Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Cinco de Mayhem by Ann Meyers (thoughts)
"Tres Amigas Café chef Rita Lafitte is busy baking her green chile soufflés and chocolate flans for Cinco de Mayo. If only her friend Linda, the daughter of Rita’s octogenarian boss Flori, could get into the festive spirit. Linda’s cart, Tia Tamales, is losing business to Crepe Empire, the hottest food cart in Santa Fe. Napoleon, Crepe Empire’s owner, is a pompous, celebrity chef who wants to squeeze out the competition. But when Linda gets into a heated argument with Napoleon and his corpse is later found stabbed and pinned beneath the wheels of her tamale cart, she becomes the number one suspect.
Determined to prove Linda’s innocence, Rita investigates. From Napoleon’s disgruntled former employees to a shady health inspector, the list of suspects is longer than Flori’s strings of dried chili peppers. And when another corpse surfaces, Rita must scramble to find an elusive killer with an appetite for murder…"
This is such a fun series and one that I am really coming to adore! Last year I read and absolutely loved Bread of the Dead which is the first book in this cozy series. I knew after finishing book one that this was a series that I wanted to continue on with. I'm sure that you can imagine how thrilled I was when I was approved to read this book early on Edelweiss (it took all my self control to wait closer to the release date to read it). Cinco de Mayhem was just as good as I hoped that it would be and left me wishing for book three. I have enjoyed these two books so much that this author has now jumped on to my must read list where I will anxiously await all books that she writes.
One of the things that makes this series stand out for me are the characters. Oh but how I adore the characters in these books! Rita is a single mom dealing with a teenage daughter that is slightly rebellious and working as a chef in Tres Amigas Cafe. I talked about this in my review of book one but she is just so easy to relate to in my opinion. There are so many women out there dealing with many of the same issues that Rita is dealing with and I love her character because of it. She isn't perfect and doesn't pretend to have everything under control either. The character that steals the show (for me anyways) is Flori. Flori and her wacky ways are such fun to read about it. If I found myself laughing while reading this book, it was because of something Flori was up to. She is always causing mischief of some kind and it is so fun to read about. This book actually wasn't as humorous in comparison to book one but I did find myself giggling here and there still. I just wanted a bit more of Flori's hi-jinks because they are so fun to read about (my one and only complaint with this book). I'm also really starting to become a fan of Addie who is a secondary character and played a more important role in this book. She also makes me laugh with her attempts to be more like the famous singer Adele. Basically I love all of the characters so it is no wonder that this series works so well for me!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am left wishing that I had the third book in my hands now. I believe that this is the exact same thing that I said after finishing book one. LOL! The mystery portion of this book was done quite well and had me guessing until the very end. I suspected the killer at certain points of the book but the author did a really great job of making me doubt myself so the ending was still a surprise. I read this book entirely too fast and was sad to see it end. A mark of a truly great series is when you wish that the characters were actually people that you could be friends with. I would love to have someone like Flori in my life- it would be a hoot! I can definitely recommend this series but I do think that you should read Bread of the Dead first! Highly recommended!
Bottom Line: A wonderful addition to one of my favorite cozy mystery series!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss.