While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders for her expanding clientele at Pans ‘N Pancakes, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat in South Lick, Indiana. Real-estate developer Fiona Closs plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, and not everyone can see the sunny side of the imposing proposition—including Robbie’s furious Aunt Adele, who doesn’t waste a minute concocting protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . .
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I plopped down on the towel. Stroking through Lake Lemon's cool water had made me forget the controversy brewing in town, at least for a while.
Lou Perlman hit the towel next to mine, her tank suit agleam with water. "That was the best, Robbie. You can't beat an August swim." She stretched out on her back with her hands clasped behind her head. She closed her eyes, bliss etched on her face, her skin nut brown with the tan of a dedicated sun lover. We'd been hanging out as friends for about a year. I shared a love of bicycling with the Indiana University graduate student, and we supported each other as friends.
"Isn't it way hotter than usual this year?" I was already steaming from the sun and the humidity typical to southern Indiana.
Riddle Point Beach was surprisingly empty this late afternoon. An older couple sat in collapsible chairs, reading, and one young mother played with a toddler at the water's edge, but otherwise we had the place to ourselves. I massaged my sore knee, a casualty of a spill I'd taken a few days ago on my bike. I scanned the perimeter of the lake and spied a great blue heron standing in a shallow marshy area to my right. Its long neck was hunched in, and the narrow, pointed beak waited patiently for an unsuspecting fish or frog. A movement to my left caught my attention.
"Speaking of hot," I said.
I watched as Gregory DeGraaf parked his bicycle next to Lou's and locked it to a bike stand at the edge of the parking lot. He slipped out of his bike shoes and socks, grabbed a towel out of a pannier slung over the back of the bike, and strolled toward us.
"Afternoon, Lou, Robbie."
Lou's eyes flew open.
"Mind if I join you?" The lawyer, a guest in one of my bed and breakfast rooms, was a dark charmer of forty. Black, curly hair, smile lines around his eyes, and a lean, trim build were an attractive combination, but it was his deep, resonant voice and the longest eyelashes I'd ever seen that clinched the deal. I knew Lou felt the same. I was already in a relationship. She wasn't.
She smiled up at him and patted the sand on her other side. "Hey, Gregory. Pull up a beach and sit down." She curled up to sit, wrapping her arms around her knees.
"I'm going to cool off first. Back in a flash." He dropped his towel and jogged into the water still wearing his biking togs. The bright yellow shirt clung to his torso, and the black stretch shorts showed off his muscled backside to great advantage.
"Mmm," Lou murmured. "Want."
I laughed. I had hosted a gathering of Lou's cycling club at my country store restaurant on Saturday, and they'd invited the Indianapolis Bike Club that Gregory and my other upstairs guests were with. Lou had clearly fallen for Gregory at first glance. And why not? He didn't wear a wedding band. They shared a love of biking. They were both intelligent — you had to be to earn a law degree, and Lou was nearing completion of her doctorate in sociology — and most important, there was a spark between them. The Indy group had left on Sunday night, with new guests filling one of my three rooms. Gregory had extended his stay.
He emerged from the lake shaking the water from his hair. He stripped off the shirt, twisting the water out of it as he joined us.
"That was the perfect end to a hilly ride." He smiled at Lou.
"Except you have to ride back." She answered his smile and raised one eyebrow.
"I can throw your bike in my van if you want," I offered. Because of my sore knee, I'd driven here instead of riding. I far preferred traveling by bicycle.
"Thanks, but I'll ride back. You can't get much better scenery —"
"Or a better workout," Lou finished. "No way to avoid hills in Brown County."
"I rode by a big sign for a new resort." He frowned. "Right at the South Lick town limits. What's going on with that?"
I groaned. "What isn't going on with that? Some real estate developer wants to build a huge luxury resort right on top of one of the loveliest hills in the county. They're going to have a spa, tennis courts, swimming, gourmet meals, the works, and they expect to draw paying guests from all over the country. Maybe the world. People around here are really steamed about it. That is, half the people are, and the other half want it to go through."
"What's the developer's name?" Gregory asked. "I might know him. I practice real estate and environmental law, as I think I mentioned."
"It's a she," I said. "Fiona Closs."
He thought, then shook his head slowly. "No, I guess I don't. Let me guess. The conflict is your basic NIMBY versus employment. Am I correct?"
"You are, Counselor," I said. "The Not-In-My-Back-Yard contingent are worried about traffic, about ruining the view, about cutting down trees, about all those strangers coming to stay at a resort far from town and possibly not shopping locally."
"Let me guess. The rest of the county wants jobs building the resort and providing services," Lou said. "That happened up north near Lafayette where I grew up. It turned out the service jobs weren't so great, and the construction didn't end up being locally sourced. Lots of bad feelings resulted."
"I can understand both sides," I offered. "I doubt I would lose breakfast customers to the resort, and this county has a lot of people who are pretty hard up. They could use the jobs. On the other hand, destroying a hilltop doesn't make much sense to me."
Gregory pushed his already drying hair back off his forehead. "Is the NIMBY group organized? Do they have a leader, a spokesperson?"
"It's my Aunt Adele, in fact," I said. "She's right in the thick of it. She says it makes her feel like she's doing something worthwhile again. She was apparently quite the protester back in the sixties."
"I can totally see that, Robbie," Lou said. "She's a toughie, your aunt."
"I'll say." Adele was the reason I, a California girl, was here in southern Indiana at all, instead of back in Santa Barbara where I'd grown up. After my mom died suddenly, my aunt had taken me to visit a country store full of antique cookware. We were surprised to learn the store was for sale. Adele encouraged me to buy it, and now I was the proud proprietor of Pans 'N Pancakes. It was a popular breakfast and lunch restaurant in a renovated country store, with vintage cooking implements for sale and three B&B rooms upstairs. I was living my dream, complete with an apartment behind the store, a hunky boyfriend, and a cat.
Gregory stared out at the water, having assumed the same seated position as Lou. "I'm on sabbatical right now," he began. He twisted to face us. "I have some pretty strong feelings about not ruining a beautiful place just so rich people can come and pretend to enjoy it. I'd like to meet your aunt, Robbie, if you'll introduce us. I can offer my legal services to the group on a pro bono basis."
"She'll appreciate that," I said. "I'd be happy to hook you two up. I'm sure they're going to need legal advice. She's already planning a protest that'll stop traffic on the main road to Nashville, and who knows what else."
Lou reached out a hand and squeezed Gregory's bare shoulder. "You're Mr. Awesome, you know that?"
His cheeks pinked. "Not at all. But I do like to support worthy causes." He pushed up to standing. "How about another swim, ladies?"
"You go," I said to Lou. "I'm going to lie here and do nothing."
He extended a hand to Lou and didn't let go of it. After I watched them run hand in hand splashing into the water, I lay back and closed my eyes. Good. Lou might have found herself a new man. Adele was going to get some needed help. And maybe that resort wouldn't get built, after all.CHAPTER 2
My old van sputtered up a hill on the way home from the lake. One of these days I was going to have to get new wheels. The air conditioning hadn't worked for years, and the hot air blowing past me had zero cooling effect. The shocks were shot, magnifying every ridge and crack in the road into a teeth-jarring ride. A spring had started to ease its way through the driver's side seat cushion, forcing me to perch on my right cheek so my left one didn't get impaled. And every door and window rattled like I was in a 6.5 magnitude earthquake.
At the crest of the hill sat a gigantic sign emblazoned with CLOSS CREEK RESORT above an artist's rendering of the new project. Closs Creek? I'd missed that on my way to the lake. The developer must have decided to rename South Lick Creek after herself. She had a lot of nerve. That maneuver was not going to go over well with the long-time residents of South Lick, the delightful town I'd called home for a couple of years. I slowed and turned left onto the dirt road leading into the building site. It was time to check this place out.
After a few minutes, I bumped past a dilapidated house on the right with a beat-up green truck parked to the side. Tidy flower beds in the flush of summer bloom contrasted with the peeling paint and sagging roof on the house. A woman sprawled on a lawn chair in the dappled shade of a big black walnut tree in front of the house. She lifted a hand in greeting, her other hand holding a cigarette. I waved back. It was what one did around here.
Around a bend, the road widened and ended at a chain stretching between two posts. To each side the posts led to more posts, with a single strand of barbed wire stretched between them. A red PRIVATE PROPERTY, NO TRESPASSING sign hung from the chain. Naked tree stumps created a clearing in the woods, and the torn-up ground was evidence of heavy machinery having been at work. A new-looking but dusty white SUV was parked beyond the barrier next to a double-cab, black pickup truck. A tall woman in construction-work clothes leaned against the truck, arms folded on her chest, talking to someone in the SUV.
I pulled to the side and idled the van. So the project was going ahead? As far as I knew, the resort hadn't gotten final approval. There wouldn't be much point in Adele and the others protesting if the resort had already been green-lighted. Or maybe this was private property the developer had acquired, and she'd decided to get started without town permission. Except I didn't think you could do that.
I had my hand on the gearshift to turn around and leave when the SUV's driver's side door opened. A woman in a sleeveless dress slid out and picked her way toward me. The other woman followed. I turned off the engine and got out to meet them.
"Can I help you?" the one in the dress asked from the other side of the chain. She was slim and about four inches taller than me, putting her at five-foot-seven. Her tanned and muscular arms and calves were shown off by the black-and-white patterned sheath dress. It was the kind of outfit women normally wore heels with, but a pair of practical black canvas sneakers were on her feet instead. Dark hair framed her face, and her wide mouth was painted a deep red.
"My name's Robbie Jordan." I extended my hand above the barrier. I also wore a sundress, but mine was a swingy loose number that I could easily throw on over a bathing suit. I knew my long, curly hair was a mess from my swim, and I felt distinctly underdressed. Which was a ridiculous reaction to have at a building site. "I own a business in town and wanted to take a look at what's happening up here."
"Fiona Closs. This is my project." She shook my hand with a firm, dry, meaty grip. Her nails were trimmed short and painted the same color as her lipstick. She gestured to the clearing with a grand swoop of her arm. "And this is one of my employees, Micaela Stiverton."
"Nice to meet you both." So this was the developer-in-chief and her minion.
"Call me Mike." Micaela smiled from a face dusted with freckles. "Everybody does." Her curly red hair was a sensible two inches long all over, and her clothes were a no-nonsense Indiana Colts T-shirt tucked into khaki cargo pants. Dusty work boots completed the ensemble.
I liked the open expression on her face, but I didn't think she'd ever come into my store, and I wondered if she was local or not. Fiona Closs had not suggested I use her first name.
"Mike it is. So, Ms. Closs, it looks like you got the final approvals to go ahead with your resort." I sniffed. Fiona wore some kind of scent. It reminded me of incense. Sandalwood, maybe?
"Nearly. It's simply a formality from here on out." Closs lifted her chin ever so slightly.
Really? I knew from my restaurant and B&B renovations that South Lick officials were extra careful to cross every T and dot every I in the permitting process.
"I know a number of people in the county are eager to be employed locally," I said. "There isn't any industry here to speak of. When will you be hiring on more people?"
Closs blinked, cocking her head to the right. "Do you run an employment agency?" Her dark eyebrows naturally dipped down and toward the center, giving her an intent look, which reminded me of some film actress. I couldn't put my finger on who.
I laughed. "No. I own a country store restaurant and bed and breakfast. My place is kind of the town water cooler. Word spreads fast in a place like South Lick, and I've heard folks mention wanting to work up here." That, and mutterings about blocking the resort entirely, but I didn't need to get into that with Fiona Closs.
"Excuse me," Mike said. "I've got to get going to pick up my kids." She gave me a wry grin. "I'm single mom to twin four-year-old boys. They're fun, but they're no angels."
"It was nice to meet you, Mike," I said, meaning it. So she must live somewhere in the county.
"Likewise." She climbed into her truck.
Closs unhooked one end of the chain and threw it to the side, and we both stood back as Mike drove off.
Closs continued. "You can tell your customers we're not quite ready to hire on anyone new."
"I'll do that. My restaurant is called Pans 'N Pancakes, and I'm open for breakfast and lunch. You should stop in some time." I smiled.
Her gaze cut to a crunching noise behind me. I turned to see Gregory and Lou braking their bikes to a stop.
"Great minds think alike, Robbie," a pink-cheeked Lou called. She walked her bike up next to me, followed by Gregory. "We wanted to stop by and see what's going on." Her skin glistened from the effort of riding up hills on a hot afternoon.
I glanced back at a frowning Closs and introduced everyone.
Gregory pulled off his fingerless biking glove and extended his hand. "Pleased to meet you, Ms. Closs." He was remarkably free from sweat, despite the climate and the steep hill he'd just ridden up.
Closs shook his hand but didn't smile. "Likewise."
"Gregory is a guest in my B&B," I added.
"DeGraaf," Closs said, gazing at his face. "I've heard your name before. You're some kind of environmental lawyer, correct?"
"That's not all the work I do, but, yes, I have won several high-profile environmental protection cases."
Closs looked like she'd eaten a rotten egg. "I know of your reputation."
Lou peered at Closs. "Do you work out at the Hard Knocks Gym in Bloomington?"
Closs nodded slowly. "I do. Why do you ask?"
"I joined last week. I thought you looked familiar. You're a weightlifter, right?"
Closs sighed as if she didn't want to talk about it. "Yes." She cleared her throat. "I'm afraid I was about to leave, and I don't have time to chat at the moment. I'm sure Ms. Jordan can fill you in on our progress up here. If you'll excuse me?"
Lou and Gregory walked their bikes over behind my van. Closs turned her vehicle around and drove toward us. She slowed after she passed through the posts.
"I'll get it," Gregory said, waving her on. He hooked the chain across the entrance.
Closs waved her thanks and sped around the bend.
"She lifts weights?" I asked. No wonder her arms and legs were so buff.
"She does." Lou stared down the road. "And not like you or I would. She must compete or something. She's hugely strong, and she has like no body fat. You should see her abs." She shook her head.
"Does anybody else think she was trying to get rid of us?" Gregory asked.
"Kind of." Lou wrinkled her nose. "So what did she tell you, Robbie?"
"She seemed to think the final permits are a done deal. But she also said she's not ready to start hiring locally."
"Somebody's been working here." Gregory gestured to the clearing.
"I know." I nodded. "The rest is a mystery." A pileated woodpecker echoed that thought with its machine gun rat-a-tattat from the trees beyond the scarred hilltop. I couldn't see it, but no other woodpecker made such a loud sound.CHAPTER 3
I chatted with Lou and Gregory for a few more minutes, then headed down the road after my friends decided to hang out at the site for a bit. My stomach was growling, so my cat's would be, too. I needed to get home to do breakfast prep for tomorrow, anyway.
When I approached the run-down house, though, the woman in the front yard beckoned, so I parked on the verge and watched her stroll toward me. She was big-boned and hefty but moved her weight with grace, as if she'd formerly been a dancer or a skater. She wore a loose flowered top over navy blue shorts. On her feet were a worn pair of moccasins.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Strangled Eggs And Ham"
Copyright © 2019 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
cozy-mystery, Indiana, amateur-sleuth, law-enforcement, murder, small-business, small-town, family-dynamics ***** Great characters and and a cohesive mystery plot. The concerns and lingo of the characters are classic small town everywhere. And the problems of the small business owner who is the central character are also too familiar to many of us. I have not read any of the other books in the series but that was no deterrent to enjoying this book that I finished in about six hours total. Loved it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
Great and Fast Moving Cozy Mystery This is a wonderfully entertaining book to read. It is fast-moving and still checks a lot of boxes by including a cute cat, great recipes, a B&B, a small town, lots of ethnic groups and physical fitness. The plot is very well done. There are quite a few suspects with motives to spare. I am putting this author on my favorites list. I saved 4 of the recipes that she included to try myself. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
This is the sixth in the Country Store Mysteries series. If you haven’t read any in the series, don’t hesitate to pick this book up. It is a standalone story. As the story opens, Robbie Jordan trying to stay neutral in the environment protectors versus the impending luxury resort. Aunt Adele is leading the fight against the development. One of the protestors is killed and we’re off trying to solve the case. Maddie Day never disappoints. Her series have wonderful characters and engaging mysteries. and She writes to make you feel you feel like you in a small town in the Midwest. Robbie’s character strength grows with each book. As an added bonus, there are recipes in the back of the book. I received an ARC from Netgalley and am not required to leave a positive review.
More jobs versus saving scenic environment? This is the debate going on in the 6th installment of the Country Store Mystery series. Robbie Jordan runs Pan N Pancakes and is trying to stay neutral as tempers are running high over a proposal to build a luxury resort at one of the most scenic spots in South Lick, Indiana. As Robbie tries to maintain her neutrality, her Aunt Adele is leading the charge against the development and when one of her B&B guests is found dead at the site then Robbie gets involved as she fears for her Aunt Adele. Solid group of characters and the debate on the development was realistic and I just love the way Robbie handles everything. There are several possible suspects and you figure it out when the author wants you too. Keep this series going.
I am such a fan of this series and Strangled Eggs and Ham is my favorite so far. I love following Robbie's day to day activities which make the characters feel so real. Maddie Day incorporates little details that often have me responding aloud, "Yes, that's it!" or "I know exactly she feels." As much as I love the mysteries and appreciate that Robbie tries to practice some caution in as she looks into questions she has about murder, it is the amazing characters that make me look forward to the next book as soon as I finish the current one. While fans will be more than pleased with Strangled Eggs and Ham, a new reader could pick this on up and enjoy it fully. The Country Store Mysteries is one of only a handful of books that I love so much, I regularly pre-order.
In this latest book, there seems to be an upheaval in the small Indiana town. There is a conflict about the proposal of a new resort being built nearby. Robbie's aunt, Adele and friend Vera seem to be on one while others in town support the building of the resort. Despite Robbie's attempt to remain neutral about this issue, she keeps getting drawn into altercations involving the most strident of dissidents. Because of this she is right in the middle of all the action and has a firsthand seat to collect clues. Clues that will help solve the mystery of who murdered the environmental attorney and left his body at the proposed resort site. Robbie seems to become the target of someone's anger- does it have to do with murder or just someone who sees her as holding a opposing stance on the resort issue? Thoroughout the book, we follow Robbie during her day. I have to say, I was tired for her after reading everything she did at work in the restaurant. I would like the author to keep reminding us exactly how small this town is because the perspective is different than that of someone from a larger city. At times the country talk got to be almost a caricature but it did illustrate the small town atmosphere. This was an easy read, I felt drawn into the town and characters.
Dollycas’s Thoughts We’re back in South Lick, Indiana where it isn’t just the weather that is making people HOT! Fiona Closs is pressuring the South Lick relevant committees to approve her plans to build a luxury resort on a beloved scenic hilltop just outside of town. Robbie’s Aunt Adele is leading the charge to stop the project in its tracks. Robbie’s B&B lodgers even join the cause. When one of the protestors is killed at the site for the proposed resort Robbie gets fired up and is determined that killer will rot behind bars. She really turns up the gas when her aunt looks like the killer’s next target. I have such a clear picture of Pans ‘N Pancakes in my mind that as soon as I open up a new book it feels like I am walking across the porch, through the front door and plopping myself at a corner table so I can just sit back and relax with a bird’s eye view of everything happening in South Lick. Robbie’s shop is a popular place and all the key players come through its doors at one time or another. The restaurant’s regulars are fonts of information too. Ms. Day introduces the new characters and gives them substance before the crime takes place. She also gives a little background of the recurring characters for new readers of the series. She is truly an expert at character development. Robbie Jordan is an excellent protagonist. She has a huge heart and she often wears it on her sleeve. She is also smart and resolute. As in a previous book, she is shorthanded at the restaurant but that doesn’t keep her from asking questions or making her puzzles to find the killer. She has grown so much over the course of this series as have all the others in the regular cast. With her beau out of town, she had one less sounding board but I loved that Robbie caught herself before making one of those TSTL (too stupid to live) decisions and even commented on it. Adele is another strong character with her fingers in almost everything going on around her. This time I was really impressed at the way she was open to listening to her opposition. It may not have changed her mind but she did give them a chance. We are kept on our toes by the author too. She sets a very fast pace and she gives us a small heap of suspects. There was an abundance of twists and I always enjoy following Robbie’s lead and the way she organizes her thoughts. The story really builds to an exciting ending. Robbie Jordan has become quite a home in her adopted community. I have enjoyed each of her adventures/investigations. I can’t wait for more. You can’t go wrong with a book by Maddy Day or her other pseudonyms. She always pens a wonderful whodunit!
Strangled Eggs and Ham is the 6th book in the Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day. Even though this is the first book I have read in the series I was able to follow along easily so it can be read as a stand alone. I really enjoyed it and practically read in one sitting and have since purchased the other books in the series. Robbie Jordan’s rustic country store is growing in popularity. But when a dead body appears, it turns out that Robbie’s home-style cooking attracts hungry customers—and murder! While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders for her expanding clientele at Pans ‘N Pancakes, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat in South Lick, Indiana. Real-estate developer Fiona Closs plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, and not everyone can see the sunny side of the imposing proposition—including Robbie’s furious Aunt Adele, who doesn’t waste a minute concocting protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . . I love the setting of South Lick, Indiana and the quirky characters. The protagonist Robbie is strong and independent and i especially love her aunt Adele who is spunky as all get out. The characters are well rounded and seem real as I could relate to each of them. There were enough twists to keep me intrigued and wanting to know how it ends. The plot and story were good and seemed to flow at a good pace. This has been added to my favourite series pile, I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a cozy filled with down home characters and a small town atmosphere. I requested and received an advanced readers copy from Kensington and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is my first book that I’ve read in the Country Store Mystery series but I only had to catch up a little bit to figure out who is who. The characters are nicely drawn and layered… and yes, a lot of them are quintessentially cozy-Mystery quirky Adele and Vera very much fit that definition, and every scene they were in had me grinning from ear to ear. Throw in Buck, too, and you’re sure to be entertained from beginning to end. The author keeps the story moving, giving us a peek behind the scenes of the restaurant & B&B that Robbie owns as well as the scoop on the latest murder mystery in this small southern Indiana town. You’ll easily feel like you’ve grabbed a table at Pans N’ Pancakes to quietly observe everything that unfolds around you. The mystery and the solving of it were a little slow for me but the rest of the story is so charming & fun that I didn’t care if we meandered a bit to get to the whodunnit. Bottom Line: Strangled Eggs & Ham brims with clever characters and a delightful small town that’s starting to feel a little too much like Cabot Cove for the heroine’s liking. The plot is multi-dimensional and the “voice” progresses through the pages at a steady pace. Great weekend read!! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)
Robbie's Bed & Breakfast portion of her business is in full swing, with her three rooms booked. One of her guests is an environmental lawyer who is on sabbatical and just happens to be in the right place. With a new resort trying to get approved just outside South Lick, Adele, Robbie's aunt, is trying to stop it and he has agreed to help them. The next day, he's dead. Things start to happen that have Robbie worried about Adele, so she steps in to help solve the mystery. I love this series, it is one of my favourite places and people to visit. Adele has a much larger role in this book and I enjoyed that. She is just so sassy and does not act like others believe a septuagenarian should act. Her friend Vera jumps right into the fray with Adele and they are wonderful. I hope I can be like them when I get older. Robbie is a much smarter investigator in this book. She has installed all kinds of security and reports whatever she finds right away to the police so she does not put herself in danger. The characters that I love from previous books are back. Buck is there with his southern phrasing that always makes me laugh. Abe was away for this story, but they kept in touch on a regular basis and their relationship seems to be strong. Danna had a larger role in the story, and I love how she supports Robbie in the restaurant. As much as this series is very character based, the mystery is well-written and woven into the story maintaining a great pace. While the identity of the killer was not a surprise, the author does a good job of dropping hints and adding red herrings to throw the reader off track. The final reveal had a twist that I was not expecting, but I loved. Overall, this was a great story. I am already looking forward to the next Country Story Mystery. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
Summer may be winding down in South Lick, Indiana, but tensions are on the rise thanks to the proposed resort on the edge of town. Some residents want the jobs it would bring, but others, like Robbie’s Aunt Adele, don’t want the increased traffic and impact on the environment. When a dead body turns up on the proposed construction site, Robbie’s restaurant, Pans ‘N Pancakes, becomes gossip central once again. Can Robbie gather enough clues to solve this case? The book takes a little time setting up the characters and motives before the murder takes place, but once the murder happens, things are off and running. Robbie combines what she learns while working at her restaurant with sleuthing outside of work hours to reach the logical conclusion. I appreciated how both sides of the resort issue were presented fairly because both sides did have views that needed to be heard. Part of that comes from well-rounded suspects. The series regulars are as fantastic as always; I enjoy spending time with them. If the book leaves you hungry, you’ll be happy with the five recipes at the end. Spending time with Robbie is always a pleasure and this book is no exception.
Everyone who follows the Country Store Mysteries think that they are the series’ biggest fan. Well everyone, you’re wrong. I am! ;-) Seriously, author Maddie Day has created such a delightful series, it’s no wonder it is so well loved. I’m very excited each time I read a new book in this series. But also a little nervous at first. I mean, how can author Day pen a story even better than the one before? How can she keep it fresh, and interesting? Because she’s brilliant, that’s how! Every book in this series is better than the last, and STRANGLED EGGS AND HAM is no exception. From page one until the end, I was glued to my seat. I’m telling you, it would have had to have been an emergency of global proportions to drag me away from this book. The best in the series to date (if you didn’t already get that from everything I said above), STRANGLED EGGS AND HAM is a fabulous mystery within an equally wonderful character centric tale. I found myself so invested in the story, that when my dog barked, I was startled to find I wasn’t really in South Lick, Indiana within the walls of Pans ‘N Pancakes. I’m honest in saying, I could even smell the food! Speaking of, the recipes included are high on the yummy scale. Exciting, fun, engrossing, surprising . . . I could go one and on with positive adjectives to describe just how much I loved STRANGLED EGGS AND HAM. But instead, I think you should get a copy and see for yourself. You’ll be happy that you did!
Strangled Eggs and Ham is Book 6 in the popular A Country Store Mystery series. Even though there is a murder for Robbie Jordan to solve in each book, Maddie Day’s storytelling is so good that they read more like “A Day in the Life of Robbie” with a murder woven in. The story moves deliberately along with suspects present but no one really popping up too soon as the favorite, giving you time to fully immerse yourself into the story and enjoy it. Very satisfying. I grew up in Indiana and feel right at home when reading one of the Country Store Mysteries. A few words in and I am already hungry and want to be at Pans ‘N Pancakes having breakfast. Then I remember the humidity – it’s often oppressive and can make you cranky. Maybe even murderous. Even though suffering when it’s humid (or Midwest-cold!) Robbie has made a full life for herself in Salt Lick, Indiana. Her country store, restaurant and Bed & Breakfast are thriving, and she is surrounded by her Aunt Adele and good friends and staff, and a boyfriend, although he is only present via telephone this entry in the series. She’s somehow managed to be involved in solving several murders in the short time she’s been here, and it’s interesting to watch her approach: Robbie structures her thinking about the murders like a puzzle with Q&A. Unique. In Strangled Eggs and Ham a new resort is going to be built at the town limits. The advocates and the protestors have squared off, and it’s serious. Someone is murdered, threats are made and things get violent. Robbie is determined to get to the bottom of it before anyone else, like her beloved Aunt Adele, is hurt. You can jump in and read any book in the series as they stand alone just fine, but I recommend reading the entire series in order. In addition to the terrific titles and covers, you’ll get the backstory, history and progression of events and friendships, plus the fun of more murders! Once you’re caught up with this series, check out everything else written by this author. Equally engaging. Thanks to author Maddie Day for providing an advance copy of Strangled Eggs and Ham for me to read and provide my honest review. I love this series. I always feel at home – I, too, used to say wash as if it rhymed with borscht minus the T. Took me many years to break the habit and I still sometimes slip into it.
Series: A Country Store Mystery - Book 6 Author: Maddie Day Publisher: Kensington Books The latest in the “A Country Store Mystery” cozy mystery series by Maddie Day (AKA: Edith Maxwell) Strangled Eggs and Ham from Kensington books hits book stores next week. And it will fly off the shelves! Ms. Maxwell knows how to write a cozy mystery series. Her characters are lively, fascinating, and just what the reader wants and anticipates. Robbie is no exception. She’s hard-working, dedicated, and loveable. Aunt Adele is the eccentric ex-hippy who teaches her niece to stand up for what she believes in. This makes everyone worry. Other characters are just as loveable and help keep Robbie on target in her life. The setting of this cozy mystery series could be any small town in America. Reading about the town and the inhabitants fills the reader with a sense of warmth, community, and home. From the highest hill to the beach, this community has it all. Even when murder comes to call, the people of South Lick rally to stop a killer. The murderer seems to be an opportunist, or maybe a grudgeful person from the victim’s past. Either way, it looks like someone is out to get Robbie’s aunt next. No matter what the motive, Robbie must find the killer before Aunt Adele falls victim at the killer’s hands. It doesn’t take long before Robbie and Adele find themselves facing a murderer. Both women are strong-willed and determined; a killer is no match for them. This cozy mystery series is why people enjoy cozies so much. It has everything a good mystery should have, twists and turns, red herrings, resolutions, with a character-driven plot that keeps readers turning the page and looking forward to the next installment. The writing is top notch, the scenario plausible, and the killer unsympathetic. It is a pleasure to read and to recommend Strangled Eggs and Ham.
Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day is book six in the Country Store Mysteries. It could be read as a standalone. As usual, this is a great, easy to read cozy that will have you guessing until the end. This is one of my favorites. When a developer is looking to build a resort on the outskirts of town, it splits the town in two. Some are all for it, while others, including Robbie's aunt, are totally against it. When then is a murder at the proposed site a lot of fingers are pointed at Aunt Adele and Robbie knows she must jump in and find the guilty party. The main characters are relatable and the addition of a quirky character adds to the group. There is humor, friendship, a great setting, and a touch of romance. I want to have breakfast at Pans and Pancakes! Recipes are included. I was given an ARC by Netgalley and Kensington Books for an honest review.
Strangled Eggs And Ham is the sixth book in the Country Store Mystery series. Things are in a turmoil in South Lick, Indiana. Fiona Closs a developer wants to build a huge luxury resort just outside of South Lick. Many residents are in favor as there are residents that need employment, but just as many oppose it saying that ruin the serene little community. One summer day, Robbie and her girlfriend Lou Perlman head out to Lake Lemon for a day of relaxing and swimming. While there they meet Gregg DeGraff, an environmental lawyer from Indianapolis. Soon they are discussing the proposed construction and Greg offers to handle, pro bono, the fight to block the construction of the resort. Robbie on her drive home passes the proposed site and notices that the developer has already started to cut down some trees on the land. The next day she gets a call from Lou who tells her that while out cycling she has found Gregg’s dead body along the side of the road. The group opposing the development is hit hard by this news, but Robbie’s feisty Aunt Adele says the group is still going to go ahead with their plan to block the road passing the site as a peaceable protest in hopes of gaining support. Then when Adele finds one of her sheep entangled in barb wire, which she has none on her farm, and then she has her tires slashed while at Pan ‘N Pancakes where NIMBY(not in my backyard) are having a strategy meeting for their protest. Robbie soon finds that there is no shortage of suspects for the murder of Gregg. I really love this series, not only is it well-plotted and told, but I truly enjoy how Ms. Day includes some of the dialects of Brown County, IN., which I find to very interesting. As I live in Northern Indiana, I have heard many of them, but I can always count on learning a few new ones. Delicious sounding recipes are also included with the books. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in this delightful series.
A proposed resort is heading to South Lick and the town is divided between those who want to keep the mountain green and protect the wildlife and those that need the jobs the resort will bring. Robbie’s Aunt Adele is in the opposition camp and forms a group to protest the resort, but Robbie is remaining neutral as she depends on the locals to keep her business afloat. Turns out one of Robbie B&B guests is a hot shot environmental lawyer and he’s wiling to provide his services to Aunt Adele and the group for free. It seems the developer is more than familiar with the attorney and Robbie’s BFF, Lou, is smitten by him. Before much can be done with the resort or the budding romance with Lou, the man is found strangled on the resort property. Soon after threats begin coming Aunt Adele’s way and Robbie finds herself doing what she does best, trying to protect the people she loves…and putting herself in harms way. It’s time to find a killer as the town awaits the planning board’s decision. I truly enjoy this series, which is one of only a handful that make me feel like I am spending time visiting with the characters. The characters are vibrant and the South Lick comes to life on the pages. Don’t miss the recipes that are included.
I like this series and this installment met all my expectations. It's an engrossing and entertaining read, full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing till the end. It was great to meet again the cast of characters and be involved in a new exciting mystery. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series. Recommended! Many thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Another wonderful addition to this fun series! Robbie Jordan's restaurant is busier than ever; with B&B guests upstairs and more customers than she has seats she is run off her feet during business hours. However that still leaves her plenty of time to catch up with friends, family and to know what's going on in South Lick .. and even to look into yet another murder. I love this series. It's such fun! Living in a rural Scottish village, the food in the county of Indiana is all new to me although there is enough of a description for me to work it out! The characters are, by now, quite familiar but there are always new ones popping up in each book. The story flows beautifully and the author always keep the perpetrator's identity cloaked in secrecy until the very last pages - just how I like it. Skilfully crafted, there is so much happening in this one that I just seemed to fly through the pages. So good! Entertaining from first to last, this is turning out to be a great series. Author Maddie Day also writes as Edith Maxwell; her Quaker midwife mysteries are excellent and well worth a look if you enjoy this genre. A quick mention also has to go to her creative titles in the County Story Mystery Series .. always worth a chuckle! This, the sixth book, absolutely earns a full house of stars.
Strangled Eggs and Ham is a charming cozy mystery. It can be read alone if you have not read the previous books in A Country Store Mystery series. I like the setting of South Lick, Indiana and how the author captured the accents and colloquialisms of individuals who live in the Midwest. Buck certainly has some unique phrases and I am amazed at that man’s appetite. Robbie Jordan has her hands full running the restaurant and her B&B. Robbie is a friendly main character and who likes to be active (bikes all over) and stay proactive. Aunt Adele is a hoot. Adele is spry and has no qualms about breaking the law (she actually hopes to get arrested). She is against the proposed resort and has some plans in place that will cause quite a ruckus. Her friend, Vera is a willing coconspirator. The mystery provided a couple of suspects and there are good clues to aid the reader in solving Geoffrey’s death. The reveal is suspenseful, and action packed. There are a couple of unanswered questions at the end. There is supposition, but I wish we had a firm resolution. I enjoyed how the resort issue was handled by the town. There are recipes at the end for some of the delights Robbie whipped up for guests at Pans ‘N Pancakes. Strangled Eggs and Ham is an enticing cozy mystery with the friendly town, quirky residents, tantalizing food, good gossip, and one nosy parker out to solve a perplexing puzzler of a whodunit.