The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson

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The Calamity Cafe
by Gayle Leeson

I absolutely loved The Calamity Cafe!!! This book was a well-written mystery, with charming characters and down home recipes that will make your mouth water.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

We are treated to a murder mystery and some romantic overtones… If you’re looking for a fun summer read, this would be a wonderful choice.
~Book Babble

A cleverly constructed plot, well-written characters, and a setting that feels like the town next door all blend together to form the perfect recipe for a new series!
~Reading is my SuperPower

The first book in a new cozy mystery series is full of colorful characters, delicious food, a solid mystery and a light touch of romance.
~Queen of All She Reads

The plot is engaging and fast paced, pulling the reader along on a wild tale of murder and suspense.
~Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

This book was great it had southern charm mixed in with old history and crime…
~Community Bookstop

This is a stellar start to the Down South Café Mystery series!
~Cinnamon and Sugar and A Little Bit of Murder

Leeson’s Down South Cafe Mystery series promises to be an awesome new series. It has all the things that appeal to cozy readers: engaging mystery, wonderful characters (especially Amy), and delicious recipes.
~Booklady’s Booknotes

Filled with southern charm and mouth-watering food you, you will be hooked from the start…
~Shelley’s Book Case

This is another new exciting cozy mystery…
~A. Holland Reads

A very good start to a new series…
~Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!

The Calamity Cafe is a wonderful start to the “Down South Cafe Mysteries”. Amy is as warm and hospitable as she wants the atmosphere of her cafe to be.
~Back Porchervations

If you’re a fan of culinary mysteries, the talk of southern cuisine will have your mouth watering while you try to deduce who killed Lou Lou.
~The Book’s the Thing

I really liked the plot of this story and the characters. I thought it was a great mystery and it kept me guessing till the very end.
~Melina’s Book Blog

I loved the setting of the story and the food element was so much fun. The author kept me guessing. I was suspicious of quite a few characters until the very end. I look forward to the next book in the series.
~Brooke Blogs

The Calamity Cafe is a riveting southern cozy murder mystery that will engage you to join in the crazy adventures and trials and tribulations that occur, while providing you with a dose of good ol’ southern charm and humor.
~Jersey Girl Book Reviews

I loved this book! Probably because it centers around a cafe and I love food and new recipes (or even twists on old favorites)…
~Storeybook Reviews

THE CALAMITY CAFE is an inviting welcome to a new series with unique characters and Southern charm.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

The Calamity Cafe

The Calamity Café: A Down South Café Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Series: A Down South Café Mystery (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: NAL (June 7, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1101990780

First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition…

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can’t wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes


About The Author –

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

I Read What You Write’s Interview of Gayl

To start with can you tell us a little about yourself and the project we are seeing today?

I’m blessed to be a full-time author. Right now, I’m typing my answers from my living room while my dog lies by my chair. You can see him in my photo—he’s a Great Pyrenees named Cooper. I love him to pieces. (Sometimes he gets a little gassy, which is why I have a little spray bottle of “Revitalizing Air Mist” on my desk!)

Today we’re talking about The Calamity Café, which is the first book in a new series set in Southwest Virginia and featuring some yummy Southern recipes. The first book is about how Amy Flowers, the heroine, is determined to open up her own café. But when her boss is found murdered, Amy has to clear herself of the crime before she can move on.
What does it mean to you to be called an author?

To me, it means I get to create worlds that other people enjoy visiting. But some people think that means I’m unemployed! J Let me give you an example: I was once at an elementary school where I spent the day talking with kids about writing. One little girl—I’d say she was maybe seven years old—squinted at me and said, “Wait a minute. You make up stories all day? That’s what you do?” I said, “Yes. That’s my job.” She said, “Humph, my momma has to work for a living!” I laughed so hard, and I just went and hugged her. (As an author yourself, you know what hard work it actually is!)

But it’s so great when my stories resonate with people and they write to tell me how much they enjoyed them. That’s a wonderful feeling.

What advice do you have for new authors, like me?

Put yourself out there. Have a good opener when you’re at signings or events so you can quickly and efficiently let people know what your book is about. For example: “Hi, I’m Gayle. Do you enjoy reading about determined young women overcoming obstacles and realizing their goals while dealing with a group of quirky characters?” Do I do this myself? Seldom, because I feel like I’m imposing on people when I do. But by neglecting to do this, I’m shutting out readers who might really enjoy my books and hoping they find out about them some other way. So, don’t be shy. Let people know what you do. Be proud of it! (I’m going to try to start taking my own advice on this!)

What is the first book that you remember reading?

It was a Dick and Jane book. And since you’re twelve years old, I’m guessing you have no idea who Dick and Jane are. It was a hand-me-down book that belonged to my older brother, and I had him and my mom read it to me so often that I had it memorized and could read it to myself.

If you could have lunch with 3 authors (past and present) who would they be and what do you think you would all talk about during lunch?

Dean Koontz, William Shakespeare, and Edgar Allan Poe. I imagine we’d talk about why we write about murder so much!

What is an underrated book, series or author that you think everyone should read?

Watchers by Dean Koontz. I’d never read Koontz because I considered him a horror author, and then a friend convinced me to read Odd Thomas. I loved that book and another friend told me, “You have to read Watchers.” After reading Watchers, I wrote to Mr. Koontz to basically say, “Wow.” It’s an amazing book.

Authors Links:

Webpage –

Gayle Trent Webpage –

Facebook –

Twitter –

GoodReads –

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  

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Tour Participants

June 7 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review

June 7 – The Self-Rescue Princess – Character Interview

June 8 – Reading Is My SuperPower – Review, Giveaway

June 8 – Book Babble – Review

June 9 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Giveaway

June 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Review

June 9 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway

June 10 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – Review

June 10 – Books Direct – Guest Post, Giveaway

June 10 – Mystery Playground – Guest Post – Drinks and Reads

June 11 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review

June 12 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway

June 13 – A Holland Reads – Review, Character Guest Post, Giveaway

June 14 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – Review

June 14 – Classy Cheapskate – Review

June 15 – Back Porchervations – Review

June 16 – The Book’s the Thing – Review

June 16 – Island Confidential – Interview

June 17 – Melina’s Book Blog –  Review

June 18 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

June 19 – I Read What You Write – Review, Interview No post – Interview added above.

June 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Character Guest Post, Giveaway

June 20 – cherylbbookblog – Review

June 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

June 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review

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20 thoughts on “The Calamity Cafe by Gayle Leeson

  1. I have a copy of the book on hold with my local library. When I’ll get it I don’t know since they’ve only just ordered a few and don’t have them yet. So I’m hoping to just win a copy for home personal library to share it with my adult children who all love to read.

  2. I enjoy the Amanda Lee books and the Daphne Martin series by Gayle Trent so I’ll have to try this one.

  3. I love starting a new cozy series. Thanks for such a wonderful review makes you want to meet the characters.

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