Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Sweet Pepper Hero
A Fire Brigade Mystery #4
J.J. Cook

Berkley Prime Crime
January 5, 2015 / ISBN978-0-425-27923-6
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth/Paranormal

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Sweet Pepper, Tennessee's fire chief, Stella Griffin, has made a home for herself, and is good at her job leading the volunteer fire brigade. It helps that she has the ghost of a former chief at her side, but as this adventure starts out, Ghost Chief Eric Gamlyn has been spirited away by the evil Madam Emery, and needs to be rescued in order to help Stella with fire, culinary arts for the upcoming annual recipe contest, and to provide her with companionship at the fire chief's cottage they cohabit. His rescue occurs with a little help from some friends, but it doesn't come without a price-three other spirits are rescued, and Stella has to find a way to get them home to their own kin.

The Sweet Pepper area has long had its fair share of illegal whiskey making stills, often overlooked intentionally by local law enforcement. Lately, however, there has been a rash of explosions and fires at some stills, and it appears that a whiskey war from yesteryear has reared its ugly head again. Stella has barely gotten involved with trying to solve the explosions, fires, and resultant problems, when a deliberate attempt is made on her life. When the local police and the sheriff don't seem to be taking the situation seriously enough, things escalate, and Stella knows she's going to have to dig deeper into the rubble of the whiskey war revival.

Having enjoyed the previous three books in this series, I was excited about a new one coming out, and I'm so happy that it lived up to my expectations. This is a cozy that hits all the points of a good cozy- murder, mayhem, mystery, suspense, small town camaraderie, a touch of romance, and a healthy dose of the paranormal.

The J. J. Cook writing team blazed a trail with this series featuring a female fire chief with a ghostly cohort, and a lovable fire-dog who is one of the few who can see and communicate with Chief Gamlyn. You can't go wrong with any of the books in this series, and although Sweet Pepper Hero is just fine as a stand-alone read, I highly recommend that you read the previous three books too.

Reviews of other titles in this series

That Old Flame of Mine
Playing with Fire

Reviewed 2016