From the publisher: Talia Marby serves up delectable English deep fried fare in the heart of the Berkshires—but she soon discovers there’s something fishy going on…
Sometimes in this life, you have to fish or cut bait. After walking away from a miserable job and an even worse boyfriend, Talia Marby has no regrets. She’s returned to her hometown and is happy to help her dear friend Bea Lambert by working at Lambert’s Fish & Chips, a cornerstone of a charming shopping plaza designed to resemble an old English village.
But not all the shop owners are charming. Phil Turnbull has been pestering Bea to sign a petition against a new store opening up, and his constant badgering is enough to make her want to boil him in oil. When Talia and Bea stumble upon Turnbull murdered in his shop, the police suspect Bea. Now it’s up to Talia to fish around for clues and hook the real killer before her friend has to trade serving food for serving time…
It's not uncommon over the course of a long-running mystery series to feel as though the characters have become friends. It's pretty rare to feel that way about the characters in a debut novel, though, but that is exactly what happened as I read the first book in Linda Reilly's Deep Fried mystery series, Fillet of Murder.
Talia Marby is starting over and temporarily working at Lambert’s Fish & Chips, an important part of her childhood that is owned by her dear friend Bea. The restaurant is located in a shopping plaza designed to resemble an old English village. There is conflict among the shop owners however, as a petition is being circulated to stop the opening of a comic book store, instigated by vintage lighting store owner Phil Turnbull. Before long Talia and Bea find Phil dead in his shop, and Bea is the prime suspect because the fillet knife buried in his neck had whitefish on it and she had recently been overheard threatening to boil him in oil. As the two ladies begin questioning their fellow shop owners, they end up discovering that more than one of them had reason to want him dead.
I enjoyed every single moment of this fast-paced mystery which kept me guessing until the very end. I look forward to watching Talia adjust to her new role as restaurant owner, and hope to see her relationship with new friend Ryan and his sweet father Arthur flourish. Every character is memorable and unique, right down to the precious cover star, calico kitty Bojangles. The food descriptions are downright mouth-watering, and since we're talking deep fried deliciousness, reading about them is much more heart healthy too!
Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Wednesday, May 20th for your chance to win a paperback copy of Fillet of Murder *and* this adorable tote bag!!! US entries only, and don't forget your email address.
(Sorry, Truffles not included.)