Imagine you try to be nice to everyone, even that guy who wants to buy you out so he snag your prime real estate. Then imagine that he drops dead while eating at your restaurant! The local doctor says heart attack, but the lab reports detect ingested poison. What would you do? Amy Flowers, with a little help from her friends, sets out to track down the killer.
Mom, my cousin Jackie, and I were practically elbow to elbow in the kitchen of my little house. We stood at the table capping strawberries and putting them in a huge bowl. One of the regulars at the Down South Cafe, the restaurant I'd recently opened in my small hometown, had brought me the bushel of berries this morning. Once they were capped, I planned to make the juicy berries into delicious homemade jam using an old family recipe.—Silence of the Jams by Gayle Leeson Love (Berkley Prime Crime, 2017, p. 1)
- Setting: modern times; small town Virgina
- Circumstances: Cafe owner Amy Flowers is baking up a storm for the town's 4th of July celebrations when a local rival dies while eating in her restaurant. Now Amy must prove her innocence and find the true poisoner before either she's convicted or the killer strikes again.
- Genre: cozy mystery
- Thoughts: A fun small-town cozy with likeable characters and plenty of local color. Leeson adds enough twists and red herrings (and real food references!) to make this a good mystery. As with many light cozies, the attraction of Silence of the Jams is not so much the murder as getting to know Amy's family, friends, and pets.Throw in some family drama and bit of romance and you've got a good story to pass a lazy afternoon. Is this great literature? The best mystery you've ever read? No and no. Nonetheless, I enjoyed meeting Amy.
- A few things to know: This is only the second novel in the Down South Cafe series, so you won't feel lost if you start with this book. As with almost all culinary mysteries, the author shares a few recipes (including one for chocolate fudge cake). From a quick look at GoodReads I noticed mostly 4- and 5-star reviews. I may be more on the 3 level, but Silence of the Jams is still a fine choice for a warm day by the pool.
Thanks to the nice people at Berkley Prime Crime, I can offer one of my readers with a USA mailing address a copy of Gayle Leeson's Silence of the Jams. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner via random number generator on April 12. Once the winner has been confirmed and the address sent along to the publisher, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!