On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Dairy, Dairy, Quite Contrary (A Sunflower Café Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Kansas
Kensington (June 28, 2022)
Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496733452
ISBN-13 : 978-1496733450
Kindle ASIN : B09HRD8D9S
Looking for a fresh start, advice columnist Sissy Yoder heads to small-town Yoder, Kansas, to help in her aunt’s café. But when a milkman is murdered, the newcomer becomes the prime suspect . . .
After Sissy’s rodeo cowboy boyfriend turns out to be more of a rodeo clown, she packs a bag; picks up her Yorkshire terrier Duke; and leaves Tulsa, Oklahoma, bound for her parents’ former hometown. There are still plenty of Yoders in Yoder, Kansas, including Sissy’s aunt Bethel, who owns the Sunflower Café but recently broke her leg. It’s a homecoming of sorts as Sissy arrives to help in the café and reunite with her pregnant cousin Lizzie. Plus she can continue to secretly write her newspaper advice column as seventy-year-old “Aunt Bess.” But it’s Sissy who could use some advice when she finds the milk deliveryman out behind the café with a knife in his back. As the sheriff’s prime suspect, it’s up to Sissy to catch the backstabber herself—before someone else gets creamed . . .
Sissy Yoder and her family left Yoder, Kansas several years ago but just when Sissy’s life implodes she hears her aunt needs help with her café. She thinks is a great way to get out of Tulsa and restart her life far away from her ex cowboy boyfriend. Since she can do her newspaper advice column from anywhere she loads up her car and her Yorkshire terrier Duke and hits the road to Yoder.
Her Aunt Bethel was not really happy to see her but knows she can’t do everything by herself with a broken leg, so she reluctantly accepts Sissy’s help. Plus her daughter Lizzie’s pregnancy hasn’t been easy and has been put on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy and Sissy would be able to help her past the time.
It takes a couple of days to get settled but soon Sissy finds her place at the café. Then on a quick trip to the kitchen, she makes a terrible discovery. The milk deliveryman is dead on the floor with a knife in his back. When the sheriff arrives he doesn’t take long to decide the newcomer, Sissy, is guilty of murder. He just needs to pull together the evidence. Sissy realizes to save herself she needs to find the killer and fast or her short visit to Yoder is going to lead to a long stay in prison.
Sissy is a fine main character who inserts herself quite well into the lives of her Amish relatives. She is open and friendly and ready to help in any way she can while working to clear her name. Her Aunt Bethel is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t like having to depend on anyone for anything. Bethel’s best friend, Lottie works at the cafe and convinces Bethel to accept Sissy’s help. Bethel’s daughter Lizzie is very happy to have Sissy around and she loves Sissy’s dog Duke. Deputy Sheriff Earl Berry is a café regular and bain of Sissy’s existence. He thinks she is guilty and he reminds her of that every day. All these characters and the others that we meet within the pages of Dairy, Dairy, Quite Contrary develop nicely over the course of the story. I found it very easy to become invested in their lives.
The murder takes place early in the book and there are several suspects, people that actually knew the victim, unlike Sissy. The deputy drove me crazy because he wasn’t doing anything. The case was pretty straightforward. I had a theory about midway through the book and had two suspects in my sight. It took longer to choose the right one. I liked that Sissy realized that with her being new in town she needed help from another resident and they worked well together. I hope the author doesn’t wrap them up in a full-fledged romance too quickly though.
I love that Sissy is the voice behind septuagenarian Aunt Bess and that very few people know it. Quotes from the columnist appear at the beginning of each chapter. Several times I thought Sissy should take some of Aunt Bess’s advice herself but I enjoyed the way she didn’t give up on finding the killer and helping her aunt and cousin. I also loved the unique place she found to live.
Dairy, Dairy, Quite Contrary has set this series off to a fine start. An interesting mystery and engaging characters made it a very enjoyable read. I am looking forward to returning to the Sunflower Café when A Murder of Aspic Proportions is released on June 27.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About the Author
Amy Lillard is an award-winning author of over forty novels and novellas ranging from Amish romance and mysteries to contemporary and historical romance. Since receiving a Carol Award for her debut novel, Saving Gideon (2012), she has become known for writing sweet stories filled with family values, honest characters, a hometown feel, and close-knit communities. She is a member of RWA, ACFW, NINC, and the Author’s Guild. Born and bred in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Please visit her online at www.AmyWritesRomance.com.
Coming June 27, 2023
Also by Amy Lillard
Find more books by Amy Lillard here.
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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.”