoy about this genre: small town, great atmosphere, good food, animals, multi-age characters, a bit of romance, an interesting crime, and a great sleuth.
~Carla Loves To Read
Two Bites Too Many allows its readers to fall into a completely different, tightly-bound family for a few hours. And who doesn’t want to do that? Highly recommended for cozy fans.
~Diane Reviews Books
I have enjoyed this cozy series that is set in a small town and around the catering/restaurant that Sarah’s twin sister owns and operates.
~My Reading Journeys
What an adorable cozy this is! . . . Full of characters you can both hate and love mixed with surprises and good times. Makes for a great read that you won’t want to put down.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews
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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.”