Two Bites Too Many (A Sarah Blair Mystery)
2nd in Series
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Far from a domestic goddess, Sarah Blair would rather catch bad guys than slave over a hot stove. But when a dangerous murder boils over in Wheaton, Alabama, catching the killer means leaving her comfort zone . . .
Things are finally looking up for Sarah Blair following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with her sassy Siamese cat, RahRah, she has somehow managed to hang on to her modest law firm receptionist job and—if befriending flea-bitten strays at the local animal shelter counts—lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end.
When the president of the town bank and city council is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands—the twins sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice. But as neighbors turn against her family, can she pare down the suspects before another victim lands on the chopping block?
Includes quick and easy recipes!
This is the second book in the Sarah Blair Mystery series, but it is the first one I read. It worked okay as a standalone story, but I do wish I had read the first one. There were some things I would have liked clarified. I did enjoy this story well enough, even though I did not read the first book.
Sarah’s twin sister, Emily and her partner, Marcus have been turned down for a loan to reopen their pub and catering service after a fire in the strip mall where they were located. When Maybelle, their mother, and Sarah go to the bank to find out why, they leave assuming the bank manager will approve the loan. When Maybelle goes back in to talk to the manager, Lance, she finds him dead. Of course the person who discovers the body, is often the prime suspect and that is the case here. Sarah believes the acting police chief is not investigating other suspects, so decides to investigate on her own.
I enjoyed the twins, Sarah and Emily. They are great friends and supporters and even when Sarah is right, she refuses to tell Emily “I told you so.” Maybelle is a wonderful character. She is smart, sassy, strong-willed and persistent. I really enjoyed the animal characters, even though they don’t play a huge role. RahRah, the Siamese cat and the heir to a rather large estate, gives Sarah the funds necessary to live a different life. Fluffy, the little lost dog, is instrumental in a couple important plot points. The mystery is well written and plotted. I narrowed down the culprits pretty early and was basically correct, but for all the wrong reasons. There were a variety of possible suspects with very different motives and that kept the story interesting and had me doubting my guesses somewhat. There looks like there might be a love triangle coming up, but both the male characters are likable, so this will be tough. I am definitely going to go back and read the first book in this series to clear up a few questions that I still have. This was a good cozy mystery with all the things I enjoy about this genre: small town, great atmosphere, good food, animals, multi-age characters, a bit of romance, an interesting crime, and a great sleuth. I do recommend this one to all cozy mystery lovers.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Emily Beresford. This book was very enjoyable to listen to as she did a great job bringing the story to life. It was easy to tell which character was speaking as she gave a distinct voice to each of them. I will listen to more books by this delightful narrator. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Two Bites Too Many, as well as One Taste Too Many, the first of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award-winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra serves on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and is president of the Southeast Chapter of MWA and past president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter.