Thursday, October 8, 2015
Bread of the Dead by Ann Meyers (thoughts)
"Trick or treat—and murder—are on the menu in this first in a new culinary mystery series
Life couldn't be sweeter for Tres Amigas Café chef Rita Lafitte, decorating sugar skulls and taste-testing rich, buttery pan de muerto in anticipation of Santa Fe's Day of the Dead bread-baking contest. That is, until her friendly landlord, Victor, is found dead next door.
Although the police deem Victor's death a suicide, Rita knows something is amiss. To uncover the truth, she teams up with her octogenarian boss, Flori, the town's most celebrated snoop. The duo begins to sift through long-buried secrets and to take full measure of duplicitous neighbors, but the clock is ticking and their list of suspects is growing ever longer. Just as the clues get hotter than a New Mexican chili, one of their main suspects winds up dead. Rita fears that the killer is dishing out seconds—and her order might be up."
This was such a fun read! I loved it from beginning to end and found myself giggling at different times thanks to Rita's eccentric boss Flori. She was a hoot! I've read a bunch cozy mysteries this year (especially in comparison to years past) and she has to be one of my favorite characters. I loved that I could never guess what she was going to do next. She was a spitfire that wasn't afraid to do what she wanted and when she wanted to. Really I just thought that she was great. I also really enjoyed Rita's character. She is a single mother dealing with a teenage daughter and a ex-husband who I wanted to drop kick multiple times. It just rang true to me as there are so many women out there dealing with similar situations. She didn't have all of the answers, her life wasn't perfect, but she was trying and I couldn't help but like her all the more because of it. I just loved both of these characters and can't wait to see them again in future books!
The setting of this book was another of the things that really made this book stand out for me. I loved how the author used the setting of the story to really add details throughout. The different foods that Rita and Flori would make at the cafe....yum! I would have loved to have tried them all! What is it with cozy mysteries always making me so hungry? They all seem to make me want to improve my cooking skills as well which I am sure my family would appreciate. Ha! This book really made me hungry though because Rita was constantly describing all of the yummy dishes that were made that were authentic to the area that she lived in which is Sante Fe, New Mexico. The author did a really great job of describing the setting in such a way that you almost felt that you were there. I've never been to New Mexico myself but I would love to visit after reading this book. The mystery itself was nicely done and had me guessing until the very end. I had my suspicions on the whodunnit part but it turned out that I was completely wrong. I love when that happens! I also really enjoyed Rita's character. She is a single mother dealing with a teenage daughter and a ex-husband who I wanted to drop kick multiple times. It just rang true to me as there are so many women out there dealing with similar situations. She didn't have all of the answers, her life wasn't perfect, but she was trying and I couldn't help but like her all the more because of it. The ending was nicely done and left me eagerly anticipating the next book in this series.
Overall I really, really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more by this author! With two great main characters and a storyline that kept my attention throughout I couldn't ask for more. Actually I could...that would be the second book in my hands right now. LOL! I managed to read this one in just a few short days as I just did not want to set it down. Yet another new series for me to follow!
Bottom Line: A great beginning to this new cozy series! I want more!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a CBB Book Tour.