Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: Feta Attraction (A Greek to Me Mystery, Book 1) by Susannah Hardy

About Feta Attraction by Susannah Hardy:

The first mystery in a new series overflowing with Greek flavor…

Georgie Nikolopatos manages the Bonaparte House, a Greek restaurant and historic landmark in beautiful upstate New York rumored to possess ghosts and hidden treasure. But when her husband disappears and her main competitor is found dead, it’s up to Georgie to solve a big fat Greek murder.

With her husband, Spiro, inexplicably gone for days, Georgie has her hands full running the restaurant and dealing with the crew of the TV show Ghost Squad, called in by Spiro to inspect the house for haunting. So when she has a chance to take a boating excursion on the St. Lawrence River with her friend Keith Morgan, she jumps on it. But their idyll is quickly ruined when they discover the body of rival restaurant owner Domenic “Big Dom” DiTomasso floating in the water.

When the police start asking questions, it doesn’t help that Spiro can’t be found—and with Georgie on their suspect list, it’s up to her to find her missing husband and find out who killed Big Dom before someone else’s order is up.

Includes delicious Greek recipes!

My Thoughts:

Feta Attraction is the first book in the brand new Greek To Me Mystery series by Susannah Hardy.

Georgie Nikolopatos is a very busy woman. She manages the day-to-day operations of the Greek restaurant, the Bonaparte House, owned by her husband, Spiro, and mother-in-law, Sophie. While Georgie is wholly invested in her work as manager, Spiro isn't so much, and neither are as committed to their marriage as maybe they were many years ago. In fact, the rumor mill is quite active in chattering about Spiro's trysts, including the current person in his life. Plus, there is a story that there is a very valuable treasure hidden in Bonaparte House and another insisting the place is haunted.

When Spiro disappears, as is Spiro's way, he leaves the local ghost hunters he called in to investigate the Bonaparte House, in Georgie's lap, so-to-speak - as if she wasn't busy enough running the restaurant and running interference with Sophie, who is worried about Spiro's absence. Even Georgie is uncomfortable with this disappearing act. Spiro has been gone longer than usual, there has been no contact by him, he's not answering his phone, and his love interest is also worried.

When it's time for the ghost hunters to do their thing, she gets a boat ride from Keith, to her friend, Liza's, where she'll be staying the night. On their way to the spa that Liza owns and lives at, they come across the body of Big Dom DiTomasso -- and so our true cozy mystery begins and Georgie's To-Do list gets a bit longer:

1. Run the restaurant
2. Find her missing husband.
3. Find the rumored treasure.
4. Figure out who killed Big Dom.
5. Placate Sophie and intentionally keep her out of the know.

Of course, this list is not all encompassing and it is not necessarily accomplished in the above order.

Someone is very intent on locating the supposed treasure and will stop at nothing until it's found. Unfortunately, this leads to some pretty dangerous episodes and some very unwise decisions.  Here is where I will include what I didn't like about the novel.  I feel it's best to get that aired out and then finish up the review on a more positive note.

While Georgia is a likable enough main character, I think she puts up with an awful lot that any self-respecting woman wouldn't.  She continuously makes excuses for her husband's absences and infidelities.  I also was annoyed with her lack of police involvement.  Her husband is missing, she's receiving sinister communications, and someone ransacked the Bonaparte House's living quarters - and she doesn't tell anyone.  Items are stolen from the premises and she doesn't inform the authorities.  I realize part of it is because she doesn't want to implicate Spiro's involvement in some of the less than legal things going on but her actions just weren't smart, even by cozy mystery standards.

So....even with those small rants, I want to make sure that readers understand that Feta Attraction really is a great book. The book begins with multiple storylines that seamlessly weave themselves together. There are several suggested reasons for the disappearance of Spiro, and not all of them involve something heinous. The reader is introduced to many people that could be involved in Spiro going missing. Eventually, you'll see how all of the events fit together.

The character and world building is well done. Despite my somewhat negative opinions already stated about Georgia, I really find that she has a good heart. That good heart is what causes her to do the things she does in Feta Attraction; it also is what prevents her from actually going to the proper authorities. She's spunky, motivated, and does the best she can to placate, as well as protect, her mother-in-law as events heat up and become more dangerous. Georgia also does her best not to involve her friends in her sleuthing in order to help keep everyone safe from whomever is responsible for the events taking place.

Sophie is a hoot. She's worried about Spiro but really, I think she's more about the money than anything else. She seems to have a mostly smooth relationship with Georgie and trusts her with the restaurant and its management aspects. She is written in a voice that I could totally "hear" in my head as I read each of her speaking lines.

Feta Attraction is a cozy mystery that I was able to put down and walk away from but only temporarily. I had to know what the heck was going on and why so many people and storylines were created. I can't wait to see what Susannah Hardy has in store for Georgie next.

Paperback review copy courtesy of the publisher, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

Book Details:

Series: A Greek to Me Mystery (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (January 6, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425271650


I enjoyed reading this series with all the various people in town, and how they all are connected to either Sophie, Spiro and Georgie it is definitely a recipe for success!
~Community Bookstop

Hardy manages to combine fun and downright silly exploits (driving a boat-easy, even if you’ve never done it before) with curiosities about Napoleon Bonaparte and his plans in New York to create this big fat Greek mystery!
~Cozy Up With Kathy

Those looking to start the year with a fun, new series that provides a different flavor to a favorite genre will be glad they picked up Feta Attraction. Sit down and hold on tight as you race through the pages of this promising debut.
~Carstairs Considers…

I was totally thrilled by this book. It was different and fun and full of great characters. Georgie’s mother-in-law is an absolute hoot.
~A Chick Who Reads

About the Author:

Susannah Hardy thinks she has the best job in the world: making up stories and inventing recipes to go along with them. A native of northern New York, where she attended St. Lawrence University, Susannah now lives in Connecticut with her husband, teenaged son, and Elvira the Wonder Cat.

Find Susannah Online:


Purchase the Book:

Amazon Feta Attraction (A Greek to Me Mystery)



PoCoKat said...

Sounds like a good book!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Sapphyria said...

Thanks for stopping by today!