Saturday, December 9, 2017

Book Review & #Giveaway ~ Honey-Baked Homicide (Down South Café Mystery, Book #3) by Gayle Leeson @GayleTrent @BerkleyMystery

About the Book:

The owner of a delightful Southern cafe tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . .

It's fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers' Down South Cafe has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she's happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon's body outside the cafe early one morning.

As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects--and they're all buzzing mad. She'll have to use all of her skills--and her Southern charm--to find her way out of this sticky situation..

Book Details:

Series: A Down South Café Mystery (Book 3)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: December 5, 2017
ISBN-10: 1101990821
ISBN-13: 978-1101990827

Honey-Baked Homicide is the third book in Gayle Leeson's Down South Café Mystery Series.  Amy Flowers' business is doing well and she's agreed to a consignment deal to sell honey for Stuart Landon, a local beekeeper. Her customers are excited to have local honey on the menu and available for purchase at the counter. When Stuart's dead body is found in his truck by Amy one morning, she knows she has to figure out what happened. Why was he killed and what is the purpose of parking him in front of the cafe?

Amy finds out that Stuart Landon is not only a keeper of bees but a keeper of secrets, as well. He isn't who the town thinks he is, which expands the murder investigation outside of Winter Garden. There are also numerous suspects in town, too. There are property disputes, issues with pesticides, and right in the middle of everything comes a surveyor looking for natural gas deposits. As secrets get revealed, Amy knows that someone very sinister is prowling around town but can she sniff them out before anyone else dies?

As in the previous books, the murder takes place in a small town with family roots and stories that span several generations. The death occurs near the beginning of the book, giving the author a lengthy time frame to develop more of the Winter Garden, VA world and set the stage for murder and mystery solving. We are reacquainted with the key characters and introduced to many new ones. 

I must confess - I didn't like this book as much as I like books 1 and 2. The pacing of the book was different, a little bit slower, than the first two books. I didn't become immersed or completely engaged in Honey-Baked Homicide like I did with the first two books in the series. This doesn't mean I hated the book by any means. I actually enjoyed it - a lot - just not as much as The Calamity Cafe or Silence of the Jams.

I enjoyed the storyline and the plot of Honey-Baked Homicide does pull the reader along on a wild tale of murder and suspense. The descriptions of the world in Winter Garden were vivid and I felt like I was right there in the middle of the town and involved in the investigation. The dialogue between all of the characters was believable and well done. I enjoyed the interactions between Amy and Ryan and like the pace the author is using to build up a potential relationship.

The book is full of suspense with twists and turns around every corner. There are so many suspects, from within the town and from other cities, to choose from. The author does a great job disguising the murderer and the motive along with everything else related to the mystery. I recommend the Down South Cafe Mystery series and suggest you start with Book 1. You'll get to know the key players before meeting them again in Honey-Baked Homicide.

I truly hope we do get another few books in the series. Amy and her wonderful town have so much more to share with the readers. 

My Rating:

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  1. Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today!

    1. You're welcome! It was my pleasure having you and Honey-Baked Homicide here today!

  2. The book looks great--I'd love to read it!