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To Brie or Not to Brie (Cheese Shop Mystery Series #4)

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  • Posted January 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This October is a frantic time for Charlotte Bessette, owner of

    This October is a frantic time for Charlotte Bessette, owner of Fromagerie Besette, the Cheese Shop of Providence, Ohio. Not only is she busy running the store she finally took over from her grandfather, Charlotte is also planning the menu for her best friend's wedding while trying to nail down a date for her own wedding to Jordan Pace, a former chef and farm owner with his own secretive history. When a mysterious stranger is found murdered by Charlotte's own container of Brie Blueberry ice cream in the Igloo Ice Cream Parlor, suspicion falls on the new paramour of Jordan's sister, Jacky. Jacky had been hiding in Providence from her abusive husband and now everyone who had an interest in protecting her had a motive for murder. While the chief of police Umberto Urso believes that he and his small force have everything under control, virtually the entire town encourages Charlotte to investigate and protect the town from outsiders threatening her friends and family.

    Personally, Charlotte's own uncontrollable curiosity has her questioning her own fiancé, whom she knows is hiding in the Witness Protection Program and must keep his past hidden from her if he is to have hopes of protecting her. What better outlet could there be other to investigate another murder and protect her future sister-in-law's future?

    Providence is a town that lives and dies by gossip, and every new customer, friend, and frenemy of Charlotte brings her tidbits and secrets that point at one suspect or another. Characters that might be infuriating in the real world, such as the groom's ex-wife who forces herself into the wedding plans and Charlotte's pushy Amish assistant who is devoted to television mysteries, seem to blend seamlessly into the eccentric cast of residents. Even while interrogating the victim's menacing brother, dodging attacks, and coping with the realization that her young relatives will be moving out after the wedding, Charlotte still finds time to whip of tasty cheese recipes and construct a wedding cheese cake. This is a purely escapist cozy mystery full of whacky characters and delectable descriptions of food. - Cynthia Chow

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    I like the series a lot. This one was not my favorite, though. T

    I like the series a lot. This one was not my favorite, though. Too frenetic for me. But I've read the sneak preview of her next one and I'm looking forward to it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2013

    To Brie Or Not To Brie by Avery Aames is the 4th book in the del

    To Brie Or Not To Brie by Avery Aames is the 4th book in the delectable A Cheese Shop Mystery series.

    Things are going good in Providence, Charlotte has gotten engaged to Jordan, she is helping to plan her best friend Meredith's wedding to her cousin Matthew. Life is good. That is, until Jordan's sisters, Jacky, estranged husband, Giacomo, shows up in town.

    With ice cream from the Igloo Ice Cream Parlor, across the street from The Cheese Shop, Charlotte has come up with a wonderful Brie blueberry ice cream. Baskin-Robbins doesn't have anything on Charlotte. Then Giacomo is found dead in the freezer of the ice cream parlor, having been struck over the with a 5 gallon container of Brie Blueberry ice cream.

    Soon, most everyone wants to accuse Jacky of the murder. Charlotte is sure she had nothing to do with and starts to check out other suspects.

    What about Hugo, the owner of the ice cream parlor, he seems to leave town quite a bit for days at a time. Or maybe Vinnie, Giacomo's brother, who has gambling debts and an inheritance would be most welcome. Or maybe it is someone else who is having money problems.

    All the characters from the previous books are back to entertain the reader. Charlotte's grandmother is putting on a production of Hamlet. Sylvia, Matthew's ex is there to torment everyone, that she does so well. And Rebecca..... Rebecca is favorite character to get upset with, but at the same time she is most helpful in assisting Charlotte and at the same time so funny.

    Another great addition to an enjoyable series. Lots of cheese talk and recipes as before.

    Looking forward to the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2014

    Another Murderously Fun Time in the Hamlet of Providence Autumn

    Another Murderously Fun Time in the Hamlet of Providence

    Autumn has hit the town of Providence, and it’s shaping up to be a busy but wonderful October for Charlotte and her friends and family in The Cheese Shop.  Her cousin Matthew is marrying her best friend Meredith, and Grandmere’s theater company is putting on an outdoor production of Hamlet that is bringing in the tourists.  If only Charlotte and Jordan could set a date for their own wedding, everything would be perfect.
     
    Into this bliss come two strangers who are not part of the normal tourist crowd.  Then one of them is murdered inside the local ice cream shop – beaten to death with a tub of Charlotte’s Brie Blueberry Ice Cream.  His connection to people in Charlotte’s life puts her future in jeopardy.  Suddenly worried about what might happen to those she loves, Charlotte starts digging, hoping to find the killer.  Can she succeed?

    When I sat down to start this book, I realized just how much I’d come to love these characters because I just couldn’t wait to spend time with them again.  They were their usual charming selves, and I was glad I got to revisit them.  The story was good, although there were so many sub-plots that the mystery seemed to get sidetracked at times.  That uneven pacing was really my only complaint with the book.
     
    So if you haven’t already visited Providence, I don’t recommend you start here since you won’t fully appreciate the characters yet.  Back up to earlier books and you’ll soon be hooked on the antics of Charlotte and her friends and enjoying this entry in the series.

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