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Last Diner Standing: A Rose Strickland Mystery
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Last Diner Standing: A Rose Strickland Mystery

4.1 27
by Terri L. Austin

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Rose Strickland is having a blue Christmas. Her friend is arrested for attempted murder, her sexy bad guy crush is marked by a hit man, and her boss is locked in an epic smackdown with a rival diner. Determined to save those she loves, Rose embarks on an investigation more tangled than a box of last year's tree lights. With her eclectic gang at the ready, Rose


Rose Strickland is having a blue Christmas. Her friend is arrested for attempted murder, her sexy bad guy crush is marked by a hit man, and her boss is locked in an epic smackdown with a rival diner. Determined to save those she loves, Rose embarks on an investigation more tangled than a box of last year's tree lights. With her eclectic gang at the ready, Rose stumbles across dead bodies, ex-cons, chop shops, jealous girlfriends, jilted lovers, and a gaggle of strippers in a battle for freedom she might not survive.

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all! Last Diner Standing is the second book in the Rose Strickland humorous mystery series. Bonus: Includes book club discussion questions.

Praise for Terri L. Austin's Diners, Dives & Dead Ends:

"Austin's debut kicks off her planned series by introducing a quirky, feisty heroine and a great supporting cast of characters and putting them through quite a number of interesting twists." -- Kirkus Reviews

"This traditional mystery captured my attention from the opening pages to the exhilarating finale...this was an enjoyable read in this debut series and I look forward to more adven-tures with Rose and the gang for years to come." -- Dru Ann Love, The Cozy Chicks Blog

"I predict this will be a long and successful series...I strongly recommend picking a copy up to read this summer. I know I am looking forward to reading more books by this author. Five stars out of Five." -- Lynn Farris, National Mystery Review Examiner at Examiner.com

"What a blast! Diners, Dives & Dead Ends is a fast-paced mys-tery loaded with wonderful wit and humor that had me laugh-ing and loving every page. Terri Austin will hook you right away and keep you riveted until The End. I want more!" -- Ann Charles, Author of the Bestselling Deadwood Mystery Series

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A waitress helps a friend charged with assaulting her worthless ex-husband. Rose Strickland (Diners, Dives & Dead Ends, 2012) is having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit this year. As always, her mother is full of advice about the careers she could pursue if she just had the ambition to do more than sling hash at Ma's Diner. Meanwhile, Ma's stepped up the pace by going head-to-head with Rudy's Roundup. Since Rudy's been muscling in on Ma's early morning business, Ma abandons her breakfast-only policy, producing a dizzying array of lunch specials that run Rose and her best friend, Roxy Block, off their feet without generating an extra dime in tips. Then, Janelle Johnson, Rose's study buddy from Huntingford City College, calls to say that someone beat up her ex-husband right after Janelle came by to hit him up for child support and throw a little furniture around too. Now, Sheik "Asshat" Johnson is in a coma, and Janelle's in the slammer. Rose looks for other suspects, starting with Crystal Waters, the stripper whose appearance in Janelle's bed sent her marriage to the showers. She unearths many prospects, including Crystal's other boyfriend, Sheik's other lovers and the other lovers' boyfriends. The clue that sends Rose careening, though, is a pile of pictures stashed at Sheik's apartment of Thomas Sullivan, the bad boy who makes Rose's pulse beat faster. Rose is convinced that Sheik's criminal connections, not his ex's wrath, put him out for the count. But convincing hard-assed Officer Andre Thomas and cute Officer Mike Goedecker may be even harder than convincing Ma to go back to bacon and eggs. Austin's second course has the menu of feisty underemployed gal detective with a side order of romance down pat.

Product Details

Henery Press
Publication date:
Rose Strickland Mystery Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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Last Diner Standing: A Rose Strickland Mystery 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In Last Diner Standing, the second installment in the Rose Strickland Mystery series, author Terri L. Austin transports the reader back to Huntingford, Missouri, for another zany adventure featuring the sassy diner waitress / amateur sleuth Rose Strickland. Rose's latest adventure has her receiving a phone call at 3am from her friend Janelle Johnson, who has been arrested for the attempted murder of her ex-husband Asshat aka Sheikh Johnson, who is in an induced coma. Rose's investigation and quest to prove Janelle's innocence has her turning to hunky bad guy Thomas Sullivan for assistance, and its not long before they are resisting their mutual attraction for each other while searching for the same person: someone who has also put out a hit on Sullivan! And if that isn't enough, Ma, the owner of Ma's Diner, has her hands full when a new diner opens and she drags Rose into an all out diner war to win over the local customers! Last Diner Standing is an entertaining cozy mystery told in the first person narrative by Rose, who takes the reader along for the ride on her latest investigative adventure. This fast-paced story has a lot of twists and turns that easily engages the reader and keeps them guessing what will happen next, while also providing a lot of laugh-out-loud moments that will keep you in stitches. Author Terri L. Austin continues to provides a story that has a great balance of humor, intrigue, and a touch of romance that is just plain fun to read. The quirky cast of characters from Diners, Dives & Dead Ends: Ma, Roxy, Axton, and Sullivan are all back in this book along with a new slue of characters who will keep the reader entertained with their quirkiness, witty dialogue, and engaging interactions that makes this latest adventure so much fun to follow. Last Diner Standing is an entertaining cozy mystery that is full of drama, suspense, comedy and romance with a surprise ending that will leave you looking forward to Rose's next adventure! The third book in the Rose Strickland Mystery series, Diner Impossible will be released in November 2013.
Judy-Ree More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Rose Strickland Mystery series by Terri L. Austin.  I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was excited about reading more about Rose and her friends. This book  begins approximately 6 wekks after the conclusion of book 1.   The story opens with Rose receiving that ominous 3 am phone call. Janelle, Rose's friend and college study partner is calling from jail. Janelle was arrested for the assault and attempted murder of her ex-husband, not so affectionately known as Asshat. It turns out that Asshat had come into some serious cash that he was flashing about, so Janelle went over to his place to demand some for his kids. They got into a hugely vocal fight that was witnessed by most of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, someone hit him upside the head, leaving Janelle to take the fall. A strange twist comes into play with Sullivan, Rose's romantic interest and crime lord. We got to see a whole other side to Sullivan and I must admit that I enjoyed it immensely. Where in the first book, I wasn't sure about him, not I am totally rooting for him.  And if that isn't all. Ma has decided that since Rudy of Rudy's Roundup Restaurant is going to serve breakfast, she will just have to start serving lunch. In Ma's words, "Rudy Jorgenson is going down, girls. And I’m the one who’s sending him there." This just means that in between trying to clear Janelle's name, find out where Asshat got the money, figure out how Sullivan is connected, she is also dealing with the craziness of Ma and her plans for lunch domination. This was a fantastic read. All the people surrounding Rose are these bright, vivid, unforgettable characters. But was more important is Rose's relationship with them. You can tell that Rose is a true friend and has sincere and lasting loyalty to the people she surrounds herself with. This is another 4 star book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rose and her zany friends kept me giggling until the end of the book, and I can't wait for the next Rose Strickland Mystery to come out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Same as for the other book-fun, silly, yet entertaining reads...I want more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fast-paced, action-packed read! Looking forward to the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious and entertaining!
The-Broke-Book-Bank More than 1 year ago
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I actually enjoyed this one more than the last. There's more information on the cast of characters and we start to really get to know them. I really liked how the other side of people were shown, people that are usually demonized and shunned. It brought a nice balance. In the romance department the vying for Rose's affection from the entire male population has died down which lead the way for things to get rolling with one person. I'm warming up more to the main attraction dude though I share Rose's hesitation. The case with helping Janelle was more emotional causing us to see connections, past and present, in a different way. It was a nice switch from everyone being tediously timid and only helping due to Rose's insistence on following a case. The two usual groups were doubtful, cautious and useless while everyone else kicked it into high gear. More laugh out loud moments while the dialogue, characters and actions usually left me smiling. I was quite happy in general and have really no complains. Nothing stuck out at me as unreasonable, illogical or otherwise stupid. The clues were clues and the surprises were actual surprising. No nit-picking or little gripes. I don't know if I just enjoyed it too much to notice or there wasn't anything to have a problem with, but this nit-picker is rather satisfied.
MysteryMommy More than 1 year ago
No sophomore slump for Terri L. Austin! I loved the first book in the Rose Strickland series over the summer and was very excited to get an advance reader copy of this one. I've read other series where the second book didn't live up to the first, but that was absolutely not the case here. Austin's characters are realistic and lively, and we get to know Rose and her crazy gang of friends better in this story, which throws our amateur sleuth into a new case on page one, when her friend is arrested for attempted murder. The small-town PD doesn't look for suspects, because they think they have the assailant in custody, so Rose and company have to find the real criminal and get Janelle home to her babies for Christmas. What ensues is a mystery with plenty of twists and lots of suspects, and a few moments that made me put the book down because I was laughing too hard to see the page. I love mysteries that keep me guessing til the end, and I didn't have the bad guy pegged until Austin wanted me to. I did receive an advance copy of this novel, but was under no obligation to review it or say nice things about it.
Buecherwurm161 More than 1 year ago
Loved it. I discovered this series by mistake and boy am I happy that I did. What a fun read. This is the second book and even though you don't have to read the first one in order to enjoy it, I think it will enhance your reading pleasure if you do, this way you can get to know Rose and her motley crew of friends from the beginning. This book had plenty of mystery, action and a very promising romance for our heroine, it had me guessing until the end and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whodunnit More than 1 year ago
Oh my goodness, I just don't know where to begin with all my positive feedback on this new series. #1 Hilarious #2 Spunky Heroine (love those) #3 Entertaining Side Kicks #4 Hot Love Interest #5 Imaginative Story Lines #6 Suspense #7 Surprises #8 Page Turner #9 Etc, etc, etc I've already read the next in the series. Can't wait for more! Great, Funny/Suspenseful Read! Terri Austin is quickly rising to the top of my favorite Authors List.
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Great read! Can't wait for the next one!
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Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
A fun whodunit chick lit book. Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It was a fun read that kept me interested from beginning to the end. Last Diner Standing is the first book I have read by Terri L. Austin. I will have to pick up more by her, especially Diners, Dives & Dead Ends. I really want to know about Rose’s past. Anyway … onto this book …we meet Rose at Ma’s Diner where she receives a phone call that her best friend Janelle is in jail for attempted murder. So starts Rose’s quest to prove her friend innocent. She is a private investigator, but not really. She is only doing this for her friend. She wants to find out who put Janelle’s ex-husband in a comma, almost killing him. Rose is a great detective. She is thoroughly, sneaky, and gets the information. She’s not afraid to break into someone’s house or car. She’s not afraid to get talk to the people involved. She’s not afraid to ask the tough questions. It’s pretty cool considering she is a college student without a major who works at a diner and pisses her socialite mother off in the process. All sorts of fun! The cast of characters and suspects is quite extensive. I was confused a bit in the beginning but I got to know most of them by the end. There are still a few that I’m not sure about. I did enjoy some of the nicknames. Those were creative. I did not see the end coming at all! What a surprise! I love it when I don’t guess the killer. However, I did think the end wrapped up rather neatly. Also, I felt like the diner breakfast/lunch war was a bit of a throwaway. I would have thought it would have played a much more prominent role in the book considering the title. Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book if you enjoy fun whodunits and chick lit. Will I read it again: I will not. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating story with multiple levels: murderously evil, eccentrically crazy, and more. Quite a slice of life. The basic story line is who put a man in a coma? His ex is accused, but the main character is certain she didn't do it. In the midst of this, the diner where she works begins a battle with another diner in town for customers. Everyone is over worked, both in the diners and working on the attempted murder. Good "fun."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A delightfully light read. Just right for a rainy summer afternoon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book just as much as the first book in the series. Keep the stories comming Ms. Austin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DAinNY1 More than 1 year ago
OMG! There's no sophomore slump here in the second book starring spitfire Rose Strickland. When her friend is jailed, Rose knowing she is innocent sets out on a course using any means necessary to free her friend including breaking and entering and allying herself with a person of nefarious distinction. This fast-paced and action-filled story kept me plowing through the pages as fast as I could because I had to know what happens next in this thrilling and riveting drama. When the chips are down, Rose is there and I was rooting for her as she took on everything thrown at her to help her friend. This is a great read and I’m looking forward to the next book with Rose and her friends in this terrific series.