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Genre:
Cozy Mystery

Format:
E-ARC

Publisher:
Lyrical Press

Release Date:
March 10, 2020

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the picturesque tourist town of Fredericksburg, Texas, Tally Holt has opened a new candy store with a vintage twist . . .but there’s no sugar-coating a nasty case of murder . . .

Tally Holt has poured her heart, soul, and bank account into Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets, specializing in her grandmother’s delicious recipes. Tally’s homemade Mallomars, Twinkies, fudges, and taffy are a hit with visiting tourists—and with Yolanda Bella, the flamboyant owner of Bella’s Baskets next door. But both shops encounter a sour surprise when local handyman Gene Faust is found dead in Tally’s kitchen, stabbed with Yolanda’s scissors.

The mayor’s adopted son, Gene was a handsome Casanova with a bad habit of borrowing money from the women he wooed. It’s a sticky situation for Yolanda, who was one of his marks. There are plenty of other likely culprits among Fredericksburg’s female population, and even among Gene’s family. But unless Tally can figure out who finally had their fill of Gene’s sweet-talking ways, Yolanda—and both their fledgling businesses—may be destined for a bitter end . . .

My Review


Tally Holt is excited to open her new vintage candy store. To make it even more exciting, she’s opening it right next door to her best friend Yolanda Bella, who owns Bella’s Baskets. Then, disaster strikes both women when their handyman, Gene Faust, is found murdered in Tally’s shop with Yolanda’s scissors sticking out of him.

Gene had been the adopted son of the town’s mayor and was also a womanizer. He conned Yolanda out of money and now the police suspect her of the murder. However, Yolanda wasn’t his only enemy. Even Gene’s parents didn’t like him. Tally believes in her friend and intends to find the proof to clear her name.

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series. I was drawn to this one since the setting is a vintage sweet shop and look at the cute kitty in the window. How could I resist?

Sorry to the humans in the book, but the Maine Coon cat, Nigel, is my favorite character by far. I wanted to cuddle him. Yes, I’m a cat lover and my focus leans towards the feline of the book, but there’s a whole mystery here that doesn’t really involve the cat, although he makes a good listener.

The story moves at a fast-pace with many possible suspects. I had my suspicions early on in the story, but that was fine. I was still intrigued to find out how it all played out.

It took me some time to warm up to the main characters. I still feel as if we need to learn more about Yolanda, Tally and their friendship. There are also two romantic possibilities for Tally to be explored.

The author used an interesting technique that I don’t see often in cozy mysteries. The story is told in the third person, but changing point of views between Tally and Yolanda. I liked how this is used as it gave me insight into both characters’ motivation. I do think Tally is our main amateur sleuth though.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

For reading challenges:
The Purrfect Reading Challenge 2020
What An Animal Reading Challenge 2020
Literary Escapes Reading Challenge 2020 (Texas)
Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2020

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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