Read to Death
by Terrie Farley Moran
Read to Death
(Read Em and Eat Mystery)
3rd in Series
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (July 5, 2016)
E-Book ASIN: B016JPTN5W
About the Book:
The national bestselling author of Caught Read-Handed revisits Fort Myers Beach, Florida, where the proprietors of a local bookstore café occasionally take a stab at solving murder…
At their seaside Read ‘Em and Eat bookstore café, Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield offer fresh scones, great books, and excellent detective work…
With their book club season wrapping up with The Florida Life of Thomas Edison, Sassy and Bridgy decide to take their group on a day trip to the beautiful Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Hiring driver Oscar Frieland, who’s known for his colorful stories and love of the café’s Robert Frost fruit tartlets, the bibliophiles set off for a day of sunshine and history.
After a lovely excursion, the club returns to the café for lunch and a book discussion, but the group falls silent after Oscar is found dead in his van. The sheriff’s deputies have some questions of their own for the group, and if the ladies don’t find some answers soon, the next book they read might be from a prison library.
My review of Well Read, Then Dead, Book 1 in the series can be found here:
My Review of Caught Read-Handed, Book 2 in the series can be found here:
Sassy and Bridgy are all set to take their reading group to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates to wrap up the book club season. The snow birds will be heading back north soon and what a way to tie in their last book, The Florida Life of Thomas Edison, with local Florida culture and have the club go out with a bang. Except, Oscar, their driver has managed to ruffle some feathers among the women in the group, whether intentional or not. After arriving back at the cafe, Bridgy finds Oscar dead, and becomes murder suspect number one.
Knowing that Bridgy wasn't the one who killed Oscar but had the unfortunate experience of finding him, Sassy makes it her mission to help any way she can....even when it messes with the police investigation. Frank and Ryan have a ton of patience where Sassy is concerned. Sassy doesn't actually put herself into too much danger in Read to Death; she gets involved but doesn't do too much alone that gets her trapped in unfortunate situations.
As with the other two books in the series, there are several themes woven into this novel. Some are not about the murder, such as the issues between Bridgy's mother and aunt. Sometimes sisters just have issues and it apparently takes coming together to support Bridgy for them to be aired out. We also get to see Sassy's mother, Sage, when she flies to Florida with Bridgy's mother. Red herrings are tossed about liberally to keep the reader from guessing who actually killed Oscar, although, I pretty much had it figured out way before the reveal. It doesn't detract from the story though, because as we go along, we learn a lot about Oscar and the reasons that put him the sights of a murderer.
I really wish, though, that there was some sort of romance budding in this series. I find it a part of cozy mysteries that is lacking in this one. Not a huge issue or even one that affects my review but disappointing none-the-less. The way Sassy and Frank argue could be thought as romantic banter/frustration but I hate to misconstrue it since there has been nothing in Read to Death that indicates anything. I'm not sure about Cady's role in Sassy's life either, beyond journalist and friend. A couple things happen between them but Sassy brushes them off and doesn't revisit anything.
Overall, I really enjoyed Read to Death and found it to be a smooth flowing, easy read. The novel is engaging and pulled me in right from the beginning. There aren't any slow areas and everything seems pretty consistent. I love the way Sassy and Bridgy have fully integrated into their new city now. They have regulars that visit the cafe and have really built up clientele including numerous different book clubs. Aunt Ophie and Miguel are excellent supporting characters that help things run smoothly in the cafe when Sassy and Bridgy put on their sleuthing hats.
I hope to hear soon that Book 4 is in the works :)
Paperback review copy courtesy of the publisher, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I am part of the Craving for Cozies Challenge 2016.
See my list of Cozies here:
Meet the Author:
Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.
Webpage – http://terriefarleymoran.com/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/1terriemoran/
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