This is the second entry in the Deep Fried Mystery series. I reviewed the debut novel, Fillet of Murder (click here), and also was fortunate to have Ms Reilly provide a guest post (click here). I gave pretty high praise for the first book, let's see how the second one did.
Copyright: Mar 2016 (Berkley) 304 pgs
Series: 2nd in Deep Fried Mystery series
Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy
Main Characters: Talia Marby, new owner of a Fish n chips shop
Setting: Modern day, Berkshires Maryland
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Ria, the owner of a neighboring boutique is making a stink, baiting Talia in a very public fight at a community center fundraiser and harboring a grudge. But then she is found strangled with Talia’s scarf knotted around her neck, and it doesn't look good for Talia. Needing to clear her name, and fast, Talia’s investigation soon yields some shocking surprises as well as a sizzling suspicion: someone had good reason to silence her.
Talia is kind-hearted and mending from a break-up which is affecting her relationship with Ryan. She is also dealing with being the boss with employees. Now she has to deal with Ria, a girl from her past.
Ryan Collins, an old high school classmate now a software designer, is her boyfriend and he continues to be a great addition. Sadly, there wasn't much for him in this outing but a couple scenes. The tension between Ryan and Talia because of her past relationship baggage is a subplot.
Martha is a grumpy new employee of Talia's who has a murky past and Lucas is a clumsy nineteen year old employee. They both are interesting characters and have shining moments. I missed her sidekick best friend Rachel from the first book, what little cameo she made wasn't the same. The new police detective, Patti Prescott was a great addition and I look forward to more of her.
I had a hard time putting it down. The plot kept me wanting to understand Ria even as angry as she was. The killer reveal came up quickly and the clues planted were very subtle. You have to be sharp. The wrap-up was heart warming.
I enjoyed this second book in the series and it is joining my "go to" list for sheer pleasure reading. It has a wonderful balance of warm main character and solid cozy murders for an enjoyable escape.
Rating: Excellent - Loved it, it had a good grip on me! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list