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Lost and Fondue
A Cheese Shop Mystery, No 2
Avery Aames

May 2011/ ISBN 978-0-425-24158-5

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Charlotte Bessette owns a cheese shop, appropriately named The Cheese Shop, located in Providence, Ohio. She works with her cousin, Matthew who manages the wine to go with the cheese, and an Amish girl named Rebecca who has broken free of her heritage and become an asset to the shop.

Charlotte’s best friend, Meredith, hires them to cater an event at an abandoned winery, with the goal of raising funds to convert the winery into a liberal arts college. All appears to be on the track for success until the scavenger hunt activity; what is found is not what was anticipated. The found item is a person. A very dead person, one who just happens to be an artist who was to paint the winery, and who also is the boyfriend of Quinn, Meredith’s niece, and now the suspected murderer.

This is the second book in the Cheese Shop Mystery series, and author Avery Aames was recently awarded with an Agatha Award for the first book, The Long Quiche Goodbye. In my opinion, it was a well deserved reward, and I was not disappointed in the least with this sequel. Author Aames develops her characters well and imbues them with secrets and hidden agendas as well as intelligence and individuality that make them memorable.

The plot is clever and detailed accurately. The story is smart and fun, and paced evenly. The settings are described so that they come alive for the reader, and we are even treated to a selection of delicious-sounding recipes at the end of the book.

This is a charming book, cozy-mystery lovers will devour it, and my only caveat is to make sure you have cheese and or wine at hand, because you’ll surely develop a longing for both as you read this book! Pack a picnic lunch, include this book in the basket (with that wine and cheese!) and head for a secluded spot to relax and enjoy this yummy mystery.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Lost and Fondue, No 2
Clobbered by Camembert, No 3

Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of 2009's Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2011