Gone for Gouda: A Cheese Shop Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – California
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (September 27, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250795214
ISBN-13 : 978-1250795212
Kindle ASIN : B09NK4F3NH
Things are going from gouda to bad to ugly for cheesemonger Willa Bauer in Gone for Gouda.
Yarrow Glen’s newest cheese shop, Curds & Whey, has a lot on its plate, but cheesemonger Willa Bauer relishes a challenge. There’s a float to build for the fall festival, plus the French-inspired cheese shop is playing host to celebrity vegan chef Phoebe Winston. But when photos surface that prove this vegan influencer is, in fact, a carnivore, things crumble faster than any cheese on the market: Phoebe is murdered. Willa’s employee, the affable Archie, was the last one to see Phoebe alive and the first person the police suspect. To clear his name Willa must uncover who’s been up to no gouda…
Trying to grow her business, Curds & Whey, cheesemonger Willa Bauer is both nervous and excited to welcome Phoebe Winston, a vegan influencer to her shop for a demonstration to promote her new book. Phoebe is a very demanding guest and she was immediately taken in by Willa’s employee Archie choosing him to take on duties that would usually done by her own assistant Thomas. After giving instructions to Willa about all the ingredients she will need for her demo, telling her how to rearrange the venue, to order more chairs, and sticking a pin in Willa’s confidence Phoebe “sailed out with Thomas in tow just as she swept in – – like a tornado.
But then the wind is knocked out of Phoebe’s sails when photos are published revealing that she is not a vegan at all. Willa sees the hit her business takes quickly when people fill the street into Curds & Whey demanding refunds for her big event. She needs to try to get the Book and Cook back on track so she and Archie take off to try to talk to Phoebe. When they arrive they find the woman dead in the bathtub. The death is soon determined to be murder and Archie believed to be the last person to see her alive is pegged to be the prime suspect.
Willa knows that Phoebe may be “Gone for Gouda” but she would bet her last wheel of cheese Archie had no part in her death and she is going to prove it.
All the core characters from the first book Cheddar Off Dead return and I was so happy to see some nice character development. We learned more about all of them. I was glad to see Willa emerge stronger after Phoebe took a swing at her confidence. She still needs to work on her amateur sleuthing skills and not accuse every one of her suspects right from the start but her way sure makes the story interesting. What made me the happiest was that while her romantic life is still up in the air she didn’t come off as so man crazy in this story. The triangle was still there but it was not as distracting as in the first book.
The mystery of Phoebe’s death was very cleverly plotted with a nice number of suspects. She was not a nice woman and had done some very shady things in her past. The author drops plenty of clues throughout the book and I thought I had the right person in my sights until an event twisted things up again. I enjoyed the way everyone pulled together to solve the mystery and took part not in just one rescue but two.
I liked the subplot of the fall festival and the float making with Willa’s unique project she made for the float. She received a lot of funny grief for it.
I was delighted by mouth-watering cheese dishes described too. There are recipes at the back of the book and I have already copied down the one for Cheesy Apple Pockets. They sound like a great autumn treat.
Gone for Gouda is an entertaining whodunit with a solid mystery and fun characters. Mrs. Schultz continues to be my fave.
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About the Author
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.”