I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
It’s time for the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Many of Brandywine Creek’s citizens plan to participate in the week-long festivities and are busily concocting savory rubs and sassy sauces. Among the locals vying for the grand prize are Becca Dapkins and Maybelle Humphries. The women have been arch enemies ever since Buzz Oliver dumped Maybelle after a thirteen-year courtship and started seeing Becca.
When Becca’s body is found near one of the festival booths, bludgeoned by a brisket, Maybelle becomes one of Chief Wyatt McBride’s top suspects. Determined to help clear her friend’s name, Piper begins her own investigation, much to McBride’s consternation.
Not as good as the first one. The author resorts to Piper thinking she's smarter than the police and spends some ink trying to convince herself, her character and the reader that Piper isn't just being a busybody. Some awkward prose about spices could have been written a bit more gracefully; the flow stumbled a few times because the information felt shoe-horned in.
The mystery had potential and I definitely liked what the author was going for, but the moment when Piper made the important connection came out of thin air. There wasn't any logical reason why she should have looked at the "clue" and made the leap she did. It was outlandish. Sometimes outlandish works; here, not so much.
I had higher hopes for this one - I love the spice shop setting and I'm very intrigued by the chemistry Piper has with McBride (although she's dating someone else, so: love triangle) but I'm not sure that's enough to sell me on a third instalment.