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.
Deadly Sweet Tooth (Vintage Sweets Mysteries)
2nd in Series
Setting – Texas
Lyrical Underground (June 2, 2020)
Paperback : 180 pages
ISBN-10 : 1516105443
ISBN-13 : 978-1516105441
Kindle ASIN : B07W8X9C3H
Vintage sweets, a deadly surprise, and a mischievous Maine Coon cat—Deadly Sweet Tooth is the delightful cozy mystery you’ve been waiting for!
In a darling tourist town like Fredericksburg, Texas, a vintage sweet shop offering delicious old-fashioned favorites is a perfect fit—until someone decides to debut a recipe that’s lusciously lethal…
With Tally’s Old Tyme Sweets finally—well, almost—turning a profit, Tally Holt is taking one busy Saturday off to host a grand party for her parents, traveling performers who spend most of their time on the road. Tally’s counting on the publicity and free treats to attract new customers. And the event is a sweet success—at least until Fran Abraham, the town’s foul-tempered theater director drops dead after a bitter confrontation with Tally’s mother.
Murder was definitely not on Tally’s menu, but it’s clear that Fran’s death wasn’t natural. The list of possible culprits includes not just Tally’s mom, but her protective dad too. Relying on Yolanda Bella, her best friend and the proprietor of Bella’s Baskets next door, for help, Tally will need to unwrap the sticky pasts and unsavory presents of everyone from her own parents to her new hires before Fran’s death sours everybody on her fledgling shop….
Recipe included! And this one promises not to kill…
In the second installment of this series Tally Holt is throwing a party to welcome her parents home from their worldly travels for a short time. She has even put an invitation in the local paper so all their friends can stop by to see them. She also hopes to draw in some new customers to her vintage candy shop.
The guests of honor arrive along with a big crush of people. Tally sure is happy she hired extra help for the event. If the new hires work out she hopes to make them permanent employees, something she desperately needs.
A little later Tally’s mother isn’t feeling well so the party starts to wrap up but as the guests are leaving Fran Abraham keels over dead. She had been arguing with Tally’s mom about something just a few minutes before she died. To be safe her dad takes her mom to the hospital to be sure she doesn’t meet the same fate as the town’s cantankerous theater director.
The police put their main focus on the treats Tally served and who had access to them as they await the actual cause of Fran’s death. But if it was the candy, wouldn’t more people be sick or dead?
With Tally and her parents as prime suspects and the fate of her shop hanging in the balance Tally asks her best friend, Yolanda to help her find the real killer. But will their snooping put them right in the killer’s path? Things could get sticky in their quest to get the killer behind bars, and I am not talking chocolate ones!
After reading the first book in this series I felt I needed to know the main characters better to get invested in their lives and I was happy to see Tally’s parents in this story so we could more insight into Tally. Turned out Bob and Nancy had some pretty juicy secrets of their own and quite a backstory to tell. Tally learned a lot and so did I. I still want Tally to have more depth. We did get to know Yolanda a bit better. She and Tally do have a strong friendship. There is a lot of room for development for both characters. Again, Maine Coon Cat, Nigel stole my heart. I will say I was not a fan though of the point-of-view switching back and forth between the two BFFs. It really messed with the flow of the story.
Tally does hire three new employees. I am amazed she hadn’t hired someone sooner. One is a great hire, another is okay, and the third I would have shown the door within 5 minutes. Tally came across as a really wishy-washy boss and really put a lot of trust in someone she just met. I do worry about her business sense and the future of her shop. She just doesn’t come across as someone who ran another successful business prior to opening this shop in Fredricksburg.
It was very apparent that Tally’s actions had to be iffy to move the story in the intended direction of the author. Ms. George wrote a mystery that really wasn’t a mystery for the reader. The guilty party was evident to me immediately. I also didn’t like the fact that Tally really didn’t do much investigating. She was nosy and found out things she should have already known. To be a successful amateur sleuth her observation skills really need work. I found the ending frustrating as well because it was so abrupt. I thought there must have been pages missing from the book, but sadly that was not the case.
I did enjoy many parts of this story. I love the theme of a vintage candy shop. I love that Tally’s parents are world-traveling performers. I love Nigel the cat. That being said, Deadly Sweet Tooth is a light cozy mystery that needs a stronger protagonist. I also really wish the mystery was more complex. The author has given the series a nice foundation to build upon but I am on the fence about reading book three in the series, Into the Sweet Hereafter.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About the Author
Kaye George is a novelist and a short story writer whose story, HANDBASKETS, DRAWERS, AND A KILLER COLD, was nominated for a 2010 Agatha Best Short Story award. It can be found in the collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, available on Amazon and Smashwords as an ebook, and Amazon and Createspace in trade paperback. She is agented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency LLC.
The first mystery novel in the Imogene Duckworthy series, CHOKE, received a nomination for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2011. It was followed by SMOKE and BROKE. EINE KLEINE MURDER, the first in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mysteries was published by Barking Rain Press in the spring of 2013. It was a Silver Falchion Finalist and was followed by REQUIEM IN RED. DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, the first in the People of the Wind Neanderthal Mysteries, is published by Untreed Reads. It received an Agatha nomination for Best Historical. The sequel is DEATH ON THE TREK. The Fat Cat cozy series, set in Minneapolis and featuring a pudgy but adorable cat named Quincy, achieved Barnes & Noble’s best-seller status with all three books. Her new Vintage Sweets cozy series is set in Fredericksburg, TX.
She reviews for “Suspense Magazine” and writes a column for “Mysterical-E Magazine.” Other articles occasionally appear in newsletters and online. Her short stories appear in several anthologies and around and about. She is a member of Sisters in Crime (including the Guppies Chapter and the Smoking Guns chapter), Short Mystery Fiction Society, Authors Guild of Tennessee, and Knoxville Writers Group.
She lives in Knoxville, TN.
Visit her webpage, KayeGeorge.com for more information.
Or catch her at TravelsWithKaye.blogspot.com, her solo blog.
She also joins other writers at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ and https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/.
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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.”