Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finger Lickin' Dead by Riley Adams

book cover

Finger Lickin' Dead
by Riley Adams

ISBN-13: 9780425241912
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: June 7, 2011

Source: Unrequested review copy from publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover:
Welcome to Aunt Pat's barbeque restaurant--family run and located in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee. Named in honor of Lulu Taylor's great-aunt, the restaurant on Beale Street is famous for its ribs and spicy corn bread, but sometimes Southern comfort food can come with a side of murder...

When an anonymous food critic blasts several local restaurants--including Aunt Pat's--with bad reviews, Lulu and her most loyal customers are burning mad, especially when they discover that Eppie Currian is the pen name of their friend Evelyn's cheating boyfriend. When "Eppie" gets his own fatal review, the list of suspects is long: two fuming ex-wives, an irate former restaurant owner, and even someone from Aunt Pat's own kitchen. Now, to catch the real killer, Lulu is going to have to put down her barbeque tongs--before her loved ones get sentenced to a strict diet of prison food.

My Review:
Finger Lickin' Dead is a humorous cozy mystery. It's the second in a series, but you can follow this story without having read the first novel, and this novel didn't spoil the mystery in the first one.

The characters were varied, quirky, and engaging. Lulu was an elderly lady with many friends. She listened to their gossip about who saw who with whom and who argued with whom and so forth, leading her to figure out whodunit. (It reminded me a little of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.) While I did guess right--well, mostly right--about whodunit before the reveal, so many people could have done it that it wasn't obvious who actually had. I kept reading this fast-paced novel to find out if I was right.

While there were some details about the setting and jobs, most of the details were about character interactions and the wonderful food they ate. Some recipes for the food mentioned in the story were included in the back of the book.

There were no sex scenes. There was some explicit bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this well-written, enjoyable mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
"Somebody," said Cherry darkly, "should kill that guy."

"Only as a last resort," said her good friend Peggy Sue. "Have we exhausted all the other possibilities? Rolled his house with toilet paper? Made prank phone calls? Shaken pepper in his sweet tea?" She gave a lilting laugh.

"I'm not so clear what his punishable offense is," said Lulu, tilting her head to one side as she pondered and endangering the small bun of white hair at the top of her head. "We don't like Adam Cawthorn because he's dating Evelyn? Because he's too good-looking?"

"Because he's snarky," growled Cherry. "Besides, I think he's taking advantage of Evelyn, who is, as y'all know, one of my favorite people in the world. He's always asking for a little bit of money here and a little bit there. Besides, he has a weak chin. What good is it if you've got looks but a weak chin?"

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