Author: J R Pearson
Series: Josie Rizzo Cozy Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Pearson Publishing
Published: February 2016
Description: She and her furry companion, Petey, set out to start fresh in the food loving town of Greenville. Josie is excited to introduce the readers of her food blog to the town's delicious creations.
But when a young woman is murdered at a local burger joint, Josie must sacrifice all she has planned to accomplish to prevent a person from her past from being wrongly accused of the woman's death.
And things start to heat up when the killer sets his sights on Josie.
Will she be able to enjoy Greenville's belly-rubbing cuisines and begin a new chapter in her life?
Or will the killer cut Josie's dreams short and make sure that basket of onion rings are her last?
I liked that Josie, our protagonist, didn't stumble over a body but rather was recruited to help an old friend prove his innocence when he is named the prime suspect in a murder due to circumstances. The characters in this story are wonderful. Josie is independent, determined and often frustrated by her over protective mother and siblings. She is the girl next door and someone that you could see as one of your friends. Tony has experienced tragedy in his past, but is coming to terms with his new job and reconnecting with Josie, whom he knew when they were children. The secondary cast of characters, which includes Brad, Josie's best friend, and her parents, siblings, aunt and cousins are great. They are over protective and interfering, but in the best way possible for a family. They are fun and add to the enjoyment of the overall story. And lets not forget Petey, Josie's "puffy" dog. His antics will make you smile.
The mystery is a little different than other cozy mysteries in that the identity of the killer is known about 3/4 of the way through the book. However, this does not detract from the enjoyment of the story. Rather, the author uses the rest of the book to tie up how the killer is caught which leads to a climatic ending. There is also an interesting twist at the end of the story that I was not suspecting. This ending plus my overall enjoyment will keep my reading the other two books in the series to see what happens to Josie and the rest of the gang.
I was gifted a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.