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I am happy to feature Revenge Is Sweet by Kaye George today!
Revenge Is Sweet (Vintage Sweets Mysteries)
1st in Series
Setting – Texas
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (March 10, 2020)
Paperback: 193 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07TS1KJ4T
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 . . .
Newly opened Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets in Fredericksburg, Texas is a popular place. The vintage shop uses Tally’s grandmother’s recipes to make treats from the past like Mallomars, Clark Bars, and Twinkies along with taffy and fudges. Her friend Yolanda Bella owns Bella’s Baskets right next door. They are in and out of each other’s shops several times each day. Tally has two part-time workers Mart and Andrea who tend to customers while Tally creates her delicious goodies. When the women need and handyman, Gene Faust is the man they call. Gene is the adopted son of the mayor. He is a real ladies’ man who has a penchant for borrowing money his girlfriends, usually right before he dumps them.
Tally left Gene repairing her refrigeration unit in the kitchen while she served customers at the front of the store. When she closed up and went into the kitchen she found Gene dead on the floor from an apparent stabbing. She’s confused because several people went through the kitchen before she did. There is no way they missed his body. Could one of them be the killer or did the murderer come and go through the back door without her knowing? Yolanda, Andrea, and Mart all seemed to have their issues with Gene, but she can’t believe they would kill him. How many other women has Gene hurt? Or could it be someone else he pushed too far?
The cover of this book grabbed me as soon as I saw it. I love the vintage candy store theme. It is always so much fun to visit one. The author has a nice descriptive writing style so it was very easy to visualize everything, especially Tally’s Olde Tyme Sweets Shop and all the yummy treats.
Ms. George introduces a vast cast of characters. It was easy to keep everyone straight but we don’t get to know them well enough to truly get invested in them. Gene had quite a checkered past and by the end, it was pretty fleshed out but the rest of the characters are still one-dimensional for me. Since this is a series, I know we will learn more in future stories but wished they were more developed in this story. One character I did fall hard for is a big Maine Coon cat named Nigel. I do have a soft spot for those big kitties.
The mystery was well-plotted with plenty of suspects. I did hone in on the culprit early but the motive wasn’t clear until the end. I did enjoy that the story swapped points-of-view between Yolanda and Tally. Sometimes it was confusing because it switches mid-chapter, but I think my problem may be attributed to the digital advanced copy I was reading. I am hoping in the finished book there was better spacing without the paragraphs running together.
I was excited that the Twinkie recipe was included at the end of the story.
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About the Author
Kaye George is a novelist, and a short story writer whose story, HANDBASKETS, DRAWERS, AND A KILLER COLD, was nominated for a 2010 Agatha Best Short Story award. It can be found in the collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, available on Amazon and Smashwords as an ebook, and Amazon and Createspace in trade paperback. She is agented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency LLC.
The first mystery novel in the Imogene Duckworthy series, CHOKE, received a nomination for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2011. It was followed by SMOKE and BROKE. EINE KLEINE MURDER, the first in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mysteries was published by Barking Rain Press in the spring of 2013. It was a Silver Falchion Finalist and was followed by REQUIEM IN RED. DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE, the first in the People of the Wind Neanderthal Mysteries, is published by Untreed Reads. It received an Agatha nomination for Best Historical. The sequel is DEATH ON THE TREK. The Fat Cat cozy series, set in Minneapolis and featuring a pudgy but adorable cat named Quincy, achieved Barnes & Noble’s best-seller status with all three books. Her new Vintage Sweets cozy series is set in Fredericksburg, TX.
She reviews for “Suspense Magazine” and writes a column for “Mysterical-E Magazine.” Other articles occasionally appear in newsletters and online. Her short stories appear in several anthologies and around and about. She is a member of Sisters in Crime (including the Guppies Chapter and the Smoking Guns chapter), Short Mystery Fiction Society, Authors Guild of Tennessee, and Knoxville Writers Group.
She lives in Knoxville, TN.
Visit her webpage, KayeGeorge.com for more information. Or catch her at TravelsWithKaye.blogspot.com, her solo blog. She also joins other writers at http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com/ and https://writerswhokill.blogspot.com/.
I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy of Revenge Is Sweet!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”