Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Well Read, Then Dead
Read 'Em and Eat Mystery #1
Terrie Farley Moran

Berkley Prime Crime
August 2014/ ISBN 0425270289
Mystery – cozy

Reviewed by Cheryl Green


Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield own a combo eatery and book store called Read 'Em and Eat in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. The food side is run by Bridget, and the book side is Sassy's domain. In fact, there is a book club meeting going on when the mystery opens. The Books Before Breakfast Club is meeting. Sassy better intervene before several members come to blows over their favorite books and authors. One member, Delia Batson, is so quiet that she hands Sassy a note with her choice for the club's next read. Her cousin, Augusta Maddox, is just the opposite – she has no problem putting other diners in their place.

Miguel the chef has broken his leg. Bridget suggests getting her Aunt Ophie as a temporary replacement. Ophie is very opinionated and speaks her mind. However, she is a great cook. The next day, Ophie is there having tea with Augusta. Cody Stanton, a reporter, comes to tell Sassy that Delia Batson has been murdered. Now who is going to tell Augusta? Even though Lee County Deputy Ryan Mantoni warns Sassy not to investigate, she feels she has to, since Augusta asked her to look into Delia's death. Sassy had better be very careful investigating this murder - she could end up burnt.

Things to ponder: What was the murderer looking for? Does Delia's death have anything to do with islands she is supposed to own? Will Aunt Ophie be a welcome addition to cooking staff? Just what is Grampa's island justice?

A new to me author with a brand new series is like having an extra birthday with cake and gifts. This is a well-written fast-paced page turner of a read. I liked these characters as soon as I met them. What a wonderful location for a new series – a warm beachy setting in an eatery/bookstore. I would never leave. These two best friends are more like sisters - sharing a business and a condo. You never know who is going to walk into this shop. I was drawn into the story right from the start and read it through to the end. Cozy mystery readers will be thrilled to find a new voice and new series to love. The author has thoughtfully included Ophie's luscious Buttermilk Pie recipe. So, if you like to eat while reading a good mystery, then you should be reading Well Read, Then Dead.

Reviewed 2014