Sunday, September 4, 2016

Cozy Mystery Book Review ~ Kernel of Truth (Popcorn Shop Mystery, Book #1) by Kristi Abbott


About the Book from the Back Cover of the Paperback:

An all-new Popcorn Shop Mystery bursts on the scene, featuring gourmet popcorn entrepreneur Rebecca Anderson and her poodle Sprocket.

Opening a gourmet popcorn shop was never on Rebecca Anderson’s bucket list. But after a failed marriage to a celebrity chef, she’s ready for her life to open up and expand. She has returned to her hometown of Grand Lake, Ohio, with her popcorn-loving poodle Sprocket to start a new business—naturally called POPS. As a delicious bonus, Cordelia “Coco” Bittles, a close family friend who has always been like a grandmother to Rebecca, owns the chocolate shop next door, and the two are thinking of combining their businesses.

But when Coco’s niece, Alice, discovers her on the floor of her chocolate shop, those dreams go up in smoke. The local sheriff thinks Coco was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but Rebecca isn’t so sure. As suspects start popping up all over, Rebecca is determined to turn up the heat and bring the killer to justice in a jiffy!

INCLUDES POPCORN-RELATED RECIPES!

Goodreads Link:


My Review:

Rebecca Anderson is back in her home town despite having less than fond memories of the place. She's currently recovering after having divorced a self-absorbed celebrity chef.  She currently lives in a room above the garage at the home she grew up in; her sister and brother-in-law own the home now.  Her brother-in-law, Dan, also happens to be her best friend, and the local sheriff.  Opening a popcorn shop has her on the path to rebuilding her life.  The woman that owns the chocolate shop next door, Coco, has also taken Rebecca under her wing.  Just when the next phase of her life was getting set, Rebecca finds Coco dead in her shot and Coco's niece screaming over her body.

Why would someone want to murder an aged and highly respected member of the community?  When other female business owners are attacked, Rebecca works hard to find out who has it in for them.  She turns up several potential suspects that keeps the reader guessing around every turn.  Unfortunately, her search for clues tends to incriminate her more than actually find a suspect.  I will admit that I suspected who the killer was but that knowledge didn't detract from the story at all.

The world building and character development was done well.  I really felt bad for Rebecca.  She came back to a town that assumed she was still the same girl she was before she left.  In several circumstances Rebecca was the victim of a professional manipulator that had a knack for turning the town against Rebecca.  Fortunately, those who truly matter stick beside Rebecca through everything she comes up against.

There is a romantic undertone to the novel but it is perfectly placed within the story.  No overshadowing of the key elements Kernel of Truth.  We get to meet her ex and I found him to be quite self-centered and narcissistic.  Her love interest is a wonderfully created character.  Garrett's personality is witty and kind.  The rest of the secondary characters are interesting, aptly described, and are likable.

The story was fast paced and creative.  The book pulled me in and engaged me from the start.  The concept of a specialty popcorn shop is a unique and interesting occupation for this new series.  I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

I purchased my review copy of Kernel of Truth. 

My Rating:



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