Robbie Jordan may have had reservations about the murder victim, but she still needs to turn up the heat on a killer if she wants to keep her new restaurant open for business…
In the charming small town of South Lick, Indiana, Robbie has transformed a rundown country store into the runaway hit Pans 'N Pancakes. But the most popular destination for miles around can also invite trouble. Erica Shermer may be the widow of handsome local lawyer Jim Shermer's brother, but she doesn't appear to be in mourning. At a homecoming party held in Robbie's store, Erica is alternately obnoxious and flirtatiouseven batting her eyelashes at Jim. When Erica turns up dead in the store the next morning, apparently clobbered with cookware, the police suspect Robbie's friend Phil, who closed up after the party. To clear Phil and calm her customers, Robbie needs to step out from behind the counter and find the real killer in short order…
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About the Author
Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha-nominated and Amazon-bestselling author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction which has appeared in a number of juried anthologies. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts, where she's currently working on her next Country Store mystery when she isn't cooking up something delectable in the kitchen.
Read an Excerpt
Grilled for Murder
By Maddie Day
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Edith Maxwell
All rights reserved.
Was I nuts? I don't know what I was thinking, agreeing to cater and host a welcome-home party in my country store and restaurant tonight. I'd already been working since six this morning serving up breakfast and lunch to wave after wave of hungry customers on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I sank into a chair as the antique clock chimed. Thankfully, two o'clock was only half an hour until closing time, and just three people remained, lingering over their gourmet hamburgers. A couple played a game of chess on the painted tabletop and the third read a newspaper, exactly the kind of scene I'd envisioned when I'd bought this old country store and opened Pans 'N Pancakes on the edge of South Lick, Indiana.
I gazed at the gleaming counters, the shelves full of vintage cookware, the pickle barrel, proud I'd accomplished nearly all the renovation carpentry myself. My mom had wanted to be sure her daughter would always have a trade, a trade which came in handy when I'd bought the rundown place nestled in the hills of scenic Brown County last winter. Now Turkey Day was over. I needed to get decorated for Christmas, but that could wait until tomorrow. After I got through this darn party. Oh, well. It was income, and my bank account could always use more deposits.
I glanced up when the cowbell on the door jangled. Sue Berry bustled in with her daughter Paula, the hosts of tonight's shindig for Sue's other daughter. I waved them over to my table.
"Everything all set for tonight, Robbie?" Sue asked. She plopped down across from me, her short cap of bottle-blond hair looking more tousled than usual.
"I think so. Have a seat, Paula," I said to the daughter, a woman in her thirties.
"Thanks, but I think I'll stand. My back's kind of bothering me." Paula nestled her other hand in the small of her back, her pregnant belly pushing out a black knit shirt under her open coat. She wore her dark hair pulled back in a messy knot and her face was devoid of makeup, letting the high color of a woman carrying a child shine through, but also showing the dark splotches under her eyes.
"Three months to go. I sure can't wait to be a grandmother," Sue said in a bright voice, beaming up at Paula and then turning back to me. "So the cupcakes are all ordered, and Glen and Max will bring the drinks over a little early. I'm just as thrilled as punch we can do this for our dear Erica."
Sue's other daughter, Erica, had moved back to South Lick a month earlier. I wasn't quite sure why they'd waited a month to welcome her back, but I was happy they'd chosen to have the welcome-back party at Pans 'N Pancakes. Erica's late husband had been my boyfriend's twin brother, so I could hardly say no. Sue and Paula had both been customers over the last month and a half since I'd opened, so they'd had a taste of my cooking.
"I'll have a veggie platter and a couple of dips out," I said. "I've made up a pasta salad and a coleslaw, as we discussed. I have the mini-sliders ready to go, and a couple dozen hand pizzas ready in the freezer. I'll pop those in the oven during the party so they can be served hot."
"Hand pizza?" Paula asked. "Pizza with fingers sounds fun."
I laughed. "They're just small. Like the size of a hand. Maybe I should call them individual pizzas."
"It don't matter what you call them; they are going to be so yummy," Sue said. Her blue eyes sparkled behind a bit too much eye makeup.
"The mini-sliders sound delicious," Paula said.
"Beef, turkey, and black bean. And my friend Phil is going to tend bar." Thank goodness for Phil. My congenial friend was a talented singer and baker, and had helped me out of a jam more than once.
"Good, so the guys can relax and enjoy themselves." Sue beamed her approval. "Hey, Robbie, you ever think about entering the log cabin competition in Nashville?"
Nashville was the county seat five miles away. Nashville, Indiana, not Tennessee. "The what? I'd love to build a house some day, but right now I have my hands full here."
"Mom means gingerbread log cabins, right?"
Sue snapped her fingers. "It's so gol dang cute. Everybody makes log cabins out of gingerbread and other edible stuff. They judge it over at the Brown County Inn."
"You could make a cabin of a country store and enter it," Paula said. She gestured around the store. "You know, with the front door standing open. You could have little shelves of cookware showing, and a few tables and chairs. Put a couple of rocking chairs on the front porch like you have and I bet you'd win a prize."
"It sounds fun, if I could find the time." When could I fit baking and decorating a log cabin into my schedule, though? Monday, my day off, was the only possibility. On the other hand, it would be good publicity for the store.
The door jangled again and a frowning, broad-shouldered man strode in. "There you are," he said, spying Paula.
Paula twisted her wedding band around and around. "Max, I told you I was going out with Mom."
"Max, honey, come meet Robbie." Sue gestured to him.
After Max approached the table, Sue said, "Robbie Jordan, this is Paula's husband, Max Holzhauser. Max, Robbie."
He extended a big, meaty hand. "Nice to meet you, Robbie." He barely got the glower off his face, which featured a jutting Neanderthal brow and heavy eyebrows now pulled together in the middle. His thick hair, tucked behind his ears, brushed his collar.
I shook his hand. "Likewise. Sit down?" What was he so mad about?
"Can't. Let's go, Paula." He took hold of Paula's upper arm. She wasn't much taller than my own five foot four. He was not only a little over six feet tall, he was also stocky and heavy boned.
Paula pried his hand off, twisting out of his grasp. "I'm doing errands with my mother, Max. I'll be home in time to get ready for the party." Her jaw worked.
"Have it your own way, then." He cracked his knuckles. "You always do."
One of my chess-playing customers looked up and frowned at the disturbance. I watched Max leave, hearing the door close with more force than necessary, and glanced at Paula. Sue had taken one of her daughter's hands in both of hers and was stroking it.
"Things will work out, sugar," Sue murmured as the bell on the door continued to jangle. "He'll get a hold on that temper of his, bless his heart. You'll see."
* * *
The timer on the oven dinged right after the wall clock chimed eight. We were an hour into the party, and it was in full swing. I hurried over to draw out the last pan of pizzas. I slid them onto a tray, the cheese bubbling in tan spots, the aroma of fresh crust almost too alluring. I sliced each pizza into quarters and carried them to the food table. I wiped my hands down my blue-and-white store apron, which featured our logo of a cast-iron griddle held by a grinning stack of pancakes, and surveyed the now-packed room. Late this afternoon Phil and I had pushed the tables to the sides and stacked half the chairs in a corner to leave room for mingling.
Near the Welcome Back to South Lick, Erica! banner, a small group of men, including Max, Sue's husband Glen, and green-eyed Jim Shermer clustered with beers in hand. Paula, now made up and in a green dress that didn't try to disguise her baby bump, sat talking with Tiffany Porter, an attractive local jewelry maker who owned a gift shop in town. Phil stood behind the bar table chatting with Sue. His dark face was aglow and he beamed his wide smile that always reminded me of Denzel Washington's.
Other townspeople, some of whom I'd met, many I hadn't, chatted in small groups, with a few women browsing the shelves of cookware. Country music played from a couple of small speakers someone had set up next to an iPad, and the buzz of conversation over the tunes was loud.
The only person missing was the guest of honor, Erica. She was more than an hour late. People were starting to talk, and Sue had pasted on a smile so fake it looked like it came from a photo-editing app. It had to have upset the family to have Erica's husband take his own life, and I wondered why she'd taken so long to move back home. Or if Sue was now worried something had happened to Erica.
I picked up an empty slider platter and headed back to the open kitchen area, smothering a yawn before drawing another pan of sliders out of the warmer. I'd made little rolls for buns, precooked the patties, and assembled the tiny burgers shortly before the party started. All I had to do now was serve them. Then maybe I could sit down for a few minutes.
As I set the platter of sliders on the food table, Tiffany walked up to me.
"I really like all your cookware, Robbie." Her full lips curved into a smile, lighting up her face, and her almond-shaped eyes crinkled at the edges.
"Thanks. Half of it was already here when I bought the store, and I've acquired the rest."
"Don't you just love thinking about who cooked with it when it was new?" she asked, gazing at the far wall.
"I'd like to ask you a quick question about one piece."
"Sure." We moved across the room together. Tiffany, four or five inches taller than me, especially in heels, walked with a fluid motion like an athlete might. Her light-brown hair fell in graceful waves below her shoulders,
She pointed with an elegant finger that ended in the perfect white tip of a French manicure. "What's that round thing with the two long handles?"
"That's a sandwich press." It featured two slightly convex cast-iron disks joined by a hinge, and two long handles extending out. "After you insert a cheese sandwich between the disks, you clamp the press shut and then hold it over a gas flame or even a campfire to toast the sandwich. It makes the best grilled cheese in the world. You can grill other kinds of sandwiches, too, of course."
"And it's beautiful, too."
"Sure is. Browse as much as you want. The pieces for sale have tags on them."
"Thanks." She moved on down to the shelf area.
I turned back to the party and made my rounds, picking up empty dishes, tidying the food display. I paused when I passed a smiling Jim, my new boyfriend and my former real-estate lawyer. I knew he wanted more than the occasional date, but I was so busy with the store and restaurant, and he with his practice, we usually only managed Sunday nights together, since Pans 'N Pancakes was closed on Mondays.
"Everything looks great. And tastes even better," he said, smoothing an errant black curl off my forehead.
He looked more delicious than any food I could make, with those emerald eyes, that curly red hair he wore a bit long and shaggy, and his trim body. Tonight he wore a deep blue shirt with well-cut black pants, but he could look smoking-hot even in an old T-shirt and ragged jeans.
"Thanks. It seems to be going pretty well, doesn't it?" I smiled back at him.
"Except Erica isn't here." His forehead furrowed. "I wonder what's keeping her."
"It's not a surprise party, is it? Sue never said anything about that."
"No, I don't think it's supposed to be a surprise. Oh, well. Erica has always been a bit, shall we say, dramatic." He pulled his mouth. "She probably wants to make a grand entrance."
I saw Sue glance at the phone in her hand and touch it a few times with her index finger.
"Gol dang, she's almost here!" Sue announced with a big smile. "Get ready, y'all."
Sure enough, it wasn't two minutes later when the cowbell jangled and a woman pushed in, shedding a puffy, white, thigh-length coat as she walked. She wore a snug red dress that crossed over in the front and nowhere near covered her cleavage. This had to be Erica. She was closer in height to her tiny mother than to Paula, and her spiky blond hair and light coloring was more like Sue's, too. Through the door behind her emerged Abe O'Neill, a cute guy I'd met earlier in the fall who worked for the local electric company. He set a banjo case on the floor as the talking fell to a hush.
Erica left Abe at the door and swanned over to her mother on four-inch red heels. She gave Sue a hug and then waved to the room.
"Hi, everybody," she called out. "Thanks so much for all this."
Her father, a man in his sixties whose dark hair was shot through with silver, raised his beer. "Welcome back, sweetheart."
A chorus of "welcome back" echoed throughout the room. Next to me, Jim raised his bottle of Cutters Half Court IPA. "Welcome back, Rickie."
Erica turned her head sharply, then tilted her head in a seductive pose when she saw who'd said it. She clicked on her heels over to where we stood and slid her arm through Jim's.
"Oh, Jim. You're the only person besides Jon who can call me that." She pursed her lips in a pout. "And he's gone." She stroked his arm with her other hand and cast luminous blue eyes up at him.
A shadow passed over Jim's face as he carefully detached from Erica's arm and pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. Jon, his twin, had killed himself in Chicago a year ago. Jim had told me how hard it'd been for him, and still was, to lose his twin, and to suicide, too. "I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking. I'll call you Erica from now on."
"No, I want you to call me Rickie. Please?"
Jim cleared his throat. "Have you met my girlfriend, Robbie Jordan? This is her restaurant and country store." He slung his arm along my shoulders, giving my arm a squeeze.
Erica narrowed her eyes and studied me before flashing a big smile. She held out her hand. "His girlfriend? Well, isn't this a surprise?"
"Nice to meet you, Erica. Welcome back." I forced a smile and shook her hand. I snuck a glance at Jim, who straightened his collar and was looking anywhere but at Erica. I gazed around the store. Almost everyone had stopped what they were doing, food halfway to their mouths, bottles halfway raised, to watch Erica.
"Isn't this a cute place you've got here," Erica said. "It was a real dump last time I lived in town."
"Robbie did all the renovation work herself, too." Jim's smile at me was genuine.
"Imagine that. You're so talented," she said in a voice oozing insincerity.
"I'll be bringing out some hot sliders in a minute, and the pizzas over there are probably still warm, if you're hungry. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll let you two have some time to catch up." I cast another quick look at Jim before heading to the kitchen area, and if that wasn't a panicked expression on his face, I don't know what was. Well, he was a big boy. He could handle his former sister-in-law. Or not. I sure wasn't going to get in the middle.CHAPTER 2
It was nine o'clock before I finally got a chance to take off my apron and sit down near my desk in the far corner. When Sue had made the arrangements for the party, she'd also made it clear she hoped I would join them when I could. She'd said I should consider myself part of the family and not only the caterer. So I'd worn my black swingy dress with the cap sleeves and my turquoise cowboy boots. A multicolored chunky necklace brightened up the dress. And even though I had to wear my thick, curly, Italian hair pulled back when I was working, I'd added a sparkly pin for a party touch.
A group of guys over near the door, including Abe, laughed at some joke, and several couples danced in the middle of the space. Erica flitted from group to group, a bottle of beer in her hand. By the smiles and hugs, people seemed genuinely glad to have her back in town. I let the party flow around me, glad to hold a plastic cup of white wine and get off my feet. It'd been a long day, but I loved seeing the place full. Part of my dream in restoring the store and adding the restaurant had been to make it a community gathering place. Just like this.
A tune sounding like West Coast swing came on and Jim strolled up, his eyes sparkling. "May I have the pleasure of this dance?"
We'd gone dancing at a local roadhouse on our very first date, the one that unfortunately ended in news of a murder in town. We shared a love of dance, although my experience was mostly freestyle, while he knew steps to all different kinds of dances, from swing to contra to international folk dancing. He'd told me that was how he stayed fit, by going dancing every chance he got.
I grabbed one more sip of wine, then said, "Why not?"
I extended my hand and let him pull me up and lead me to where others were dancing. He was a good half-foot taller than me, and it felt perfect to lay my hand on his shoulder and have him take my other hand in his. He waited until the song started a new phrase, then led me through the steps. I tried to stay loose and follow, not my strong suit, but we'd gone dancing several more times in recent weeks and I was starting to get the hang of it. He'd told me about staying in the box, about imagining a rectangle defining our moves. It helped. Next to us, Phil twirled the woman he was dancing with, and then bent her down in a dip. He caught my eye and grinned, then straightened and waltzed away.
Excerpted from Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day. Copyright © 2016 Edith Maxwell. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Engaging characters; and a well paced plot. The author needs to remember what she wrote in her last novel; however.
I liked the characters the author is effecient and desciptive at the same time
LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! I read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it. The second is just as good if not just a little better. Maddie Day has a fine way of getting you invested in the main character and keeping you engaged throughout the whole book. I was hooked from beginning to end and was sorry to leave South Lick, Indiana. I would recommend this book to everyone I know. Can't wait for the next book! I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair review. If I lost my copy I would buy it to have in my library.
Robbie Jordan has moved back to South Lick, Indiana to open a country store/restaurant. The morning after Robbie caters a Welcome Home party the body of the guest of honor turns up dead in her store.When one of her good friends and part time employees is one of the suspects, Robbie sets out to solve the puzzle and find out who the real murderer is. The characters in this book are well developed and really add to the storyline. Octavia Slade, the state detective, is sent to investigate and warns Robbie to stay out of the investigation, but Robbie is determined to find out why the body was left in her store. I especially like that the writing transported me to this small town in Indiana. The writer has a knack for incorporating nuances that are found in the midwest into the story and dialogue. This is a fast and enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading more from this author I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
The second book in the Country Store Mysteries series was just as good as the first book and is now quickly becoming a real treat of a cozy mystery series for me to read. Robbie Jordan is hosting/catering a welcome home party for the daughter of a local family. Things are going well except the guest of honor is late to the event. When she does show up, she ends up causing a wee bit of havoc with some of the other attendees. Which as we later learn is part of her MO from the time that she was a kid. But when the woman's dead body turns up in the store after she'd left the part, Robbie's puzzle solving brain is soon kicked into high gear. But where to begin when there are so many possible suspects? When her friend Phil is brought in for questioning, things get serious and Robbie is that much more invested in finding the real killer. The author's expanding world of South Lick, Indiana continues to be a warm and inviting place (minus the murders, of course) and the cast of characters continues to intrigue. From Phil and Danna (Robbie's employee at the Pans 'N Pancakes store), to Buck the local cop with a hollow leg when it comes to food and her various customers, the world of Robbie Jordan makes me want to eat at this sadly fictional eatery. And while I'm not normally all that keen on the cozy genre's wishy-washy back and forth on the love lives of their characters, the developments on that front in this book proved to be rather interesting as it furthered those running subplots and upped the ante for some characters while revealing some not so likeable character traits in others. I've found myself reading more and more cozy books lately and while some have been more along the lines of what used to make me dread that type of read, Maddie Day's Country Store Mysteries have been a real literary bright spot.
This is the second installation in the Country Store Mystery series and it was as enjoyable as the first one. A 4.5 rounded up to 5 stars. Robbie Jordan has had her country store/country restaurant open for a couple of months and she is as busy as ever. She has kept her place open on a Saturday night for a Welcome Home Party for Erica Shermer. Erica was recently widowed and she is back in town. Her parents threw her this party, but everyone is not happy with Erica. During the party there are some rumbles, some arguments and some ill will. When Robbie gets up in the morning, her store is cold and she realizes the window in the door is broken. When she goes to check it out, she finds Erica, dead on the floor of her shop. Why was Erica back at the restaurant? Who killed her? There is no shortage of suspects in this case. Of course Robbie investigates, afterall the victim was found in her store and she can't resist solving puzzles. I love these characters. Robbie, her aunt Adele and her beau Samuel, Danna her assistant, Phil her best friend, Abe and his brother Don and of course Jim, Robbie's beau. They are all back and as wonderful to one another as before. It is great to be in a small town where everyone sort of knows one another and wants you to succeed. The new characters are just as fun and make wonderful suspects. The mystery of who killed Erica is well done, giving us a steady dose of clues and suspects until we reach the logical and suspenseful end. Robbie's personal life takes a turn and I couldn't help rooting for her. Another great book by Maddie Day, now to read the next one. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Love the writing style and reading this book. Senior citizen and my biggest pastime is reading. This was a very enjoyable read!
Title: Grilled For Murder - Country Store Mystery Book 2 Author: Maddie Day Published: 5-31-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 304 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Animals; Amateur Sleuths; Cozy Mystery ISBN: 13: 9781617739279 ASIN: B01501H4MK Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.5 Stars. I received a copy of "Grilled For Murder" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Description From the Publisher: Robbie Jordan may have had reservations about the murder victim, but she still needs to turn up the heat on a killer if she wants to keep her new restaurant open for business… In the charming small town of South Lick, Indiana, Robbie has transformed a rundown country store into the runaway hit Pans 'N Pancakes. But the most popular destination for miles around can also invite trouble. Erica Shermer may be the widow of handsome local lawyer Jim Shermer's brother, but she doesn't appear to be in mourning. At a homecoming party held in Robbie's store, Erica is alternately obnoxious and flirtatious--even batting her eyelashes at Jim. When Erica turns up dead in the store the next morning, apparently clobbered with cookware, the police suspect Robbie's friend Phil, who closed up after the party. To clear Phil and calm her customers, Robbie needs to step out from behind the counter and find the real killer in short order… My Review: Maddie Day has managed to bring together some interesting characters and a plot with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing as to what will happen next. She has used words to build a new world for us where we can go and find old friends and perhaps a mystery or two to try and solve, but do not feel bad should Robbie Jordan beat you to the answers. My rating of "Grilled for Murder" is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Robbie Jordan must use her sleuthing skills when a body is found in her restaurant the day after she caters a big party. Unfortunately, not only is her store shut down for a few days, her best friend Phil is a prime suspect. Robbie not only has to deal with the usual holiday craziness, she has a killer to find and a personal life to deal with all while ensuring her business stays open. A great read!
It's kind of satisfying when the murder victim is someone so unpleasant. Erica Shermer is the star of a welcome home party held at the still new Pans N' Pancakes. As a fairly new widow, she raises eyebrows quickly with unwidow-like advances and flirting at the party. Poor Robbie is the discoverer of the body and once again has to take on some sleuthing to maintain calm at her restaurant. I really liked how there were many themes running through the mystery, including whether or not Erica's past from Chicago was catching up to her, or if her past from her childhood was heart of the murder. This is the second book in the series and I found that many of the characters have settled into their standard cozy roles, with great descriptions and a lot of heart from some of them. I'm not sure where Robbie's personal life is headed, but that will hopefully be addressed in the next installment.
I enjoyed the first book in this series, Flipped for Murder, enough to give it 4 stars. The idea of an old country store and restaurant, quaint with age and a homespun feel, just gives me this warm glow. I know it's the wrong part of the country and not completely accurate, but I can't help picturing a cross between Luke's Diner in Star's Hollow and Cracker Barrel whenever I picture the interior. It gives me that same small town, everyone's welcome, homey vibe. Robbie's restaurant is well on it's way to becoming a local landmark. She is catering a private welcome home party for the daughter of a local couple. The daughter is returning home after the death of her husband, Robbie's love interest's twin brother. (Don't you just love small town dynamics?) But Erica, the daughter in question, not only shows up over a hour late to her party, but starts several arguments and is quite the drama queen. But Robbie is beyond shocked when she wakes up the next morning and goes out to find Erica dead on the floor of her store propped up next to the pickle barrel. For this investigation, the state police are called in and some new characters are added to the mix of the ones from book one. There is a bit of romantic drama for Robbie, as the new state police detective is the former love of Jim, Robbie's boyfriend. I had a pretty good idea of whodunit, and was ultimately rewarded with being 100% accurate. The side plots added a provocative twist to the story, and I had a hard time putting the book down. I confess, I would have consumed this in one go if life had allowed. This was another great read and I gave it 4 stars. Netgalley and Kensington provided me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I loved this book as much as the first. Robbie is hosting a welcome home party for Erica, who as it turns out seems to rub everybody the wrong way as soon as she gets there. She ends up dead and Robbie's good friend is brought in for questioning. The state police arrive to help and we are taking on a ride with twists and turns as to who did it. Just when I thought I had it figured,I was taken in a u-turn and left clueless again and I loved it. I love the characters, Robbie is strong and likable, Danna her helper, who nothing seems to throw her, Abe who has a bigger part in this book, I love that the police don't talk down to Robbie when she offers info and that she has a cell phone and knows how to use it. The way the town people talk I found interesting, having moved a few times and having to change terminology, I could definitely associate with it, and some of the phrases had me laughing out loud. I eagerly await the next in this series. There is also the added bonus of some yummy sounding recipes in the back. *I won a copy of this book from the author and this is my honest opinion
If you are anything like me when you read books, you "get" into the book. And when I say "get" into the book, I mean you can actually see everything, feel everything, smell everything.....it's like you are IN the book. Maddie Day's Country Store Mystery series has that impact on me. As I read the story I feel like I am right there....and it's such a nice setting to be in. Grilled For Murder, Book two in this series, finds Pans 'N Pancake owner Robbie with a dead body in her country cookware store / restaurant. Erica Shermer has returned home to stay so her parents and sister hold a welcome home party for her at Pans 'N Pancakes to celebrate. But the morning after the party when Robbie goes in to open up the restaurant she finds Erica dead on the floor near the pickle barrel and her front door window shattered. After witnessing some of the goings on at the party and after, it is apparent that Erica wasn't liked by quite a few people. But is one of them capable of murdering her ? And why leave her in Robbie's restaurant ? When Phil, Robbie's dessert maker and friend is taken in for questioning on the murder, Robbie jumps into high gear to prove his innocence not knowing she is putting herself in danger also. How can she help solve the murder when everyone she comes into contact with seems to dislike Erica ? Even her own parents said she was difficult. But who would have wanted her dead and why ? When the State Police are brought in to investigate the murder, Robbie finds herself unable to concentrate on anything else. She needs to find out who murdered Erica in her store and soon.....before she becomes next on the murderer's list......
Another enjoyable book in the Country Store Mysteries. .I find the setting of South Lick, IN. to be very kind and slow going, a place where i would love to hang my hat or kick off my shoes. Peace, quiet , a murder now and then..... No problem!! FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Flip me over and call me done, GRILLED FOR MURDER is a delicious second book in the Country Store Mysteries! Book one in this yummy series, FLIPPED FOR MURDER, was so wonderful, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on book two. I have to tell you . . .it was worth the wait! I flew through this book. I couldn’t put it down! Author Maddie Day aka Edith Maxwell is simply a superb writer. Her stories are entertaining, perfectly penned, and excellent in every way. GRILLED FOR MURDER is another exceptional example of a true cozy mystery. Colorful characters, picturesque small town setting, and a mystery full of twists and turns, anticipation, and a conning conclusion befitting the entire tale. You need to pick up a copy of GRILLED FOR MURDER. Grab a copy of FLIPPED FOR MURDER too, if you haven’t read it. You’ll love reading these books back to back. Check out the wonderful recipes in the back of the book!
Who Left the Corpse in Robbie’s Restaurant? One of my favorite books from last year was the first in the Country Store mystery series by Maddie Day. Naturally, that meant I was looking forward to Grilled for Murder, the follow up. I’m delighted to say I enjoyed this one as well. While Robbie Jordan’s restaurant is normally open only for breakfast and lunch, she is making an exception this particular Saturday night. She’s been hired to host and cater a welcome home party for Erica Shermer. Erica had moved to Chicago, but now she’s come back to South Lick, Indiana. Naturally, her family is thrilled she has returned. But not everyone feels that way. Robbie sees this first hand when Erica shows up late to her own party and then proceeds to have arguments with several of the guests. When Robbie comes down from her apartment over the restaurant the next morning to start breakfast, she feels a cold draft. Investigating, she discovers that someone has broken the window in her door, and then she finds Erica’s dead body in the restaurant. Erica was very much alive when she left the party. So what was she doing back at the restaurant? And who was upset enough by her return to kill her? When I started reading this book, I quickly remembered just how much I loved these characters the first time around. The cast is filled with strong, fun characters I love to spend time around. Naturally, they are led by Robbie herself. Her aunt is also fun, and I love Danna, the young woman who is Robbie’s employee in the restaurant. Of course, this book introduces some interesting suspects as well. I also really enjoy the setting. Robbie’s restaurant sounds so charming, and the food always sounds so good. The displays of cooking ware are a fun added touch. If I were in the area, I would love to visit for breakfast myself. Which brings us to the mystery. It is fast paced, with us always getting some clue or red herring that progressed the story. There was one thing introduced that was never resolved, and I hope it is brought up in a future book. In fact, I can easily see that happening. The climax to the main mystery of who killed Erica was logical and suspenseful and provided the resolution I needed for this book. This book is actually set right after Thanksgiving, so in between investigating, Robbie is doing a little decorating and other things connected with Christmas. Since I love Christmas so much, this was a nice surprise. And we get recipes. There are a total of 4 in the back of the book, covering everything from French toast to coleslaw. If you are looking for a strong, capable mystery with characters you’ll love spending time with, look no further than Grilled for Murder. You’ll eat it up faster than one of Robbie’s specials and be ready for your next helping. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day Poor Robbie (Roberta) just wants to run her business, cook terrific breakfasts and lunches, have good friends, and go out with a nice guy. Her Christmas spirit is seriously dented when she finds, behind the pickle barrel, the body of the previous night’s guest of honor, apparently hit on the head with a missing vintage sandwich press. From there, it seems nothing goes smoothly. Who isn’t a suspect? Will the police ever sort it out? What is that odd little piece of metal she finds while cleaning up? Will her business survive the unappetizing unpleasantness of murder on the premises? Will she ever again trust a man? Through all the twisty turns of events, one thing stays constant, Robbie’s friends come through time and again, with cleanup help, extra tip money, and bringing in more customers, including a knitting club with the clever name of Purl Jam. I was intrigued by the yarn pictured on the cover, but that became clear around about page 50. I love the plots that interweave and surprise. I love the descriptions of people and places, bike rides, Christmas tree cutting . . . and food and cooking. I love the regional dialect. I especially love the good friends, and the references to the father Robby has yet to meet but is already connected with. There is much to look forward to in future books. Words of wisdom: “. . . doing my best to simply be present in the moment.” “We need to appreciate the living while we have them.” “It’s not a problem.” Oh, and small but telling “something new,” I learned that while my Prius only clicks when being locked, some actually beep.
Robbie Jordan is back in Grilled for Murder, the second book in Maddie Day’s Country Store Mystery Series. Robbie is venturing out and has agreed to cater a welcome home party at Pans ‘N Pancakes, her restaurant and country store. The welcome home party is for Erica Shermer, Robbie’s boyfriend Jim’s sister-in-law. The evening gets off to a bad start when Erica is late to her own party and then proceeds to have run-ins with several people in attendance. The next morning, Robbie discovers Erica’s body inside the store. When the police close her store and bring in her friend Phil for questioning, Robbie knows she has to do something. As if worrying about her livelihood isn’t enough, things on the personal front are becoming a little shaky with the arrival of someone from Jim’s past. I loved Grilled for Murder. It was one of those books I got into from the very beginning and didn’t want to put down. I loved the characters and the way they all look out for each other. The mystery was good, with so many suspects to choose from. The story had me second guessing myself. There were definitely some surprises with this book. I must admit that one completely blindsided me, but in my heart, I’m thinking it was for the best. Maddie Day has written a well-rounded, easy to follow mystery that will have you immersed from beginning to end. I’m so happy that there are going to be at least four more books in this series. I can’t wait to return to South Lick, Indiana and see what else is in store for this small community. Oh, one other thing I love about this book is that it is a standalone read. If you haven’t read the first book, Flipped for Murder it’s okay. You won’t be lost or confused about anything at all. **Received a copy from Kensington in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
Grilled For Murder is the second book in the A Country Store Mystery series. Robbie Jordan is the owner of the quaint restaurant/country store in South Lick, IN. Robbie has agreed to host a “Welcome Back Home” party for Sue Berry's daughter, Erica. Since Robbie is just starting to get her business going strong, she had reservations about closing down for the evening, but Erica is the widow of Robbie's boyfriend, Jim Shermer and she decides that it is the right thing to do. For the most part, the party went well. But Erica did have a run-in with Phil, a good friend of Robbie's, and reportedly had him a “racist” . She also got into it with Tiffany Porter, who owns a jewelry and gift shop. Erica had been working for Tiffany and Tiffany had accused her of stealing the bracelet that she was wearing. The next morning when Robbie goes to get the restaurant ready for business, she notices that the glass in her front door has been broken out and soon finds the lifeless body of Erica lying on the floor and a skillet missing from the wall display. Not having complete confidence in the local police department and a desire to have the case solved and avoid further loss of customers, Robbie sets out to do a little sleuthing of her own. Most of the wonderful and believable characters from the first book are back once again. With the appearance of an old flame of Jim's, Octavia Slade, state homicide investigator, Robbie may need to be looking for a new romantic interest. Another well-plotted and told story from Maddie Day. I will be watching for the next book in this delightful series.
Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day is the second book in the Country Store Mystery series Robbie Jordan is the owner of Pans ‘N Pancakes in South Lick, Indiana. It is a restaurant and country store (has great vintage cookware). Robbie has agreed to cater a welcome home party for Erica Berry Shermer. Erica recently lost her husband, Jon Shermer (twin brother to Jim Shermer, local attorney and Robbie’s romantic interest) and is returning to South Lick from Chicago. Erica has been home a month, but her parents want her to feel welcome. Erica arrives late to the party. She is flirtatious with a few of the men, but she is rude to others. The party ends late, and Phil (Robbie’s friend and baker) offers to close up for her (since she has to get up so early). The next morning Robbie is a little sluggish and eager for her coffee. Robbie comes downstairs and finds Erica dead in the store next to the pickle barrel. This is not a good start to her day! Detective Octavia Slade is the State Police Homicide Detective assigned the case. It turns out that Jim Shermer knows Octavia (they dated). Phil ends up being a prime suspect in the murder and Robbie knows Phil would not hurt anyone. Robbie wants to clear Phil of the crime and find the real culprit (this murder is affecting her business). It is suggested that Robbie enter the Nashville Gingerbread Log Cabin competition. She could enter a miniature Pans ‘N Pancakes made of gingerbread, icing, and candy. Robbie has her hands full with the restaurant, the gingerbread competition, decorating the place for Christmas, the investigation, ordering supplies for the restaurant, her stolen Christmas tree, and complications with her love life. Will Robbie be able to find the killer before the killer comes after Robbie? Grilled for Murder may be the second book in the series, but you can read it alone (the author provides the necessary background material). The book is easy to read and has good characters (and a quaint, small town), but the focus of the book was not on the mystery (more on romance, stolen Christmas tree, dancing, her forgetfulness with regard to ordering supplies for the restaurant, etc.). Figuring out the killer was extremely easy (you just need one clue—I will not tell you which one). I give Grilled for Murder 3 out of 5 stars. I have read other books by this author and this is not her best work (sorry, just being honest). Did you know that Maddie Day is a nom de plume for Edith Maxwell? Do not get me wrong. It is not a bad book. I like this authors writing style and the unique murder weapon. It makes for a pleasant reading experience. I just wanted more in Grilled for Murder. I wanted more focus on the murder mystery and subsequent investigation (it is supposed to be a mystery novel). Will I read the next book in the Country Store Mystery series? Yes, I will be reading the next book to see if there is improvement. One thing that is particularly appealing to me is the description of the vintage cooking equipment (I grew up with two antique dealers for aunts and we have always had antiques in our home). I received a complimentary copy of Grilled for Murder by NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
This is a great book; this is the second book in the A Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day. This book can be read as a standalone, but once you read this one you will want to go back and read the first book. Robbie Jordan lives in South Lick, Indiana, she has transformed a rundown country store into the runaway hit Pans ‘N Pancakes. Erica Shermer may be the wido of handsome local lawyer, but she doesn’t appear to be in mourning. When she is found dead in the store the next morning, apparently clobbered with cookware, the police’s primary suspect is Robbie’s friend Phil. Robbie is determined to put her sleuthing skills to the test to find the real killer. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading until way past your bedtime and leave you wanting more of this great story. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Robbie Jordan is still serving up mouth watering treats at Pans 'N Pancakes in this second installment of the Country Store Mysteries. When Robbie agrees to hold a homecoming party in her restaurant. she has no idea this family gathering will lead to murder. When the suspects include someone close to her heart, Robbie needs to step out of the kitchen and begin solving the puzzle. I am a fan of this series and I loved this one just as much as I did the first. I can't wait to read more in this fantastic series. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Grilled For Murder by Maddie Day is the second book in her Country Store Mysteries series and was just as good as the first one. Having lived in southern Indiana for over 14 years, I felt like I was visiting familiar places while reading. Ms. Day has developed well rounded characters in South Lick; and I enjoy every one of the characters in the story. Each one of the characters are likable and they add so much to the story as it unfolds. Although I had an idea of who the culprit was after Robbie's "find" in her store, I still needed to know the how and why. I also enjoyed the twist in Robbie's love life. The plot was smoothly paced and I had to keep turning the pages until the reveal. I am definitely looking forward to the next one in the series. I received an ARC from Kensington via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed it very much and will buy more. Liked the recipes too.