Saturday, June 16, 2018

Murder Made to Order

Author:  Lena Gregory
Series:  All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery #2
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Lyrical Underground
Expected Publication Date:  June 19, 2018

Description:  New York native Gia Morelli is just getting used to life in Florida when she gets word that the town government wants to shut down her pride and joy: the charming little diner known as the All-Day Breakfast Café. A forgotten zoning regulation means that the café was opened illegally, and hardboiled council president Marcia Steers refuses to budge. Gia is considering hanging up her apron and going back to New York, but before she gives up on her dream, she discovers something shocking in the local swamp: Marcia Steers, dead in the water. There’s a secret buried in the books at town hall, and someone killed to keep it hidden. To save her café and bring a killer to justice, Gia and her friends will have to figure out a killer’s recipe for murder.

My Review

I really enjoyed the first book in this series so I was happy when I was offered the opportunity to read and review this second book in the series.  I thought Ms. Gregory did such a good job of creating a realistic, relatable character in Gia Morelli and they surrounding her with a terrific supporting cast that I was eager to dive into this book to see what was happening in Boggy Creek Florida.

Gia is still trying to get used to living in Florida while dealing with a bit of homesickness for New York and doubts about whether she made the right decision in moving.  Those doubts are magnified when she discovers that she may lose her cafe because it is not zoned properly.  On top of that, she once again finds a dead body and is in the middle of another murder investigations.

I enjoy Gia's character.  In the second book, I think the author does a good job of balancing additional growth in her character with a bit of unresolved doubt about whether she made the right choice.  Her best friend Savannah is a good complement to Gia in terms of personality and temperament.  The relationship feels genuine and I like how Savannah will tell Gia to pull up her big girl panties while making the decision whether or not to stay in Florida.  It is the type of conversation one can only have with their best friend.  Hunt and Leo also make return appearances and there is progress in their relationships with Gia and Savannah respectively.

The mystery combines a murder from the past and how it plays a role in the body that Gia finds on the hiking trail. The reader also gets more of the backstory on the murder of Savannah's mom.  At the heart of both mysteries is the zoning of the building that houses the All Day Cafe.  There are plenty of twists, turns and clues woven throughout the story along with other natural disasters as well.  I really had no idea who was behind the present day murder let alone the death of Savannah's mom.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Lyrical Underground, through Netgalley.

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